Your Definitive Guide to California Surf Lessons

California Surf Lessons: Catch a Wave of Stoke with This Epic Guide

Shred the gnar of California’s epic coastline! Find the perfect surf lesson school, conquer beginner-friendly breaks, and score classic Californian vibes in this ultimate guide.

Catching California’s Wave: Your Ultimate Guide to Surf Lessons

Sun-kissed skin, salty hair, the exhilaration of riding a liquid rocket – California surfing isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. Whether you’re a landlocked dreamer or a wannabe shredder, carving into California’s waves is an experience etched in sunshine and memories. But where do you begin? Fear not, groms and geezers, for this comprehensive guide will paddle you towards your Californian surfing nirvana.

Schools of Stoke: Finding the Perfect Surf Lesson

California boasts a smorgasbord of surf schools, each with its own vibe and expertise. Choosing the right one is crucial for your learning curve. Here’s a breakdown of the key players:

  • Viator: This online marketplace aggregates lessons from various schools, offering flexibility and a one-stop shop for booking. Think Expedia for surf camps.

    Flexibility and one-stop booking: This online marketplace aggregates lessons from various schools, offering flexibility and a one-stop shop for booking. Think Expedia for surf camps.

  • Santa Barbara Surf School: Nestled in the charming coastal town of Santa Barbara, this school prioritizes personalized instruction and caters to all ages and abilities. Think boutique experience with a focus on fun.

    Phone: (805) 899-5195
    Boutique experience with a focus on fun: Nestled in the charming coastal town of Santa Barbara, this school prioritizes personalized instruction and caters to all ages and abilities.
  • Pacific Surf School: With locations in Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Beach, Pacific Surf School boasts renowned instructors and a progressive teaching style. Think high-performance training for aspiring shredders.

    Phone: (800) 406-SURF (7873)
    High-performance training for aspiring shredders: With locations in Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Beach, Pacific Surf School boasts renowned instructors and a progressive teaching style.

  • Malibu’s Elite: Learn from the legends at Zuma Jay Surfschool, where A-list instructors like Chris “C.T.” Thompson and Tom Carroll have coached stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey.

    Phone: (310) 454-8734
    Learn from the legends: Zuma Jay Surfschool boasts A-list instructors like Chris “C.T.” Thompson and Tom Carroll, who have coached stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey.

  • Santa Cruz’s Soul: Get stoked with the laid-back vibes of Santa Barbara Surf School. Their beginner-friendly waves and eco-conscious ethos make it a perfect choice for conscious surfers.

  • La Jolla’s Laid-Back: Score gnarly waves and expert guidance at La Jolla Shores Surf Camp. Their group lessons are perfect for making new surf buddies, while private sessions cater to specific needs.

  • GetYourGuide: Similar to Viator, GetYourGuide connects you with a variety of schools across California, offering competitive prices and a range of lesson packages. Think discount surf adventures for budget-conscious beginners.

Beyond the Lesson: Schools That Go the Extra Mile

Some schools go the extra mile to make your surfing dreams a reality. Here are a few standouts:

  • Pacific Surf School (Pismo Beach): This family-owned school offers “Surf Camps” with accommodation, meals, and unlimited lessons – the ultimate surf immersion experience.

    Phone: (805) 773-4794
    The ultimate surf immersion experience: This family-owned school offers “Surf Camps” with accommodation, meals, and unlimited lessons.

  • Get Wet Surf School (Huntington Beach): Learn from female instructors at this women-owned school, creating a supportive and empowering environment for aspiring surfer girls.

    Phone: (714) 847-7873
    Supportive environment for aspiring surfer girls: Learn from female instructors at this women-owned school, creating a supportive and empowering environment for aspiring surfer girls.

  • Surf Happens (San Diego): This school caters to all abilities, from grommets to adults, with adaptive surf lessons for people with disabilities, ensuring everyone can experience the joy of riding waves.

Beyond the Board: Gearing Up for Californian Glory

Once you’ve chosen your school, it’s time to channel your inner surfer dude (or dudette) with the right gear. Forget the neon wetsuit and plastic board – invest in quality equipment that will enhance your experience and respect the ocean. Here are some classic California surf stores to fuel your shopping spree:

  • Jack’s Surfboards: A Santa Monica legend since 1968, Jack’s offers hand-shaped boards, expert advice, and a vibrant community vibe. Think the Yoda of surf shops, dispensing wisdom with a smile.

  • Quiet Lion Surf Shop: Tucked away in Laguna Beach, Quiet Lion carries high-performance boards, eco-friendly apparel, and a curated selection of surf art. Think the cool older sibling who knows all the secret spots.

  • Pacific Vibrations: With locations in Huntington Beach and Newport, Pacific Vibrations is a one-stop shop for everything from wetsuits and rashguards to sunglasses and surf wax. Think the ultimate pit stop for the forgetful surfer.

Liquid Playground: California’s Best Beginner Breaks

California’s coastline is a surfer’s smorgasbord, but not every wave is created equal for newbies. Here are some beginner-friendly spots to catch your first (or twentieth) greenie:

  • Malibu: Protected by Point Dume, Malibu’s gentle swells and long rides are ideal for learning the ropes. Think gentle giants and endless practice.

  • La Jolla Shores: This protected cove in San Diego offers calm waters, a sandy bottom, and plenty of surf schools to guide your first steps. Think bathtub with built-in instructors.

  • Pismo Beach: Known for its consistent rollers and mellow vibe, Pismo is a Central California gem for beginner surfers. Think endless sunshine and laid-back learning.

  • Sunset Beach: Located in Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach offers smaller waves in the mornings, perfect for practicing before the pros take over in the afternoon. Think sunrise sessions with a side of epic watching.

Beyond the Board: Embracing the Californian Surf Culture

Surfing in California is more than just riding waves; it’s a lifestyle. Immerse yourself in the spirit by hanging ten at local beach cafes, soaking up the sun at legendary surf contests, and jamming to tunes by Jack Johnson while cruising down the coast. Remember, the stoke is just as important as the shred.

California Calling: Your Surfing Adventure Awaits

So, grab your board, sunscreen, and a healthy dose of stoke, because California’s waves are calling. With the right school, gear, and location, you’ll be carving like a pro in no time. Remember, it’s not just about conquering waves, it’s about embracing the Californian way of life. Hang loose, shred gnar, and let the good times roll!

Bonus: California surfing history

California’s Waves of History: A Legacy Carved in Sun and Salt

California and surfing—it’s a match made in sun-kissed heaven. But this iconic pairing boasts a richer, deeper history than just beach bums catching rays. From ancient Polynesian traditions to Hollywood glamour, let’s dive into the four waves that shaped California’s surfing legacy.

Wave One: Riding the Ancestral Swell (Pre-contact to the early 1900s)

Centuries before Europeans set foot on Californian shores, Polynesian voyagers rode the waves on handcrafted wooden boards, known as “papa he’e nalu.” These skilled surfers weren’t just chasing thrills; surfing held deep cultural and spiritual significance, connecting them to the ocean and their ancestors. Their legacy lived on in California’s indigenous communities, who also embraced surfing for recreation and cultural expression.

Wave Two: The Hawaiian Ambassadors (Early 1900s to the 1920s)

In 1907, the tide turned when three Hawaiian princes, David Kawananakoa, Edward Keliiahonui, and Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, brought their surfing prowess to California. Their graceful maneuvers on redwood plank boards captivated onlookers, sparking a wave of fascination with the sport. Soon, surfing lessons and competitions began popping up along the California coast, with pioneers like George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku spreading the surfing gospel.

Wave Three: Hollywood Takes to the Waves (1920s to the 1960s)

Hollywood’s golden age coincided with surfing’s rise to mainstream popularity. Movies like “Gidget” and “Surf Party” glamorized the surfing lifestyle, attracting celebrities like Annette Funicello and Sandra Dee to the sport. Surf culture boomed, with iconic brands like Hobie and Hang Ten emerging. This era also saw the dawn of surf contests and the birth of surfing legends like Phil Edwards and Miki Dora, who pushed the boundaries of performance and style.

