Aug. 15, 2018

The Best Bakeries: Where to Get a Sweet Treat in Silicon Beach


We all love a sweet treat from time to time, and with Fall just around the corner, we no longer have to worry about the bikini body. That means, you can explore all of the best bakeries in Silicon Beach without any stress! Below we listed our favorite bakeries in Silicon Beach!


Sweet Lady Jane

Featured in publications from In-Style Weddings to Bon Appetit to the LA Times, Sweet Lady Jane is one of  the go to bakeries in Los Angeles. Sweet Lady Jane custom cakes are world-famous for their beauty and quality. Known for producing true works of “cake art” that create unforgettable memories, their masterful cake designers can tackle virtually any request. Sweet Lady Jane doesn’t only have cake, they also have a full dessert menu that you can see here!


Founder Jane Lockhart has been featured on Food Network multiple times, including episodes of “The Best Of”, “Top 5”, “The Secret Life of Pies”, and “Extreme Cuisine.” Stop by her Santa Monica location at 1631 Montana Ave to taste for yourself!


La Monarca Bakery

La Monarca Bakery’s founders grew up in Mexico where they enjoyed a rich variety of cakes, pastries and breads. They created La Monarca Bakery to bring The Sweet Flavor of Mexico to the U.S. They use all-natural and fresh ingredients in their delectable desserts, bringing the lovely flavors of their childhood to us.


La Monarca Bakery has been recognized Best of LA Weekly 2011, Best of Sunset Magazine 2012, Best of Los Angeles Magazine 2013, and LA Times' 2017 Guide to Great LA Bakeries. Try these delectable treats at 1300 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica.


DK Donuts

Open 24/7, this Donut Shop is one of the best in Southern California! This family owned donut shop has been giving Los Angeles a sugar rush for 35 years. Known for its freshly made treats, DK Donuts uses gourmet ingredients to craft donuts with a traditional taste and a modern twist.


Get your donuts at 1614 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica!



With classic treats made daily by in-house bakers, SusieCakes is the place to go for sweets in Playa Vista. Known for using the freshest & finest ingredients, SusieCakes is a sweet reminder of your grandma’s baking. Founder Susan “Susie” Sarich utilizes her grandmother’s recipes to make homemade and old fashioned treats.


Visit Marina Square Shopping Center for these delicious, sentimental sweets and a friendly, old-fashioned neighborhood experience.


Aug. 9, 2018

The Best Hotels in Silicon Beach


With summer coming to a close, family and friends from out of town are making their end of summer trips to California before the summer sun disappears. With so many hotels to choose from, how do you know which is the right one to put your loved ones up in? We compiled a list of our favorite Silicon Beach hotels, we just hope you like them as much as we do!


Hotel Erwin

For the last 50 years, the legendary Hotel Erwin has given outsiders an exclusive window into the wonderfully weird world of Venice Beach. Whether it’s the skate culture, muscle beach or all of the artwork that draws you into Venice Beach, Hotel Erwin will give you a one of a kind look at the famous beach.


For as long as we can remember, Venice Beach has been an icon of American subculture. It's a unique combination of seaside beauty, urban energy, and people who aren't afraid to express themselves. Just like the beach, Hotel Erwin welcomes those of every description from across the globe.


From city view standard rooms to ocean view suites, Hotel Erwin offers something for everyone. To book a room, click here!


Marina del Rey Hotel

Enjoy a bit of luxury at the Marina del Rey Hotel. Located on the scenic waterfront of the world’s largest man-made small-craft harbor, the Marina del Rey Hotel invites guests to unwind and indulge. The waterfront hotel features 164 boutique accommodations, award-winning dining at SALT Restaurant & Bar, and a year-round heated infinity pool & spa.


Marina del Rey Hotel know’s how to treat their travellers right, that’s why they have been sucessful since 1964! No worries though, you won’t be staying in old accommodations. The hotel was completely renovated and re-opened in 2014, so everything is still shiny and new!

Be sure to check out the nostalgic photos and artifacts throughout the hotel corridors though, it reminds you of their 50+ years of success!


For more information about staying in the Marina del Rey Hotel, click here!


