Balmy evenings, miles of beach, and loads of pretty, single girls.
We can't believe you haven't already planned a trip to LA this summer. Here's the rundown on how to do it right.
With multiple outdoor spaces and a low-key vibe, the Deco-era Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica showcases everything Los Angelenos love about their town. The lush, secluded guests-only pool area rocks a chill bar scene, while the rooftop bar gets lively during happy hour.
From $355/night. 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica (310-394-2791)
Looking for a vibe that's a little more Russell Brand? Check into a suite at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. Located just steps from the Sunset Strip, this hidden hotel has long been a favorite of record execs and big-name bands (think RHCP) while they're working on a new album. And, yes, the guy in the top hat at the hotel bar is probably Slash.
From $319/night. 1200 Alta Loma Rd., West Hollywood (310-657-1333)
Snag an outdoor table at Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica to enjoy fresh, creative Mexican with an ocean view. Sip suped-up agua fresca with your choice of liquor while snacking on lobster truffle tacos in the shade of their outdoor patio. We suggest arriving early; it's on the small side and they don't take reservations for small groups.
1515 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica (310-458-2985)
Reserve a table way in advance to sample the modern Italian foodie paradise that is Bestia. Don't be alarmed when your cab driver turns down a deserted block full of warehouses; he is indeed headed towards bespoke cocktails and housemade salumi. Just make sure you order the saffron tagliatelle; one bite and you'll understand what all the hype is about.
2121 7th Place, Downtown (213-514-5724)
Looking for a day-drinker's outdoor paradise? Look no further than The Bungalow at The Fairmont Santa Monica. This sprawling surf-inspired bar hosts an upscale crowd that's more Ralph Lauren than Lords of Dogtown. Spend your time schmoozing at the outdoor lounge, or head to the indoor bar area for fireside cocktails once the sun goes down.
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica (310-899-8530)
There's nothing more LA then spending the day pedaling along the beach on a brightly colored cruiser. Snag a rental, then check out one of our three favorite rides, or simply use your cruiser as between-bar transportation. It's a win-win as far as we're concerned.