Wave Four: From Counterculture to Conservation (1960s to present)

The 1960s ushered in a new era of surfing, infused with the counterculture spirit. Surfers embraced environmentalism and challenged social norms, while shortboards revolutionized the sport. Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard championed sustainable practices, while women like Jericho Poppler and Rell Sunn broke gender barriers in the male-dominated surf scene. Today, California surfing continues to evolve, with a focus on inclusivity, environmental stewardship, and pushing the limits of the possible.

From ancient Polynesian roots to Hollywood’s golden age and the rise of environmental consciousness, California’s surfing story is one of rich cultural exchange, innovation, and an unwavering connection to the ocean. So, the next time you paddle out into those Californian waves, remember the legacy you’re carrying on your board—a legacy carved in sun, salt, and the indomitable spirit of surfing.

48 Hours in Manhattan Beach: Where Sun, Sand, and Serenity Collide

Manhattan Beach. The name conjures images of sun-kissed skin, crashing waves, and a laid-back vibe that lingers like the scent of saltwater. But beyond the postcard-perfect facade lies a vibrant tapestry of experiences waiting to be woven into your own personal California dream. Whether you’re a solo adventurer, a love-struck duo, or a family searching for shared laughter, this seaside haven has something for every soul. So grab your swimsuit, your appetite for adventure, and let’s dive into 48 hours of pure Manhattan Beach magic.

Day 1: Solo Serenity and Sunset Serenade

Morning: Start your solo journey with a sunrise kayak tour through the kelp forests. Paddle alongside playful sea lions and witness the ocean awakening, a symphony of sunlight and salty air. For a touch of luxury, indulge in an oceanfront breakfast at The Ritz-Carlton, or grab a coffee and pastry at Love & Salt, a charming bakery with ocean views that will melt your heart (and your croissant).

Afternoon: Channel your inner yogi with a sunset yoga session on the sand. Breathe deeply as the sun paints the sky in fiery hues, the rhythmic waves your soundtrack to inner peace. Afterwards, explore the eclectic boutiques on Main Street, where local artisans showcase their unique creations.

Evening: Treat yourself to a gourmet feast at The Manhattan Project, where farm-to-table ingredients are transformed into culinary masterpieces. For a more casual vibe, grab fresh-off-the-boat fish tacos at Captain Kidd’s, a local institution with a lively atmosphere. Cap off your day with stargazing on the beach, letting the vast expanse of the universe whisper secrets only the Pacific can tell.

Where to Stay: Cozy oceanfront B&Bs like The Inn at Venice Beach offer stunning views and a homey atmosphere. For a touch of modern chic, check out The Venice Beach Suites, a boutique hotel steps from the sand and the vibrant boardwalk.

Day 2: Family Fun and Foodie Forays

Morning: Rise and shine with a family breakfast at The Blue Bottle Coffee House, where pastries and smiles are served in equal measure. Then, hit the beach! Build sandcastles, body surf the waves, or rent paddleboards for a family adventure on the water. The Manhattan Beach Pier offers endless amusement, from fishing and arcade games to mini-golf and breathtaking ocean views.

Afternoon: Pack a picnic lunch and head to Polliwog Park, a hidden oasis with a playground, splash pad, and plenty of space for little ones to run wild. For a dose of culture, visit the South Bay Museum, where interactive exhibits bring history to life.

Evening: Embark on a “Foodie Adventure” through the diverse culinary landscape of Manhattan Beach. Start with authentic Italian at La Vecchia Cucina, followed by melt-in-your-mouth gelato at Amor & Gelato. For a taste of the exotic, try Thai Town and its vibrant array of restaurants. End the night with a family movie at The Strand, a historic theater with an open-air rooftop cinema under the stars.

Where to Stay: The Shade Hotel offers spacious suites and a rooftop pool, perfect for families. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Beachfront Inn, with its comfortable rooms and easy beach access.

Bonus Tips:

  • Rent bikes and explore the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail, a scenic path that hugs the coastline.
  • Visit the Manhattan Beach Farmers Market for fresh produce and local artisan crafts.
  • Take a surfing lesson and catch your first wave!
  • Hike the scenic trails of Palos Verdes for panoramic ocean views.

Manhattan Beach is more than just a beach town. It’s a playground for the soul, a tapestry woven with sun-drenched moments, delicious discoveries, and the gentle symphony of the Pacific. So pack your bags, your sense of adventure, and get ready to write your own chapter in this enchanting seaside haven.

Conquering LAX: Your Guide to the Top 10 Hotels Near Los Angeles International Airport

Conquer LAX with our guide to the top 10 hotels near Los Angeles International Airport. Find your perfect stay, from budget-friendly to luxury, all steps from baggage claim. Explore nearby sights and skip the layover stress.

Touchdown in Tinseltown and bypass the baggage claim blues with our ultimate guide to the top 10 hotels near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Whether you’re a seasoned Angeleno or a wide-eyed first-timer, navigating the sprawl of LAX can be daunting. But fear not, weary traveler! This curated list has a haven for every budget and itinerary, ensuring a smooth transition from tarmac to tourist.

1. The Westin Los Angeles Airport (from $250/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 5700 Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Sophistication and convenience collide at The Westin. Chic, modern rooms boast plush Heavenly® Beds and floor-to-ceiling windows with runway views (if that’s your thing). Savor California cuisine at The Daily Grill, unwind in the heated pool & whirlpool, or stay productive in the 24/7 business center.
  • Walking Distance: Minutes from Terminals 1, 2, and 3 via a complimentary shuttle.
  • Nearby: Take a quick Uber to Venice Beach for some Cali cool, or catch a flight at the adjacent World Way West complex.

2. Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport (from $200/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 6225 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Embrace the jet-setter lifestyle at the Hyatt Regency. Sleek, spacious rooms offer cityscape or pool views, while the Regency Club Lounge pampers high-floor guests with exclusive access to a private oasis. Take a dip in the sparkling pool, sweat it out in the 24-hour fitness center, or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment.
  • Walking Distance: A breeze! Connected directly to Terminals 1, 2, and 3 via a skybridge.
  • Nearby: Explore the aviation history at the adjacent Flight Path Learning Center & Museum, or grab a bite at one of the many restaurants within walking distance.

3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Los Angeles International Airport (from $150/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 9641 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Feel at home away from home at the Homewood Suites. Spacious studio and one-bedroom suites boast fully equipped kitchens, perfect for families or extended stays. Start your day with a complimentary hot breakfast, unwind by the pool & firepit, or stay connected with the free Wi-Fi.
  • Walking Distance: A 10-minute shuttle ride to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Nearby: Immerse yourself in the vibrant Westchester neighborhood, with its trendy shops, delicious restaurants, and family-friendly attractions.

4. Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard (from $180/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 3800 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Experience modern comfort at the Residence Inn. Stylish studios and one-bedroom suites feature full kitchens and separate living spaces, ideal for longer stays or groups. Mingle with fellow travelers at the complimentary evening socials, soak up the California sun by the pool, or stay productive in the business center.
  • Walking Distance: A 10-minute shuttle ride to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Nearby: Explore the nearby hotspots like The Forum (home to the Los Angeles Kings!) or Loyola Marymount University, or grab a bite at the plethora of casual dining options surrounding the hotel.

5. H Hotel Los Angeles, Curio Collection by Hilton (from $350/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 12345 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Channel your inner Hollywood starlet at the H Hotel. This glamorous boutique hotel boasts Art Deco-inspired interiors, a rooftop pool with stunning city views, and a buzzy atmosphere. Savor craft cocktails at the H Bar, indulge in a pampering spa treatment, or simply soak up the California sunshine on the rooftop deck.
  • Walking Distance: A 15-minute shuttle ride to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Nearby: Hit the shops and restaurants of Beverly Hills, explore the Getty Center, or catch a show at the Dolby Theatre (home of the Oscars!).

6. The West Coast, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel (from $225/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 4567 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Embrace the laid-back California vibes at The West Coast. This surfer-inspired hotel features beachy decor, a rooftop bar with ocean views, and a relaxed atmosphere. Hang loose by the pool, grab a bite at the casual cafe, or rent a bike and explore the nearby Marina del Rey.
  • Walking Distance: A 10-minute shuttle ride to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Nearby: Cruise the Venice Beach canals, explore the shops and restaurants of Abbot Kinney, or catch a sunset at Marina del Rey.