The Viceroy Santa Monica

The Viceroy Santa Monica is a luxury hotel and resort on Ocean Avenue. The hotel “fuses classic sophistication and contemporary chic to create a thoroughly modern and uniquely luxurious Santa Monica, California,” boasts the site.


The accommodations are perfect for both business and pleasure. Whether you opt for a city and ocean view you won’t be disappointed. To book a room at the Viceroy, click here!


Aug. 1, 2018

The Best Doggie Daycare in SilIcon Beach


We live in a day and age where our pups are considered a part of our family. From doggie birthday parties to secret pet menus at restaurants, Silicon Beach is filled with canine lovers. For those of us who work long hours though, it can be heartbreaking to leave our beloved dogs home all day long. That’s where doggie day care comes in! Below is a list of doggie daycares in Silicon Beach!


A Dog’s Life

This Santa Monica doggie daycare is the perfect place to keep your pup while you’re at work! The daycare has a gated and secure beautiful 1500 Sq ft outdoor play area. If your pup is extra well behaved, you A Dog’s Life has various off-campus locations were your dog can run and let of steam or just take a leisurely stroll in beautiful surroundings which helps them get back in touch with nature.


Daycare at A Dog’s Life is $35 a day, and you can drop them off as early as 8:00am and pick up as late as 7:00pm. Puppy field trips and excursions are an additional $40 per trip! For more information about services and rates click here!


To Wag For

To Wag For Santa Monica offers next-level luxury for your pet! With a fully stocked treat bar, boutique, grooming, and daycare, your dog will never want to leave! The daily programs have been designed to include both structure and fun, so your pup will never be bored! A dog may stay for a half (6 hours or less) or full (more than 6 hours) day. To Wag For also offers package deals that can be split into any combination of full or half days, as well as combo options! For more information and specifics about To Wag For Doggie daycare click here!


Venice Dog Boarding

Venice Dog Boarding is the perfect place for the little pup in your life. Specializing in dogs who are 25 lbs and smaller (at maturity), Venice Dog Boarding specializes in TLC and cage-free boarding and daycare. With the tagline “the next best thing to home,” you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog will be living in the lap of luxury.


For more information on hours and rates, click here.


Doggie Central

“We cuddle your canine when you can’t!” The perfect slogan for this highly rated doggie daycare located in Playa Vista. Voted as Playa Vista’s best animal spa, this doggie daycare is the perfect place for pooches of all sizes. At Doggie Central your pup will always be entertained and with separate areas for small dogs and large dogs, this daycare caters to all! Whether your dogs is social and wants to play, or prefers to hangout with two legged-less furry friends, your pup will always be happy. Oh, and if you’re okay with it, Doggie Central also has a pool specifically built for K-9 fun! For more information, click here!


July 25, 2018

The 56th Annual International Surf Festival


This August, spend a week in Redondo Beach celebrating everything that Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach has to offer.


This year represents the 56th year of the International Surf Festival. Event participants range from 8 years old to the late 80’s. The event promotes the four South Bay beach cities, the world’s best lifeguard service, and physical fitness. The three signature events for the festival are the Judge Taplin Lifeguard Medley Relay, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim, and the Charley Saikley 6-Person Volleyball Tournament. Other events include a surfing contest, bodysurfing contest, beach run, sand soccer, paddleboard race, dory race, and youth events.


The International Surf Festival (ISF) was formed in 1962 to organize a beach festival for the beach cities. Prior to 1962, each of the beaches had their own individual beach festivals which often competed with each other.


In 1978, after severe budget cuts, ISF became funded by commercial sponsorships, such as Daily Breeze, and each city’s chamber of commerce. At this time, Manhattan Beach chose to have their Recreation Department run the 6-Person Volleyball Tournament, named after Charlie Saikley, and the Sand Castle contest. The city of Torrance, which had joined the ISF by this time, decided to have their recreation department put together a 2-mile beach run at Torrance Beach.  


When the Daily Breeze dropped out as title sponsor, they were replaced by the Beach Cities Health District.  When the Beach Cities Health District dropped their sponsorship, the ISF was sponsored by Scott Hubbell’s company, Beachsport, who remains the title sponsor today.


