Whether one is a visitor or lifelong resident, travel back in time for a history lesson at these local centers. Then, try some nearby healthy dining choices with takeout options and a nod to the past.
Enjoy Santa Monica and eat well on-the-go!
Santa Monica History Museum and FIG Restaurant
Explore the museum’s permanent exhibit tracing key people and events in Santa Monica’s timeline. An early notable was Senator John P. Jones, the city’s co-founder who lived with his family at their expansive Ocean Avenue home, Miramar. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel is now on the site, and the Jones’ Moreton Bay fig tree still stands prominently on the grounds.
Visit the hotel’s aptly-named bistro, FIG, to savor Chef Ray Garcia’s daily meals and weekend brunch. The menu emphasis is on local, seasonal and organic selections sourced from the Santa Monica Farmers Market, like a warm quinoa salad or vegetarian cauliflower risotto. Look for the pulled organic barbecue chicken sandwich, vegan and gluten-free items, and more. Garcia also prepares exclusive bites for The Bungalow lounge.
Santa Monica Conservancy Downtown Walking Tour and The Misfit Restaurant + Bar
Enjoy the conservancy’s guided or self-guided downtown stroll and admire architectural highlights like Rapp Saloon, the city’s first building. Other stops include the Bay Cities Guaranty building (Santa Monica’s first skyscraper), which The Misfit bar now calls home.
Drop in here for specialty cocktails and items like a mouth-watering grass-fed burger or chickpea wrap. Daily selections include produce sourced from here. Choose vegan and gluten-free options, too. Check out the $5.00 “Bar Fly” weekday lunch, along with full lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus.
Museum of Flying and Spitfire Grill
This captivating museum at the Santa Monica Airport was originally founded by Donald W. Douglas Jr. to display items from the archives of his father Donald W. Douglas Sr. – the pioneer who started his legendary Santa Monica-based Douglas Aircraft company in 1921. It has expanded over time and now features a vintage aircraft collection, artifacts and events celebrating our extraordinary local aviation history and influence.
Stop by the aviation-themed Spitfire Grill, too. Sit inside or on the patio and enjoy healthy breakfast choices like seasonal fruit or an egg white omelet with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Later meal options include a sliced herb chicken breast sandwich, seared ahi tuna, and lemon crab cakes.
Santa Monica Pier and The Albright
Opened in 1909, the iconic Santa Monica Pier has a fantastic history of its own, and continues to be a year-round hub of family fun, activities and events. The Pier Shop and visitor center features historical photographs, memorabilia and more.
Enjoy seasonal seafood selections at The Albright – formerly SM Pier Seafood, a family-owned pier fixture for over 35 years. The family’s second generation has recently re-invented the restaurant with a modern flair.
Look for daily fresh fish catches, as well as locally-sourced and organic ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and here. Other favorites include a grilled veggie taco plate, caramelized tuna melt, and spicy seafood soup.