7. The Airporter Inn (from $99/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 9876 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Why Stay Here: Get the most bang for your buck at The Airporter Inn. This budget-friendly hotel offers clean, comfortable rooms and a convenient location just minutes from LAX. Enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast, relax by the pool, or take advantage of the 24-hour airport shuttle service.
  • Walking Distance: Right next door to Terminals 1, 2, and 3!
  • Nearby: Explore the nearby Westchester neighborhood, or catch a movie at the Cinemark Century City Stadium 16.

8. The Portofino Hotel & Marina (from $175/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 12121 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90061
  • Why Stay Here: Escape the LAX hustle and bustle at The Portofino Hotel & Marina. This charming hotel boasts a waterfront location with stunning marina views, a variety of on-site restaurants, and a laid-back atmosphere. Rent a boat, take a walk along the waterfront, or simply relax by the pool and soak up the California sunshine.
  • Walking Distance: A 15-minute Uber ride to Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Nearby: Explore the shops and restaurants of San Pedro, visit the Battleship Iowa Museum, or take a day trip to Catalina Island.

9. The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles (from $500/night):

  • Website:
  • Address: 12345 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
  • Why Stay Here: Experience luxury at its finest at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. This opulent hotel boasts stunning city views, world-class dining, and impeccable service. Pamper yourself at the spa, take a dip in the rooftop pool, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views from your room.
  • Walking Distance: A 20-minute Uber ride to Terminals

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to factor in your arrival and departure times when choosing a hotel. If you have an early morning flight, you might want to opt for a hotel with a 24-hour airport shuttle service or that’s within walking distance. Conversely, if you have a late-night arrival, you might prefer a hotel with a lively atmosphere or 24-hour room service.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a wide-eyed first-timer, LAX can be a daunting place. But with this guide, you’re sure to find the perfect hotel to suit your needs and budget. So relax, grab your boarding pass, and get ready to conquer Los Angele

Tinseltown Tipples: Where Legends Sipped & Stars Still Shine in L.A.’s Famous Bars

Los Angeles, the City of Angels, shimmers with more than just movie magic. Beneath the iconic Hollywood sign lies a vibrant tapestry of history, culture, and of course, unforgettable libations. L.A.’s bars are more than just watering holes; they’re time capsules, glittering testaments to a bygone era where silver screen sirens clinked glasses and literary giants penned masterpieces on cocktail napkins. So, whether you’re a Hollywood hopeful or simply thirsty for a taste of Tinseltown, pull up a stool and raise a glass at these legendary L.A. bars.

1. Musso & Frank Grill (Hollywood): A Storied Steakhouse Steeping in Silver Screen History

Step into Musso & Frank Grill, and you’re stepping onto a soundstage of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Established in 1919, this Hollywood institution has witnessed the rise and fall of countless stars, from Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo to Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The mahogany booths whisper tales of script conferences and whispered romances, while the clinking of silverware echoes the soundtrack of a thousand deals struck.

Why it’s famous: Musso & Frank isn’t just a bar; it’s a living, breathing monument to Hollywood history. Its walls are adorned with caricatures of legendary patrons, and the menu boasts dishes like the “Charlie Chaplin Breakfast” and the “Marilyn Monroe Burger.”
Where it’s at: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Unique drink: The “Pink Lady” – a delicate concoction of gin, grenadine, egg white, and lemon juice, said to be a favorite of Marilyn Monroe.
Famous faces: Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and countless others.

2. The King Eddy Saloon (Downtown L.A.): Where Whiskey Meets Wild West Grit

Venture into Downtown L.A.’s Historic Core, and you’ll stumble upon The King Eddy Saloon, a relic of the city’s Wild West past. Founded in 1861, this dimly lit, sawdust-strewn saloon has seen its fair share of gunslingers, gold miners, and even Wyatt Earp himself. Today, it’s a haven for history buffs and cocktail enthusiasts alike, offering a potent blend of Western charm and modern mixology.

Why it’s famous: The King Eddy is a tangible piece of L.A.’s Wild West history, boasting the title of the city’s oldest continuously operating bar. Its bullet-riddled walls and antique cash register speak volumes about its storied past.
Where it’s at: 548 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Unique drink: The “Sarsaparilla Fizz” – a refreshing blend of sarsaparilla, soda water, and bourbon, perfect for channeling your inner gunslinger.
Famous faces: Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill Cody, Jack London, Charles Bukowski, Marilyn Manson, and Johnny Depp.

3. The Rainbow Room (Hollywood): Where Rock Royalty Took the Stage and Sipped on Sunset Strip Sizzle

Ascend the winding staircase above the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, and you’ll find yourself transported to The Rainbow Room. This former speakeasy-turned-rock ‘n’ roll haven was once the playground of music legends like The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. Today, it’s a vibrant music venue and bar, pulsating with the energy of L.A.’s music scene.

Why it’s famous: The Rainbow Room was a haven for counterculture icons in the 1960s and 70s, witnessing legendary jam sessions and impromptu performances by rock’s biggest names. It’s a living testament to the rebellious spirit of L.A.’s music scene.
Where it’s at: 8422 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Unique drink: The “Love is Strange” – a potent mix of vodka, rum, tequila, blue curaçao, and amaretto, named after The Doors’ iconic song.
Famous faces: The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, and countless others.

4. HMS Bounty (Malibu): A Polynesian Paradise Sipping by the Sea

Escape the urban sprawl and set sail for paradise at the HMS Bounty in Malibu. This iconic beachfront bar transports you to a tropical oasis, complete with tiki torches, thatched roofs, and cascading waterfalls. Sip on fruity cocktails under the California sun, and soak in the breathtaking ocean views that have enchanted celebrities and locals alike for over 60 years.

Why it’s famous: The HMS Bounty is a Malibu landmark, offering an escape to a Polynesian paradise just steps from the Pacific Ocean. Its kitschy charm and celebrity clientele have been featured in countless movies and TV shows, solidifying its place as a pop culture icon.
Where it’s at: 23555 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Unique drink: The “Painkiller” – a potent blend of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, and grenadine, guaranteed to soothe any sunburned woes.
Famous faces: Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and countless others.

5. The Varnish (Downtown L.A.): Speak Easy Secrets and Speakeasy Spirits

Hidden behind a curtain in Cole’s Spiced Beef, a historic Downtown L.A. restaurant, lies The Varnish. This speakeasy-inspired cocktail haven exudes the glamour and secrecy of the Prohibition era, with dim lighting, plush booths, and expertly crafted cocktails. Reservations are harder to snag than a Golden Globe, but those who persevere are rewarded with an unforgettable experience.

Why it’s famous: The Varnish is a modern-day speakeasy, a throwback to the golden age of cocktails with an emphasis on quality ingredients and meticulous technique. Its exclusivity and legendary cocktails have garnered acclaim from critics and celebrities alike.
Where it’s at: 3415 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Unique drink: The “White Negroni” – a twist on the classic Negroni, made with gin, Lillet Blanc, and Dolin Blanc vermouth, offering a lighter and floral take on the Italian staple.
Famous faces: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and countless others.

6. The Abbey (West Hollywood): Where Glitter Meets Glamour and Gossip Flows Freely

In the heart of West Hollywood, where rainbow flags flutter and celebrities strut, stands The Abbey. This LGBTQ+ icon is more than just a bar; it’s a vibrant community hub, pulsating with energy, music, and the occasional paparazzi flash. From drag queen brunch to celebrity sightings, The Abbey offers a front-row seat to the glamorous, occasionally messy, spectacle of L.A. nightlife.

Why it’s famous: The Abbey is a West Hollywood institution, a cornerstone of the LGBTQ+ community and a magnet for celebrities and locals alike. Its vibrant atmosphere and reputation for A-list encounters make it a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of L.A.’s nightlife scene.
Where it’s at: 696 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Unique drink: The “Abbey Bloody Mary” – a spicy concoction infused with jalapenos, habaneros, and horseradish, guaranteed to wake up your taste buds and your gossip sense.
Famous faces: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Swift, and countless others.

So there you have it, a glimpse into the glittering world of L.A.’s famous bars. Each one a portal to a different era, a different story, a different side of the City of Angels. Whether you’re a history buff, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply a stargazer, raise a glass and immerse yourself in the magic of these legendary L.A. watering holes. Just remember, what happens in these legendary bars, often stays in these legendary bars.