Each year, the ISF coordinators are responsible for making sure that any and all permits and safety regulations are met. This includes beach permits and securing life guards for all beach events.


The cities involved and the numerous coordinators who put their heart and soul into this event are confident that this the International Surf Festival will succeed for many years to come. It’s a great opportunity for the beach cities, beach chambers, and County of Los Angeles to work together on a wonderful community event.


The event takes place August 1st through the 5th at Redondo Beach. A full schedule is listed below:


Wednesday, August 1

  • 5:30 p.m. King Harbor Youth Sailing Event - King Harbor Yacht Club.

  • 6:00 p.m. Los Angeles County Lifeguard Medal of Valor Dinner - Redondo Beach - Seaside Lagoon.


Friday, August 3

  • 9:00 a.m. Charlie Saikley Volleyball Tournament - Manhattan Beach Pier 6-Man / 6-Woman.

  • 7:30 p.m. LA County Lifeguard Championships - Hermosa Beach Pier, L.A. County Lifeguard Rescue Demo, 6-Lifeguard Run Relay, Bud Stevenson Intracrew MedleyRelay.


Saturday, August 4

  • 6:45 a.m. International Bodysurfing Championship - Manhattan Beach Pier, North side.

  • 7:30 a.m. Surfing Championships - Manhattan Beach Pier, South Side.

  • 8:00 a.m. R-10 Paddleboard Race - Torrance Beach.

  • 8:00 a.m. Dick Fitzgerald Two-Mile Beach Run - Hermosa Beach Pier, North side.

  • 9:00 a.m. Charlie Saikley Volleyball Tournament - Manhattan Beach Pier 6-Man / 6-Woman (continues).

  • 9:00 a.m. California Beach Volleyball - Hermosa Beach Pier.

  • 7:30 p.m. So Calif. Lifeguard Championship Events - Hermosa Beach Pier, L.A. County Lifeguard Rescue Demo, J Junior Lifeguard Taplin, Lifeguard Beach Flags, Judge Taplin Three-Mile Lifeguard Medley Relay.


Sunday, August 5

  • 7:30 a.m. Velzy-Stevens Pier-to-Pier Paddleboard Championship - Manhattan Beach Pier, North Side.

  • 7:30 a.m. Sand Castle Design Contest - South side Manhattan Beach Pier

  • 9:00 a.m. California Beach Volleyball - Hermosa Beach Pier (continues).

  • 9:00 a.m. Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim - Hermosa Pier to Manhattan Pier, no Race Day entries,

  • 9:00 a.m. Jr. 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament (boys & girls 12-18) - Manhattan Beach Pier, South side.

  • 9:30 a.m. Paul Matthies Dory Race - Hermosa Pier (8:30 am check-in).

  • 1:00 p.m. South Bay Youth Swims and Paddles - Hermosa Beach Pier, North side


July 18, 2018

The Best Yoga Studios in Silicon Beach


The West Coast is known for being more “chill” than the East Coast, but anyone who has lived in Los Angeles knows that in the City of Angels there is little time to stop and breathe. That is probably why yoga is such a popular activity in Los Angeles, it forces us to stop and reflect on everything we are grateful for. At the end of a long and stressful week, there are few things more relaxing than taking an hour of your day for yoga. That is why we have compiled a list of our favorite yoga studies in the Silicon Beach!


Mind Body & Soul

Mind Body & Soul on Pacific Promenade focuses on much more than just physical strength. The instructors focus on connecting your mind, body and soul, to find your inner self.  


Mind Body & Soul Yoga was founded in 2017 by Chech Chapdelaine. “Her life-long passion for yoga manifested into a space rooted in the principles of truth and love. Mind Body & Soul is a dynamic community of yogis, teachers, students and everyday people who strive to be the best version of themselves in this lifetime,” boasts the website.


Mind Body & Soul has classes 7 days a week-- morning, afternoon and night -- so no matter what your schedule is, you can find an hour to relax. Pricing varies, but newbies get to try 3 different introductory classes for just $30!



