When we opened our second location in Santa Monica, our staff was excited to start exploring the area. We began by visiting many of the most popular tourist attractions like Muscle Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, and Bergamot Station. While these were all fun adventures, we really wanted to find some of the area’s “best-kept secrets.”
We started making it a point to ask our customers for tips and recommendations and were blown away by all the incredible experiences they opened us up to! Here are a few of our favorites.
McCabe’s Guitar Shop
If you’re musically-inclined, you’ll definitely want to take a trip over to McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Not only do they carry “the largest selection of stringed things to make music with in California,” but they also regularly hold concerts in the acoustically-impressive back room.
It’s easy to see why McCabes has been a staple in Santa Monica for over 50 years. Whether you head over during the day and check out the huge selection of guitars, ukuleles, banjos, and more or you stick around to hear some of the incredible musicians, you’re sure to enjoy the experience.
Dubbed “The world’s most glamorous dive bar,” Chez Jay has been a must-visit spot for locals and celebrities for over 60 years. It’s just half a block from the Santa Monica Pier and has been an official historic landmark since 2012. From the free peanuts that are shelled on the floor to the generous pours and the “no photos” rule that’s been in place since the 60s, there’s so much to love about this place!
They also have a great menu featuring steak, seafood, and more. Reservations are recommended for the indoor dining room as it only holds 10 tables, but the aptly named “Backyard” has plenty of comfortable seating, fire pits, and a laid-back atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re truly in your own back yard.
jAdis Prop Shop and Curiosity Cabinet
A visit to jAdis Prop Shop and Curiosity Cabinet is sure to blow your mind. This one-of-a-kind museum and prop rental store carries an unforgettable collection of pre-computer era scientific and industrial oddities. Here you’ll find everything from robots and globes to Tesla coils and biplanes. If you’re ready to embrace your inner “mad scientist,” you’ll definitely want to plan a stop at this shop.
Looking for the perfect spot for date night? Bar Chloe is an intimate and classy bar that’s extremely popular with the locals. Although it’s located on the ground floor of Hotel Carmel, it’s far from your typical hotel bar.
The vintage barstools, elegant decor, and live music all combine to create an atmosphere that is the perfect blend of upscale and laid-back. They also offer amazing handcrafted cocktails and house-infused liquors, an excellent beer and wine list, and a delicious bistro menu.
Opened in 1934, The Galley is Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant. History buffs will enjoy checking out the nautical-themed decor from the 1935 film “Mutiny on the Bounty” and the collection of WWII propaganda posters. The menu features a classic selection of steak, chicken, and seafood dishes, pasta, burgers, and more.
Diners have the option of enjoying the cozy booths and romantic atmosphere or heading out to the back patio where there vibe it totally relaxed and chill.
The Haus: Your Independent MINI Cooper Pros in Santa Monica
While you’re zipping around Santa Monica in your MINI, make sure you don’t forget about keeping up with your repairs and maintenance. At The Haus, we provide a full range of services at a price you can afford. We offer quick turnaround times and will make sure the work is done right the first time. Reach out to us today to schedule your next appointment.