Your Ultimate Guide to Ringing in 2024 in Long Beach

Ditch the Ordinary! Long Beach New Year’s 2024

Forget the frigid Times Square crowds and exorbitant prix fixe dinners. This New Year’s Eve, escape to the sun-drenched shores of Long Beach, where palm trees sway to the rhythm of crashing waves and vibrant celebrations paint the evening sky with sparkling fireworks. Ditch the ball drop drama and embrace the laid-back California cool of this coastal haven, where your wildest New Year’s dreams come alive beneath the velvet blanket of night.

Where Beach Chic Meets Midnight Cheers:

Long Beach offers a kaleidoscope of experiences to suit every party animal and chillseeker alike. Dive into the heart of the downtown waterfront festivities, where two stunning fireworks displays, one at 9 pm and another at midnight, illuminate the ocean with bursts of vibrant light. Or, escape the crowds and soak in the magic from Shoreline Village (25 The Pike at Rainbow Harbor) – a charming harbor enclave teeming with restaurants, shops, and breathtaking ocean views.

Sunset Serenades:

As the sun bids farewell to 2023, paint the town (and your Instagram feed) crimson with a fiery farewell at The Reef Rooftop Lounge (2200 E Ocean Blvd). Perched atop Hotel Maya, this oceanfront oasis boasts panoramic views, live music, and a cocktail menu crafted for sunset soirees. Raise a toast to the last rays of sunshine with their “Beach Bonfire”, a tropical blend of pineapple rum, coconut liqueur, and a touch of cinnamon, as the sky melts into hues of orange and amber.

Bar Hopping on the Boulevard:

Long Beach’s vibrant downtown boasts a thriving bar scene, ideal for those seeking a more intimate celebration. The Edison (350 E Broadway) transports you to a bygone era of speakeasy glamour, with flickering candles, velvet booths, and a cocktail menu bursting with Prohibition-era concoctions. Sip on their “Midnight Manhattan”, a potent blend of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, as you clink glasses and whisper New Year’s wishes beneath the dim chandelier lights.

Dancing Under the Stars:

If it’s pulsating beats and unbridled revelry you crave, The Pike at Rainbow Harbor (25 The Pike) is your playground. This waterfront entertainment district buzzes with energy, from the live music and arcade games of Dave & Buster’s to the electrifying dance floor of Club Bleu. Shimmy into the new year at The Queen Mary (100 Queens Way) – the legendary ocean liner transformed into a dazzling New Year’s Eve party palace. With multiple music stages, themed decks, and breathtaking views of the fireworks, it’s a guaranteed recipe for an unforgettable countdown.

Queen Mary’s New Year’s Eve Bash: Step aboard the legendary Queen Mary for a Gatsby-esque extravaganza. Dance the night away in the iconic Art Deco salons, savor a gourmet buffet overlooking the dazzling fireworks display, and raise a toast to the future from decks graced by Hollywood legends. Location: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach. Website: Why this location: History, glamour, and fireworks – a timeless recipe for a magical New Year’s. Drink suggestion: Champagne cocktails, shaken and served with ocean views.

Downtown Waterfront Fireworks: Feel the energy of the crowd as Long Beach paints the sky with a magnificent pyrotechnic spectacle. Grab a spot along Shoreline Village or Rainbow Harbor, grab a glass of bubbly, and watch the glittering explosions reflect on the calm waters. Location: Various spots along the downtown waterfront. Website: Why this location: Free, iconic, and perfect for soaking in the collective citywide cheer. Drink suggestion: Warm spiced cider or hot chocolate spiked with Baileys.

For the Foodies:

For those who believe even celebrations revolve around the culinary experience, Long Beach delivers. Savor a four-course prix fixe menu at The Boathouse on the Bay (555 E Ocean Blvd) as you gaze upon the twinkling waterfront lights. Or, embark on a global culinary adventure at Lola Lola (3321 E Broadway), where tapas from Spain meet the vibrant flavors of Latin America.

Beyond the Buzz:

If you crave a quieter but equally memorable New Year’s Eve, Long Beach offers plenty of alternative escapes. Join a yoga session on the beach as the sun rises over the Pacific, or embark on a whale watching cruise to witness the majesty of these magnificent creatures. For a touch of history, explore the Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way) after hours for their annual “Night Dive” event, featuring live music, DJs, and encounters with fascinating marine life.

Fueling the Festivities:

No celebration is complete without the perfect libation. Here are some signature sips to keep you sparkling through the night:

  • Shoreline Village: Catch the fireworks show with a classic “Pacific Punch” – a refreshing blend of rum, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and a splash of grenadine.
  • The Edison: Embrace the speakeasy vibes with their “New Year’s Fizz”, a bubbly mix of champagne, elderflower liqueur, and a touch of cucumber, served in vintage coupes.
  • The Queen Mary: Channel your inner Gatsby with their “Roaring Twenties Cocktail”, a heady concoction of gin, Lillet Blanc, maraschino liqueur, and grapefruit juice, served in a vintage coupe glass.

Let the Fireworks Fly: Your Guide to Long Beach’s New Year’s Eve Dazzling Displays

Long Beach’s New Year’s Eve celebrations culminate in two dazzling pyrotechnic shows, painting the night sky with vibrant splashes of light at 9 pm and midnight. But where to snag the best viewing spot, and how to navigate the festivities without a parking meltdown? Here’s your mini-guide to experiencing the fireworks in all their glory:

Downtown Waterfront Extravaganza:

  • Prime Viewing: Lions Lighthouse for Sight (Queensway Bay), Shoreline Village, Rainbow Harbor, Marina Green – these spots offer unobstructed views and the vibrant buzz of downtown festivities.
  • Parking: Paid parking is available at various lots including the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Pike Outlets, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, and nearby city lots. Expect high demand, so arrive early! Consider public transportation – Metro Green Line and Blue Line connect directly to downtown.
  • Bonus: The Downtown Long Beach Alliance often collaborates with local restaurants and bars for special New Year’s Eve menus and experiences. Book your reservations in advance!

Family-Friendly Fireworks at Alamitos Bay:

  • Tranquil Charm: Enjoy unobstructed views and a laid-back atmosphere at Alamitos Beach or Junipero Beach. Ideal for families with young children or those seeking a quieter experience.
  • Parking: Parking around Alamitos Beach can be tight, so consider nearby side streets or the Alamitos Bay Marina parking lot. Public transit via Metro Blue Line to the Alamitos Beach station is also an option.
  • Nearby Festivities: Boathouse on the Bay hosts a ticketed New Year’s Eve party with a dinner buffet, live music, and a prime view of the fireworks. Tickets usually sell out fast, so book early!

Shoreline Village:

  • Charming Escape: Combine stunning firework views with the quaint charm of Shoreline Village. Stroll through shops, grab a bite, or enjoy live music before finding your perfect viewing spot.
  • Parking: Utilize the convenient parking structure at Shoreline Village, or nearby street parking (arrive early!). Public transit access through the Metro Blue Line with a short walk to the village.

Bonus Tip: Pack layers! December evenings in Long Beach can be chilly, especially near the ocean. Blankets, chairs, and festive gear are encouraged.

No matter where you choose to watch, Long Beach’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are guaranteed to leave you bedazzled. So, grab your loved ones, a warm drink, and prepare to welcome 2024 with a dazzling spectacle under the California sky.