YogaWorks Playa Vista is a 7500 square foot studio located at the new Runway Playa Vista development. Surrounded by healthy restaurants, shops, parks, art, entertainment, schools, creative and technology business, going to YogaWorks never feels like a chore.


The studio contains two beautiful practice rooms with plenty of natural light, a room dedicated for Pilates Reformer classes, and a large yoga boutique with everything you might need. To add to the stress free ambiance, the studio is equipped with large spa-like locker rooms, featuring full showers and lockers and a community space.


YogaWorks schedule features classes for novices and experts alike, that will both invigorate and challenge you. They offer everything from Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Gentle Yoga, and YogaWorks signature classes in various expertise levels. YogaWorks also offers fitness classes including BarWorks®, SculptWorks®, Pilates, and TRX® for those of us looking to work up a sweat.


Power Yoga

Power Yoga in Santa Monica changes the way you think about pampering yourself. Unlike other yoga studios, Power Yoga donates part of your class fee to one of 3 charities: Children’s Tumor Foundation, Smile Train and Veterans Yoga Project.


Creator of Power Yoga, Bryan Kest, began teaching classes in 1979 at the age of 20. Since then, he has traveled the country spreading his zen and strength to many. His Santa Monica studio is unique, and not only because of their donation concept. The studio was created to give yoga instructors a space “to share their practice without the need to conform to a studio lineage. Instructors simply rent time slots, while keeping all donations. Within these time slots, the space is theirs. This has created an eclectic group of instructors who seem to carry a similar torch,” states the website.

July 11, 2018

The Best Hidden Beaches in Malibu


This summer, take a break from the chaos of life and drive up to the Malibu beaches for that much needed weekend getaway. Today, we’re listing the best, and quietest, beaches in Malibu!


Carbon Beach

Nicknamed “Billionaire's Beach,” Carbon beach is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to soak up some sun or dive through the waves. It is a particularly amazing beach if you enjoy laying in the sand. While some of the other beaches on this list might get pretty tiny at high-tide, this beach is a lot wider so it’s less likely to disappear during high tide. .


To get to Carbon Beach, look for the coastal access signs just south of Malibu Pier and Nobu. These brown signs are gold if you’re looking for a relaxing, secluded beach.


Big Rock

Big Rock, named after the massive rock sitting just off-shore, is a picture perfect beach located just North of Topanga State Beach. When driving North on the Pacific Coast Highway, there is a coastal stairway that leads down to the beach about ¼ mile after passing Big Rock Drive. This beach is perfect for instagramers and photographers who can enjoy posing on rocks and taking photos of the tide pools.


Pro tips: This probably isn’t the best place to come if you’re looking for lots of sand, especially during high tide because the because beach disappears when the tide rises.



Talk about a diamond in the ruff. Latigo is a local favorite, but many people have no idea that it even exists. The beach is located about 3 miles North of Malibu Pier on Latigo Shore Drive. There is good news and bad news about this hidden gem though. The bad news is that locals don’t like anybody using their beach, so they often hire a security guard and make sure that unauthorized people don’t park on Latigo Shore Drive. The good news is, however, that Latigo is public, and so is the staircase going down to the beach. There is an abundance of free parking on PCH, so just avoid parking on Latigo Shore Drive and you’ll get to enjoy this beautiful beach without worrying about a parking ticket.


Malibu Road

It’s hard to call this a “beach” because it expands a massive 2.5 miles along the ocean, with at least 5 access points. The first access point is arguably the best if you’re looking for a spot to surf. The only problem with this spot is that there is no direct access to the best surf spots, so it does take some agility to get down to the beach. The plus side though, is that it makes the area that much quieter and that much more rewarding!


Pro tip: You can usually find free parking along Malibu Road! And you’re almost alway guaranteed some sand, even during high tide!

July 3, 2018

Life Rolls On at Venice Beach


On July 7, join hundreds of volunteers, as people of all ages with disabilities, and entire families come together for an epic day at the Venice Beach Skatepark.


“We invite you to join us in making a meaningful difference for young people who have sustained spinal cord injury. Our work is only possible through the support, compassion and enthusiasm of others. Help us bring hope to some of the six million Americans living with paralysis,” states the Life Goes On website.


About Life Rolls On

Founded by world champion and quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls On is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury. Billauer believes that adaptive surfing and skating can inspire those with paralysis to see beyond their disabilities. Life Rolls On began as a splash into the unknown on September 11, 2001, achieved 501c3 nonprofit status in 2002; and now touches the lives of hundreds of thousands.


About Founder Jesse Billauer

On March 25, 1996, Jesse Billauer suffered from an accident that changed his life forever. He was one of the top junior surfers in the world, just about to turn pro, when he got thrown headfirst into a sandbar. The impact broke his sixth vertebrae and he instantly became a quadriplegic.


Billauer has worked every day to make sure his story didn’t end the day of his accident. In September 2015, Billauer became the world champion of adaptive surfing. Billauer is a leader of change and an advocate of kindness, starting Life Rolls On in 2001, and since then inspiring hundreds of young people with spinal cord injuries to follow their passions.


When and Where

Life Rolls On takes place on July 7 from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Venice Skatepark.


  • 7:30 am Event Setup and Registration Prep
  • 9:00 am Check In
  • 10:00 am Welcome Speech
  • 4:00 pm That’s A Wrap!

June 27, 2018

How to Celebrate the 4th of July in Santa Monica


This Fourth of July, celebrate our country’s birthday with  family-friendly activities, a parade and of course, fireworks, all in Santa Monica!


Enjoy the Parade!

Pack some snacks, grab the kids and head on over to Main Street for the 12th annual Santa Monica 4th of July Parade! Produced by the Ocean Park Association, the Santa Monica Fourth of July Parade has grown every year and brings together families, musicians, civic groups and exhibitionists of all stripes. The parade will begin at 9:30am at Pico Boulevard on Main Street and will conclude at noon at the southernmost beach parking lot.


Pre-Holiday Fireworks!

This year the 4th of July lands on Wednesday, so instead of staying up late in the middle of the week to catch some fireworks, enjoy the festivities on Saturday, June 30! The festivities start at 4:00pm, so come and picnic on the lawn, enjoy Independence Day entertainment and special exhibits, and end the evening with a spectacular fireworks show!


Other Local Celebrations!

  • Esters Wine Shop & Bar

    • Esters Wine Shop and Bar opens early on the 4th for a very special boozy brunch! From 10:00am-2:30pm, enjoy new dishes from Executive Chef Jessica Liu He, like Frittatas made-to-order with onion, kale, shiitake mushroom, sun-dried tomatoes and a reading, provolone and cheddar cheese blend or Shrimp ‘n Grits with fresh corn, bell peppers, honey, BBQ beer glaze and pickled Fresno chiles.


  • Sweet Rose Creamery

    • Satisfy your sweet tooth early on the Fourth of July at Sweet Rose Creamery! They’ll be serving up sweet and savory breakfast hand pies, cold brew and hot coffee until noon (or until supplies last) to help hold everyone over until the parade starts at 9:30am. The Sweet Rose delivery truck will also be driving in the parade, with the team passing out free, mini fruit popsicles!


  • The Bungalow

    • Join Bungalow for the best 4th of July party in town! On July 3rd and 4th, The Bungalow will offer specialty striped cocktails, a hot dog cart and hits  hits from DJ MaxV. Open 5:00pm - 2:00am on July 3rd and Noon-10:00pm on July 4th.


June 20, 2018

Caruso Has Big Plans for Marina Del Rey!



In Los Angeles, almost any time you go to a prestigious shopping center, it was built by Caruso. Caruso is “a privately owned, industry-renowned company that blends best-in-class real estate with five-star hospitality to create a timeless collection of town centers, residences, offices, streetfront retail and more,” boasts their website.


Their prior masterpieces include the Grove and the Americana at Brand, both of which are always bustling with people. For nearly three decades, Caruso has been creating extraordinary destinations in some of the most desirable locations in and around Los Angeles. “Over the years, we have evolved across multiple lines of business, continually breaking new ground and redefining the shopping and lifestyle experience. While each has its own rich history, every Caruso property is deeply rooted in a dedication to delighting guests, both present and future,” says the website.