Bar Hopping with a View:

  1. The Blind Donkey (219 E Ocean Blvd): This hidden gem tucked away in the heart of Downtown Long Beach is a haven for craft cocktails and speakeasy vibes. Ring in the new year with their signature “Midnight Mojito,” a refreshing blend of mint, rum, and lime, served in a vintage coupe glass. Their rooftop patio boasts panoramic views of the city lights, making it the perfect spot for a toast under the fireworks. (Website:, Address: 219 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802)

  2. The Pike Outpost (275 Pine Ave): Craving a lively atmosphere with a touch of whimsy? The Pike Outpost is your playground. This waterfront bar boasts a vibrant carnival-inspired setting, complete with games, live music, and a panoramic view of the Queen Mary. Order their “New Year’s Fizz,” a bubbly concoction of prosecco, pomegranate, and rosemary, and dance the night away to the rhythm of the harbor. (Website:, Address: 275 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802)

  3. The Edison (304 E Broadway): Transport yourself to the roaring twenties at this opulent Art Deco stunner. The Edison’s dim lighting, plush velvet booths, and live jazz band will whisk you back to a bygone era of glamour. Sip on their “Midnight Manhattan,” a classic cocktail with a twist, and let the sophistication of the venue set the tone for a sophisticated New Year’s Eve. (Website:, Address: 304 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802)

  4. The Boathouse on the Bay (190 N Marina Dr): For a nautical twist on the evening, head to The Boathouse on the Bay. This waterfront restaurant and bar offers stunning views of Alamitos Bay, a festive atmosphere, and delicious seafood dishes. Raise a glass of their “Sparkling Sea Breeze,” a light and refreshing blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit juice, and watch the fireworks paint the sky over the marina. (Website:, Address: 190 N Marina Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802)

  5. The Long Beach Distillery (1400 E Pacific Coast Hwy): If you’re looking for a more intimate setting with a touch of local charm, The Long Beach Distillery is your haven. This craft distillery offers tastings of their award-winning spirits alongside creative cocktails. Opt for their “New Year’s Mule,” a spicy twist on the classic, and savor the warmth of the handcrafted spirits as you celebrate with a close-knit group. (Website:, Address: 1400 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802)

Remember: Book your reservations and tickets in advance, especially for popular venues and New Year’s Eve menus. Parking downtown can be limited, so consider utilizing public transportation or ride-sharing services. Most importantly, embrace the laid-back spirit of Long Beach. Ditch the stilettos for comfortable shoes, pack layers for the cool ocean breeze, and bring a festive spirit ready to ignite under the California stars.

Long Beach isn’t just a place to ring in the new year; it’s a canvas for crafting memories that will shimmer long after the fireworks fade. So, soak up the sun, savor the sand, and dance under the moonlight. Your unforgettable Long Beach New Year’s Eve awaits.

Marina Del Rey’s Glittering Gala: Your Ultimate Guide to NYE Fireworks & Glow-Up Fun

Where Ocean Waves Meet Exploding Colors & Vibrant Revelry

Ditch the ordinary and dive into a kaleidoscope of NYE magic in Marina Del Rey! This guide unlocks the secrets to front-row fireworks, electrifying pre-parties, and delectable bites, ensuring your coastal countdown is a dazzling spectacle to remember.

Forget stuffy ballrooms and predictable countdowns. This New Year’s Eve, embrace the salty air and electrifying energy of Marina Del Rey! Picture a sky ablaze with fireworks, pulsating music igniting the beach, and vibrant revelry painting the night in neon hues. This comprehensive guide is your key to unlocking the magic of Marina Del Rey’s NYE extravaganza, from prime viewing spots to pre-party hotspots and delicious bites that fuel your countdown to midnight.

1. Front Row to Fireworks Fantasy: Unleash the Magic at Burton Chace Park

Location: Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Why This Location: Trade crowds for serene green space and unobstructed views at Burton Chace Park. Picture this: the gentle Pacific serenades you, sparkling city lights twinkle in the distance, and before your eyes, fireworks paint the sky in a dizzying display of color and light. Spread out a picnic blanket, pop open some bubbly (plastic flutes, please!), and soak in the festive atmosphere. It’s free, magical, and your front-row ticket to the grand spectacle.

Things to Do Nearby: Before the fireworks ignite, let loose on the iconic Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk. Be captivated by street performers, pick up a unique souvenir, or embrace the playful spirit with festive face paint. It’s all within walking distance, adding to the pre-show excitement.

Places to Eat & Watch: Fuel up for the fireworks feast at Marina del Rey Harbor. The Chart House offers seafood platters with harbor views, while Joe’s Crab Shack serves up lively vibes and mouthwatering crab legs. Pack a cooler and snacks for a picnic-style experience under the stars at Burton Chace Park.

2. Glow Up Your NYE: Pre-Party Frenzy at MDR Beach Volleyball Courts

Location: MDR Beach Volleyball Courts, 13000 Ocean Front Walk, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Why This Location: Before the grand finale, get your groove on at the official Marina Del Rey NYE Glow Party. Drench yourself in the vibrant glow of neon lights, lose yourself in the pulsating DJ sets, and let loose in the infectious, playful atmosphere. Face painting, glow sticks, and outrageous attire are encouraged – embrace the inner glow and welcome the new year with vibrant, joyous energy.

Things to Do Nearby: After shaking your leg at the Glow Party, take a short stroll to Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This eclectic haven boasts trendy boutiques, art galleries, and charming cafes – perfect for a post-party browse or a warm cup of coffee before the fireworks show.

Places to Eat & Watch: Fuel your dancing with pre-party bites at nearby eateries. The Brig offers juicy burgers and craft beers, while Cabo Cantina serves up a taste of Mexico with their flavorful tacos and margaritas. Grab a quick bite and head back to the party with enough energy to dance until midnight.

3. Beyond the Beach: Rooftop Revelry at Perch

Location: Perch, 1221 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90291


Why This Location: Craving a sophisticated escape from the beachside buzz? Ascend to Perch, a rooftop haven with panoramic views of the fireworks and city lights. Sip on their signature “Midnight Kiss” cocktail – a decadent blend of pomegranate liqueur, champagne, and rosemary – while swaying to live music and enjoying the dazzling spectacle from above.

Things to Do Nearby: Before the fireworks, indulge in some pre-party luxury shopping at Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a haven for trendy boutiques and designer stores. Afterwards, stroll through the Marina del Rey Harbor, where yachts glimmer under the twilight and the salty air whispers promises of an unforgettable night.

Places to Eat & Watch: Water Grill: Impeccable service meets ocean-fresh bounty at Water Grill. Spoil yourself with their signature Maine lobster and caviar tasting, or indulge in the melt-in-your-mouth Alaskan halibut with roasted cherry tomatoes and basil pesto. Splurge on a bottle of Champagne to toast the new year as the fireworks illuminate the harbor in a breathtaking display.

Marina Del Rey NYE Fireworks: Top 5 Parking Options for a Stress-Free Celebration

Planning to watch the dazzling Marina Del Rey NYE fireworks but worried about parking? Fear not! Here are five convenient and reliable options to ensure a stress-free start to your celebration:

1. Lot 2: Prime Location, Early Arrival Recommended:

  • Location: 13400 Marina del Rey Place, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
  • Why This Location: This spacious lot sits closest to the main fireworks viewing areas, including Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village. Expect high demand with limited spaces, so prioritize early arrival.
  • Cost: $20 holiday rate on NYE.
  • Perks: Easy walking distance to most popular viewing areas, well-lit, secure.
  • Downsides: Fills up quickly, potential for long walk depending on arrival time.

2. MDR Beach Volleyball Courts Lot:

  • Location: 13000 Ocean Front Walk, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
  • Why This Location: Situated near the MDR Beach Volleyball Courts, this lot offers a good middle ground between convenience and ease of finding a spot. It’s within walking distance of Burton Chace Park and the Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk.
  • Cost: $20 holiday rate on NYE.
  • Perks: Closer than Lot 2 for finding a space later in the day, walking distance to popular areas, well-lit.
  • Downsides: Not as close as Lot 2 to the main fireworks viewing areas, potential for a slightly longer walk.

3. Fisherman’s Village Parking:

  • Location: Multiple parking structures within Fisherman’s Village, near 13450 Marina del Rey Place, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
  • Why This Location: Several parking structures provide ample options in Fisherman’s Village, offering a charming pre-fireworks stroll through shops and restaurants.
  • Cost: Varies depending on structure, expect rates around $20 on NYE.
  • Perks: Multiple structures offer choice, potential for shorter walks to some viewing areas, charming Fisherman’s Village atmosphere.
  • Downsides: Can be slightly further from main fireworks viewing areas compared to Lots 2 and MDR Beach Volleyball Courts, navigating multiple structures might take longer.

4. Public Parking Garages & Lots:

  • Location: Scattered throughout Marina del Rey, look for “Public Parking” signage.
  • Why This Location: Numerous garages and lots offer options throughout the area, potentially with lower demand than the dedicated NYE lots.
  • Cost: Varies depending on location, generally cheaper than NYE-specific lots.
  • Perks: Potential for lower cost and easier to find a spot later in the day, spread out locations offer flexibility.
  • Downsides: Can be further from main viewing areas, requiring longer walks or additional transportation, less secure than dedicated NYE lots.