The next big venture by Caruso is in Marina del Rey. About a year ago the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a staff recommendation that will begin the process of transferring control of three properties in Marina del Rey to developer Rick Caruso. He bought what was previously known as Commodore Club, Inc. for a reported $2.75 million.


Though Caruso’s plans for the space have not been specified yet, the lot is just a 3 minute drive from one of Caruso’s other properties - Waterside at Marina del Rey.


Waterside is a 133,000-square-foot center that features luxury boutiques, gourmet and casual dining restaurants, and essential local services for the community. A popular stop for the many Southern Californians who come to visit Marina del Rey regularly, this combination of local and regional shops is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.


Thanks to its carefully curated and hand picked shops and dining, the Waterside has an inviting ambiance, that has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year sales growth since its redevelopment by Caruso in 2005.

Posted in Silicon Beach News
June 13, 2018

The Best Things to do on Your Catalina Island Getaway!


A picture perfect paradise just 22 miles aways from the mainland, Catalina Island is the perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Below, we list the best of Catalina Island, so that you have everything you need to know for the perfect weekend away!


Best Places to Stay

The Avalon Hotel

The Avalon Hotel on Catalina Island is the perfect place for a weekend splurge. Though more pricey than the others on the list, there is nothing that Avalon doesn’t offer. From romantic getaways with couples massages, to helicopter rides and snorkeling, Avalon offers getaway packages for everyone.


Mt. Ada Bed and Breakfast

Experience style, sophistication and service while overlooking the ocean at Mt. Ada. The bed and breakfast is the former island escape of William Wrigley Jr. and his wife Ada. You’ll be treated like royalty in this one-of-a-kind inn, which offers six en suite guest rooms, each beautifully appointed to reflect a bygone era.


Pavilion Hotel

Pavilion Hotel gives you more reasons to stay and more ways to play than any other hotel on the island! At Pavilion you can use Island Spa Catalina’s Wellness Studio, you have access to Descanso Beach Club, and you get complimentary Tours and Activities.


Best Bites

Descanso Beach Club

Descanso Beach Club is, in fact, the only public beach on Catalina Island where you can drink alcohol, which means servers bring drinks straight to your chair. The restaurant is the perfect place to grab lunch after lounging on the beach, featuring wings, wraps, quinoa salads, burgers and more. While it's a blanket-to-blanket scene during prime-time beach hours, pros know that after 5 PM when everyone heads back to the hotels to get ready for dinner is the best time to be at the Beach Club. It also happens to be happy hour, which means half-price drinks!


Descanso Fresh

After you grab dinner and drinks at the Descanso Beach Club, head on over to Descano Fresh for handmade frozen treats, and some even have booze. One of the best sellers is the Buffalo Milk ice cream - made with vodka, Kahlua, banana and cream- in scoopable form, ice cream form. They also feature a flavor made with Bailey's Irish Cream and espresso that's studded with big chunks of donuts. And don’t worry, they have family friendly non-boozy ice cream too!


Luau Larry’s

This little tiki bar is just steps from the beach and is constantly full! The crowd favorite drink is the “Wiki Wackers,” filled with light rum, brandy, pineapple and orange juice and grenadine. They also serve yummy food like big sloppy burgers, oysters, Mexican seafood and coconut shrimp.

Best Things to Do

Catalina Casino and Avalon Theatre

Don’t let the name confuse you; the Catalina Casino is not a gambling hall, and residents of the island insist that it never will be. The massive building is home to the Casino Ballroom, Avalon Theatre, Catalina Island Museum and Catalina Island Art Association Art Gallery. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn all about the ballroom and the theater’s glamorous past, as it was once a regular host to big-band legends such as Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman and Harry James.


Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour

The Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is perfect for anyone who likes an adrenaline rush! Though one of the island’s newest attractions the two-hour adventure is a must-do activity for Avalon visitors. Two experienced guides accompany each group of thrill seekers through five separate zip lines, which cover almost three quarters of a mile and send participants sailing through the air at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. The longest zip line stretches 1,100 feet, allowing guests plenty of time to take in the scenery as they fly over canyons filled with trees and native plants.