5. Ridesharing & Public Transportation:

  • Consider alternatives like ridesharing services or public transportation (Metro Expo Line to Venice Beach station) to avoid parking altogether.

Bonus Tip: Download or print a parking map of Marina del Rey to familiarize yourself with options and plan your route beforehand.

Hidden Gems for Sparkling Sights:

Beyond the bustling mainstays, Marina Del Rey holds secrets for those seeking a unique viewing experience.

Fisherman’s Village: Escape the crowds and find a charming spot amidst colorful boats and quaint shops at Fisherman’s Village. The harbor-side setting offers stunning reflections of the fireworks on the water, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Grab a hot chocolate from a local cafe and cozy up for a magical, intimate viewing experience. For more information on the Fisherman’s Village click here.

North & South Jetties: For the adventurous souls, venture to the North or South Jetties. These rugged outposts offer panoramic views of the ocean and fireworks, a perfect escape for couples or nature enthusiasts. Be prepared for a bit of wind and sand, but the unobstructed sight and raw energy of the fireworks from this vantage point are worth it.

Beyond the Boom: Extend the Magic Past Midnight:

Your NYE adventure doesn’t end with the final firework. Keep the party going at:

The Venice Whaler: This legendary music venue pulsates with energy late into the night. Dance to live bands and DJs spinning a mix of genres, from funk and rock to electronic and hip-hop. Fuel your late-night dance moves with their signature “Beachcomber” cocktail – a potent blend of tequila, pineapple juice, and jalapeño – and let loose under the disco ball until sunrise.

Moonshadows: For a romantic post-fireworks stroll, wander along the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. The moonlit waves whisper secrets under the starlit sky, offering a quiet moment of reflection and connection as the new year unfolds.

Bonus Tip: Remember, parking can be tricky near the main events. Consider carpooling, utilizing public transportation, or taking a rideshare service to avoid stress. Pack warm layers and comfortable shoes for walking to different viewing points. Most importantly, embrace the vibrant energy, let loose, and create an unforgettable Marina Del Rey NYE memory to cherish for years to come.

So, ditch the predictable and dive into the dazzling symphony of light and laughter that awaits you in Marina Del Rey this New Year’s Eve. With this insider guide, you’re ready to embrace the fireworks frenzy, revel in the glow party’s vibrancy, and discover hidden gems for a truly unforgettable NYE experience. Let the fireworks illuminate your path to a brighter, happier new year!

Unforgettable LA New Year’s Eve: Party Like a Star From Rooftop Revelry to Beachside Boho Beats

Ditch the tourist traps and predictable parties! Dive into the heart of LA this New Year’s Eve with our curated guide to hidden gems, epic dance floors, and breathtaking fireworks. From Hollywood hotspots to Venice Beach vibrance, find your perfect NYE adventure and ring in 2024 with unforgettable LA style.

Forget generic countdowns and overpriced dinners. This New Year’s Eve, Los Angeles transforms into a kaleidoscope of dazzling parties, hidden speakeasies, and vibrant beachfront revelry. Trade your slippers for sequins, your couch potato routine for rooftop revelry, and embrace the electrifying soul of LA as it welcomes the new year.

Dive into the city’s pulse with our curated guide to 5 unforgettable bars and NYE events:

1. 1 Hotel West Hollywood Rooftop (8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood):


Why Here: Panoramic city views, glittering lights, and a chic crowd – this rooftop oasis is Hollywood glamour personified.
NYE Event: DJ sets, live music, fireworks viewing deck, and a midnight champagne toast with breathtaking views.
New Year’s Drink: Sunset Spritz – toast to the setting sun and rising hopes with this vibrant blend of Aperol, prosecco, and fresh grapefruit.

2. The Venice Whaler (1020 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach):


Why Here: Embrace the bohemian spirit of Venice Beach with a bonfire on the sand, oceanfront views, and live music under the stars.
NYE Event: Bonfire, live music, DJ sets, and a midnight champagne toast by the ocean.
New Year’s Drink: Spiced Pumpkin Rum Punch – warm up with this autumnal delight, infused with warming spices and tropical sunshine.

3. The Tower Bar (1200 Wilshire Blvd, Downtown LA):


Why Here: Soar above the city lights on the 52nd floor of the iconic Westin Bonaventure hotel for a truly dazzling NYE experience.
NYE Event: Open bar, DJ sets, panoramic city views, and a midnight fireworks spectacular from above.
New Year’s Drink: Skyline Cosmopolitan – capture the city’s cosmopolitan spirit with this classic cocktail, blended with cranberry juice, Cointreau, and citrus zest.

4. The Blind Barber (1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice Beach):


Why Here: Step through a hidden door into this speakeasy gem, where vintage vibes and expertly crafted cocktails create a timeless NYE escape.
NYE Event: Live jazz music, burlesque performances, and a midnight champagne toast with vintage flair.
New Year’s Drink: Gatsby’s French 75 – raise a toast to the roaring twenties with this classic blend of champagne, gin, lemon juice, and sugar.

5. The NoMad Rooftop (732 N La Brea Ave, Hollywood):


Why Here: This chic rooftop offers stunning city views, a heated pool, and a stylish crowd ready to party into the new year.
NYE Event: DJ sets, live music, dancing under the stars, and a midnight champagne toast with a splash.
New Year’s Drink: NoMad Punch – sip on this fruity blend of vodka, elderflower liqueur, fresh berries, and champagne, as vibrant as the LA party scene.

Have a more acquired taste for you New Years Eve blast check out the list of bars and events below.

Raise a Toast to the Stars: Rooftop Revelry

  • Mama Shelter: Perch atop Hollywood and soak in panoramic views of the city skyline as DJ sets and live music ignite the night. 

    NYE Event: “Sky High Soiree” with open bar, gourmet bites, and a midnight champagne toast. 
    New Year’s Drink: Starry Night Spritz (Elderflower liqueur, Prosecco, and a touch of magic)

  • Perch: Nestled in DTLA’s Pershing Square, Perch offers stunning views of the city lights and a sophisticated ambiance. 

    NYE Event: “Midnight Masquerade” with a live jazz band, burlesque performances, and a masquerade ball. 
    New Year’s Drink: The Perch Old Fashioned

Beachside Bliss: Let the Ocean Sing You into 2024

  • The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove: Dig your toes in the sand and enjoy a bonfire bash with live music, dancing, and stunning ocean views. NYE Event: “Bonfire Beach Bash” with food trucks, DJs, and a midnight fireworks display. New Year’s Drink: Spiked Hot Chocolate with a touch of rum and toasted marshmallows.

  • Shutters on the Beach: Embrace the laid-back vibes of Santa Monica with live music, fire pits, and a front-row seat to the midnight fireworks over the Pacific. NYE Event: “Sunset Soiree” with a DJ set, gourmet buffet, and champagne toasts. New Year’s Drink: The Shutters Sunset Spritz (Aperol, Prosecco, and a splash of grapefruit)

Beyond the Glitter: Unique Experiences for the Unconventional

  • The Edison: Step back in time to a bygone era of speakeasies and flapper dresses at this Art Deco gem. 

    NYE Event: “Roaring 20s Extravaganza” with live jazz, burlesque, and a costume contest. 
    New Year’s Drink: The Bee’s Knees (Gin, honey, lemon juice, and a touch of magic)

  • The Observatory: Gaze at the stars above while DJs spin beats and cocktails flow at this Griffith Park landmark. 

    NYE Event: “Cosmic Countdown” with live music, laser shows, and planetarium projections. 
    New Year’s Drink: The Nebula Negroni (Gin, Campari, sweet vermouth, and a star-shaped garnish)

This is just a taste of the endless possibilities that await you on LA’s New Year’s Eve. So grab your dancing shoes, your finest attire, and your most adventurous spirit, and prepare to paint the town (and the sky) red…or gold…or whatever color your night takes!

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to check for transportation and parking options before your chosen event, as things can get a little crazy on New Year’s Eve. And most importantly, relax, have fun, and create memories that will sparkle brighter than any firework!

Venice Beach Instagram Guide: Capture the Cali Dream in Every Click

Ditch the filters, embrace the vibes. This ultimate guide unlocks Venice Beach’s most Instagrammable spots, from iconic murals to hidden gems. Turn tourist snaps into showstoppers with our insider tips.

1. The Venice Beach Sign: A classic for a reason. Stand beneath the iconic “Venice” lettering, painted in vibrant hues against the sky, and let the California cool wash over you. Bonus points for capturing the famous Muscle Beach backdrop.

Pro Tip: Arrive early for a solo shot, or embrace the energy of fellow sun-seekers and capture the vibrant scene.

2. Windward Avenue Murals: Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of street art. Windward Avenue boasts a rotating gallery of murals, each a vibrant explosion of creativity. Strike a pose against a whimsical underwater scene or lose yourself in a mesmerizing geometric pattern.

Pro Tip: Follow local street artists on Instagram to discover hidden gems and plan your route for maximum mural magic.

3. Venice Canals: Escape the beach bustle and glide through the charming Venice Canals. Rent a gondola (yes, really!) or simply stroll the water’s edge, capturing the quaint beauty of pastel-hued houses and gondoliers serenading the air.

Pro Tip: Head there at golden hour for a dreamy, sun-dappled glow or capture the twinkling lights come nightfall.

4. Dogtown Skatepark: Embrace the raw energy of Venice Beach’s skateboarding scene. Dogtown is a legendary spot, witness to countless tricks and spills. Snap skaters catching air or capture the gritty, urban backdrop with a black and white filter.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to get low to the ground and capture the dynamic movement of the skaters.

5. Muscle Beach: Witness the sculpted physiques and determined spirit of Venice Beach’s iconic gym. Capture the iron pumping intensity or the camaraderie of workout buddies. Bonus points for a creative angle, like a shot from below, showcasing the rippling muscles against the sky.

Pro Tip: Respect the gym’s atmosphere and avoid intrusive photography. Focus on capturing the overall energy and dedication of the space.

6. Abbot Kinney Boulevard: Embrace the upscale side of Venice Beach. This vibrant street is a haven for designer boutiques, trendy cafes, and chic art galleries. Capture the colorful storefronts, sip a latte in a picture-perfect setting, or pose with a unique piece of street art.

Pro Tip: Visit during the Abbot Kinney First Fridays event for a lively street festival atmosphere.

7. Venice Beach Boardwalk: Soak up the eclectic energy of the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Capture the colorful street performers, the quirky vendors, and the endless parade of humanity. Don’t forget to grab a selfie with the iconic Venice Beach sign for good measure.

Pro Tip: Rent a bike for a scenic cruise down the boardwalk and capture the ocean views alongside the vibrant street life.

8. Venice Beach Pier: Watch the sun dip below the horizon from the iconic Venice Beach Pier. Capture the surfers catching their last waves, the couples strolling hand-in-hand, and the breathtaking sky ablaze with color.

Pro Tip: Arrive early for a prime spot on the pier and capture the magic of the sunset in all its glory.

9. Venice Beach Beach Huts: Embody the laid-back California vibes at the Venice Beach huts. Rent a colorful bungalow, snap a picture from your private deck, or capture the charming rows of huts against the backdrop of the endless Pacific.

Pro Tip: Plan your visit in advance, as these huts are popular and often booked well in advance.

10. The Venice Beach Sand: Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. Capture the golden sand stretching towards the horizon, the turquoise waves lapping at the shore, and the carefree spirit of beachgoers basking in the sun.

Beyond these iconic spots, Venice Beach whispers its secrets to those who explore. Wander down hidden alleys, stumble upon forgotten murals, and discover your own slice of paradise. Remember, the truest Instagram-worthy moments are those that capture the genuine spirit of Venice Beach – the rawness, the beauty, the boundless energy. So grab your camera, embrace the unexpected, and turn your visit into a viral masterpiece.

Bonus Tips:

  • Embrace the golden hour: The light around sunrise and sunset paints Venice Beach in a magical glow. Plan your shoots accordingly for stunning results.
  • Think beyond the obvious: Don’t just copy everyone else’s shots. Get creative, find unique angles, and capture the details that make your photo stand out.

  • Engage with the local community: Strike up conversations with street performers, artists, or skaters. Their stories and genuine smiles can add an extra layer of depth to your photos.

  • Don’t forget the editing: Enhance your photos with subtle adjustments but avoid overdoing it. Keep the realness of Venice Beach alive in your edits.

Instagram Venice Beach like a pro:

  • Use relevant hashtags: Research #VeniceBeach, #CaliforniaVibes, #Travelgram, and other targeted hashtags to reach a wider audience.

  • Tag local accounts: Tag Venice Beach businesses, artists, or influencers in your photos for potential reposts and engagement.

  • Run contests and giveaways: Entice your followers with Venice Beach-themed contests and giveaways to further boost your reach.

  • Tell a story through your captions: Don’t just post generic captions. Share your experiences, emotions, and the stories behind your photos for a deeper connection with your audience.

Venice Beach awaits with its vibrant heart and endless photo opportunities. Armed with this guide and your creative spirit, capture the essence of this captivating California haven and share your Venice Beach journey with the world. One click at a time, let your Instagram feed become a portal to the sun-kissed soul of Venice Beach.

Ready to dive in? Let your adventure begin!

Hollywood Unbound: Unleash Your Inner Starlet with Red Carpet-Ready Makeup in West LA

West LA thrums with the pulse of glamour and ambition, a canvas where everyday faces transform into red carpet-worthy masterpieces. Whether you’re an influencer gracing the pages of virtual fame, a partygoer seeking a dazzling debut, or a bride walking down the aisle, the magic of a transformative makeover awaits. Let these renowned West LA makeup artists guide you towards your own Hollywood ending:

1. The Beauty Alchemist: Priscilla Ono

Instagram: @priscillaonomakeup

Priscilla Ono is more than a makeup artist; she’s an architect of dreams, sculpting faces with the precision of a sculptor and the artistry of a painter. Her signature blend of airbrush and traditional techniques creates flawless canvases, while her masterful eye for color and texture ensures you’ll command attention without overshadowing your natural beauty. Priscilla’s expertise extends beyond the face, with cascading waves of hair extensions and intricate updos that complete your red carpet-ready transformation.

Booking: Visit Priscilla’s website or send a DM on Instagram to inquire about her availability and services. Be sure to mention your desired look and event details for a personalized consultation.

2. The Glam Alchemist: Sarah Tanno

Instagram: @sarahjanetanno

Sarah Tanno is a Hollywood insider, having graced the faces of celebrities like Lady Gaga, Gigi Hadid, and Jennifer Lopez. Her artistry transcends trends, focusing on enhancing your natural features while adding a touch of unexpected flair. Sarah’s playful use of color and textures, from shimmering metallics to bold graphic lines, guarantees a look that’s both unique and unforgettable.

Booking: Sarah’s high demand necessitates contacting her team via her website. Choose from a range of services, including full face makeup, hair styling, and on-location appointments. Be prepared for a waitlist, as her celebrity clientele keeps her calendar packed!

3. The Bridal Maestro: Stephanie Brinkerhoff

Instagram: @stephaniebrinkerhoff

For brides seeking a timeless, elegant look on their special day, Stephanie Brinkerhoff is the maestro of bridal beauty. Her soft, romantic touch enhances natural features while creating a luminous glow that radiates from within. Stephanie understands the delicate balance between enhancing beauty and staying true to your individual style, ensuring you feel confident and radiant throughout your wedding journey.

Booking: Contact Stephanie through her website to schedule a consultation and discuss your wedding vision. She offers various packages tailored to your needs, from full day wedding coverage to pre-wedding trials and touch-up services.

4. The Trendsetter: Katie Jane Hughes

Instagram: @katiejanehughes

If you’re a trend-setter craving a bold and edgy look, Katie Jane Hughes is your makeup muse. Her artistry pushes boundaries, embracing unexpected color palettes and textures to create looks that are as avant-garde as they are captivating. Katie’s fearlessness and playful spirit translate into confidence-boosting transformations that will make you the life of the party.

Booking: Katie offers limited availability and prioritizes working with brands and publications. However, you can try your luck by contacting her through her website or Instagram DM. Be prepared to showcase your unique style and enthusiasm for her bold aesthetic.

5. The Modern Muse: Nikki DeLoach

Instagram: @nikkideloach

Nikki DeLoach is the queen of effortless glamour, her artistry exuding a Californian sun-kissed glow that’s both modern and timeless. Nikki’s focus on enhancing your natural beauty with subtle yet impactful techniques ensures you’ll feel like the best version of yourself, radiating confidence without needing to steal the spotlight.

Booking: Visit Nikki’s website to view her portfolio and book an appointment. She offers a range of services, including full face makeup, hair styling, and on-location appointments. Her warm personality and attentive approach guarantee a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Wedding Bells & Bridal Bliss: LA’s Best Makeup Artists for Your Big Day

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, and your makeup should reflect the magic of the moment. Here are two LA-based artists who will paint your bridal portrait with exquisite artistry:

1. Stephanie Lange Makeup: Stephanie is a master of natural beauty, known for her ability to enhance your features while preserving your individuality. Her soft, glowing looks are perfect for brides who want to feel like the most radiant version of themselves on their special day. Contact Stephanie through her website or Instagram to discuss your vision and let her create a timeless makeup masterpiece for your wedding day.

2. Sonia Nicole Makeup: For brides seeking a touch of Hollywood glamour, Sonia Nicole is the artist for you. Her expertise in airbrushing and contouring creates flawless, camera-ready looks that will leave you feeling like a red carpet bride. Sonia also offers a range of hair styling services, ensuring a cohesive bridal look that is both elegant and unforgettable. Reach out to Sonia through her website or Instagram to discuss your bridal dreams and let her craft your perfect wedding day transformation.

Beyond the Brush: Pro Tips for Your Glamorous Transformation

  • Prepare your canvas: Take care of your skin with a regular skincare routine leading up to your event. Hydrated, healthy skin is the foundation for a flawless makeup application.

  • Communicate your vision: Don’t be shy! Share your desired look with your chosen artist, whether it’s a specific style or a favorite celebrity reference. The more information you provide, the better they can tailor the transformation to your vision.

  • Embrace the experience: Enjoy the process! Getting your hair and makeup done is a chance to relax and pamper yourself. Let the artist work their magic and get ready to step into the spotlight with confidence and a smile.

West LA is your canvas, and these talented artists are your brushes. So, grab your gown, your finest heels, and step into the spotlight. Your red carpet-worthy transformation awaits, ready to make you the star of your own Hollywood story.

Beyond West LA:

While these West LA gems offer a glimpse into the world of red carpet-worthy transformations, remember, the magic extends beyond geographical borders. Explore additional options based on your budget and desired aesthetic. Local salons and freelance makeup artists can offer stunning results at a more accessible price point. Do your research, read reviews, and browse Instagram portfolios to discover your own hidden gem.

33 Ways to Explore Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and LA with Crypto in Your Pocket

Discover how crypto is transforming the SoCal experience. From surf competitions to NFT art strolls, here’s how to unlock unique adventures with your digital wallet.

Sunshine, surf, and… Satoshi? The Californian dream gets a digital upgrade with these unique experiences, all unlocked by the magic of crypto. Ditch the fiat, grab your hardware wallet, and prepare to reimagine SoCal with your blockchain buds.

Venice Beach:

  • NFT Art Stroll Down Abbot Kinney: Ditch the galleries, curate your own. Scan augmented reality murals with your phone to collect hidden NFTs, or barter your own digital masterpieces for beachside smoothies. Learn more at

  • Doge Day at Muscle Beach: Pump iron the crypto way. Tip dogecoin to personal trainers, wager on weightlifting competitions, or buy limited-edition “Pump Doge” protein powder with your gains.

  • Surf’s Up, Crypto Punks: Ditch the entry fees and score prime spots at legendary surf competitions like the Venice Beach Open using your crypto for VIP access and exclusive experiences. Imagine shredding alongside pros while the blockchain hums in your pocket.

  • Crypto Coffee and Conversation: Fuel your wanderlust with a latte at trendy Decentraland Cafe, where you can pay with your favorite tokens and mingle with fellow crypto enthusiasts. Discussions about the next big coin are guaranteed to be hotter than the oat milk latte.

Santa Monica:

  • Whale Watching with the Ocean DAO: Join a decentralized community dedicated to ocean conservation. Fund research trips with your crypto, track humpback migrations on a shared blockchain dashboard, and vote on the next protected marine area.

  • Third Street Promenade Scavenger Hunt: Forget souvenirs, chase digital treasures. Solve riddles hidden in augmented reality storefronts, collect geo-cached NFTs along the pier, and redeem your loot for real-world rewards at local shops.

  • Beachside Beats with Ditch the cover charge, tip the DJ directly. Groove to live music sets curated by a DAO, vote on your favorite tracks with your tokens, and own a piece of the next viral hit through fractional ownership NFTs.

  • Paddleboard Paradise: Glide across the Pacific with a crypto-powered paddleboard rental. No cash, no hassle, just you, the sun, and the endless blue horizon, all booked and paid for with a few clicks. For more info click

  • Shop Like a Star: Ditch Rodeo Drive and hit the Santa Monica Pier with your crypto. Score unique beachwear from sustainable brands using your digital currency, and support eco-conscious businesses while looking good. Score unique beachwear from sustainable brands like Salt & Stone (2000 Ocean Ave) using your digital currency. Support eco-conscious businesses while looking good.

  • Catch a Crypto-Sponsored Flick: Grab your popcorn and dive into a movie night under the stars at the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Pay for tickets and concessions with your crypto wallet, and experience the magic of cinema with a futuristic twist. For more info just go ahead and click 

Los Angeles:

  • Hollywood Sign Hike with the Metaverse Mtn. Club: Ditch the selfie stick, build your own augmented reality trail. Climb Runyon Canyon with fellow crypto enthusiasts, collect AR souvenirs along the path, and mint your summit photo as an NFT to prove your digital Everest.

  • Crypto Cuisine Crawl: Ditch the guidebook, follow the blockchain. Embark on a culinary adventure fueled by DeFi. Pay for fusion tacos with DAI, bid on exclusive chef’s tables with NFTs, and earn tokens for leaving rave reviews on a decentralized food critic platform.

  • Rooftop Cinema Under the Crypto Stars: Ditch the multiplex, rent a rooftop with your DAO. Project indie flicks onto skyscrapers with laser projectors, vote on the next screening with your tokens, and pay concessions with stablecoins for a truly cosmic experience.

  • Street Art Safari: Explore the vibrant murals of L.A.’s Arts District with a curated NFT art tour. Use your crypto to unlock exclusive access to hidden gems and secret galleries, and discover the city’s creative spirit through the lens of blockchain. For more NFT art tour info go here

  • Crypto Cuisine: From Michelin-starred tasting menus to plant-based food trucks, L.A.’s culinary scene is now open to crypto payments. Experience the diverse flavors of the city without ever touching your wallet. More info can by had here :

  • Rooftop Revelry: Take your crypto to new heights with exclusive access to rooftop parties and cocktail bars with stunning city views. Mingle with influencers, sip on craft cocktails, and soak in the SoCal sunset, all powered by the future of finance. Mingle with influencers, sip on craft cocktails, and soak in the SoCal sunset at Perch (4400 Sunset Blvd) or Mama Shelter (6500 Selma Ave), all powered by the future of finance.

Bonus Round:

  • Catch a wave with a decentralized surf school, funded by the community.
  • Support local artists by buying their music directly as NFTs.
  • Fund a street art project through a crowdfunding DAO and immortalize your name on a Venice wall.
  • Bet on the outcome of your favorite basketball game with on-chain sports predictions.
  • Rent a swanky Tesla with your crypto and cruise down PCH in style.

Share Your Crypto Cali Adventures!

Tag us on social media with #CryptoCali and show us how you’re redefining the SoCal experience with your digital assets. Let’s build a brighter, blockchain-powered future for the Golden State, one wave, taco, and NFT at a time!

Pro Tip: Remember, DYOR (Do Your Own Research) before diving into any crypto project. Stay safe, stay savvy, and stay stoked!

Let’s get exploring, LA! The blockchain beach beckons.

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