Getaway to Los Angeles + Santa Monica + Malibu

Getaway to Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu and dinner over the sea at Geoffrey's
View from Geoffrey’s Malibu


Getaway to Los Angeles + Santa Monica + Malibu

“I love LA!” do your remember that Randy Newman song from the 1980’s?  Every time my husband and I return to the ‘old stomping grounds’ (where he grew up and I lived in my later 20’s) one of us ends up riffing on that song. We decided on a road trip to LA for New Year’s week. In reality we spent time in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Newport Beach.

With at least an 8 hour road trip that day, our first stop was the wonderful Hotel Angeleno, on the border of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, just off the 405.  Located below the renowned Getty Center, this cylindrical hotel has stood the test of time. As a little kid I remember thinking ‘how cool’ it would be to stay within those curved walls. We arrived 2 hours later than expected (due to heavy traffic on the notorious I-5) and were so happy that we had made dinner reservations at West restaurant, conveniently located on the top floor of the hotel.The ambiance at West is romantic, with candlelight tables and stunning views of city lights from downtown LA to the coast. The seasonal menu was super fresh and delicious. We returned the next morning, and Scott’s Special K french toast was beyond tasty.  We highly recommend West for a romantic dinner or sunny brunch.

The view from West

We spent the next sun-splashed day touring our old haunts, mine in Pasadena, La Canada, Santa Monica, and Scott’s in Westchester. Sometimes a walk down memory lane is good for the soul. I pulled out my spanking new Canon EOS Rebel T3i  to take it out for a spin.

We ended a memorable day cruising along Pacific Coast Highway, sunroof open wide, in time to catch the sunset and drinks on the terrace at Geoffrey’s Malibu. The stunning views combined with tasty bites, generous pours and warm service make it a must do for every visit.

Santa Monica is just a few miles from Hotel Angeleno and is one of my favorite spots in Southern California. I remember many weekends during my late 20’s, driving to Santa Monica with my bike strapped on my Honda to ride the beach bike path. I always had a little makeup, black skirt and heels stuffed in the trunk, as well as a picnic blanket. There was lots of fun to be had at the beach, and you just never knew what adventure was in store for your day… or evening.  I regaled poor Scott with those funny stories of the fun and folly of my youth. Somehow getting in touch with memories makes you feel a bit younger. #spontaneousdanceparty

After a leisurely morning we headed to Montana Avenue for a filling brunch at Cafe Montana. The street is lined with sweet boutiques, great coffee houses, cafes and yoga studios. I gathered that yoga mats are a ‘must have’ accessory for strolling around on Montana Ave.  Another favorite for lunch or dinner is Father’s Office. It’s said they have the best burger in the States. I love to drive around the residential streets north of Montana, where the mix of classic and modern architecture reside beautifully side by side.Heading to the coast on Montana Avenue brings us to Ocean Blvd., with a row of iconic mid-century hotels. This area always reminds me of South Beach Miami. A stroll along the path, with sweeping ocean views, is mandatory. People watching is always an added bonus. We did a little shopping at the new Santa Monica Place. An open air shopping destination with higher end department stores like Bloomingdales and Nordstrom as well as ‘visionary’ restaurants.

The Viceroy Santa Monica

On my wish list for this trip was a visit to the Viceroy Santa Monica with interiors by one of my favorite designers, Kelly Wearstler. I own several of her books, have the images all over my pinterest boards, but had never been there in person. We lounged, we grazed and satiated our thirst in luxurious style. #bucketlist

Back at the hotel, we dressed for dinner and headed to one of my favorite spots from back in the day, Huntley Santa Monica Beach. We dined at the Penthouse with incredible views of the ocean and city lights. It was another memorable evening in Santa Monica.

Scott and I have stayed at Hotel Angelo two times before and the location is fantastic. Each room has a balcony, stylish furnishings, luxury linens and Lather spa products. The pool is heated, and the outdoor lounge area has a cozy fireplace.

For this visit, the Hotel Angeleno generously offered us a complimentary stay/media rate nights. Our thanks to Dean, Riley, Elijah and staff for the warm welcome and making our stay so comfortable. All opinions expressed are my own. It was time to head out for our next destination, but we are already looking forward to our next stay at Hotel Angeleno.

Palm Trees in Beverly Hills

It must be said, we still love LA!

Where are your ‘old stomping grounds’?

Do you ever make time to retrace your steps?

I would love to hear…..


Sparkling gifts at my Stylemindchic Boutique

Heather Lindstrom

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Sounds like a perfect little getaway! Amazing pics!


Just catching up on your posts having been away in London. It was lovely to see LA through your lens and your collages certainly captured the beauty of the area. Great recommendations too. I especially like the décor at The Viceroy which I shall add to my ‘list’ The last photo of the palm trees against the blue sky is fabulous and a great way to end the post!


Oh Heather what a great trip! Wish I’d been there too:) xo Caroline


Heather, I’ve been too busy and missing commenting on your posts. Wow, what a weekend of luxury! I live through you and your wonderful adventures!! Ahhhhhh!! xo


What a great trip. Great place to stay, too.


p.s. So jealous you got to the Viceroy!!!! Love that wall of plates.


Heather loved this post! So gorgeous. You did a terrific job describing all the unique areas to see and I loved your collages. Your new camera took some lovely shots! I so need to get down there again. I really miss all the people watching, fun shops and restaurants that L.A. offers.You seem to know all the good spots. Love that hotel too. I know exactly where it is! I love L.A.!
Thanks for the fun escape! xx Kim


Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Love that part of the world!


Good morning Heather! It is always so nice to see a visit from you, and of course to always come here to see what you are up to and WHERE! Again, opening up your page to see you by the SEA and to see your beautiful husband smiling, makes me happy. He is a happy man, having a gorgeous and caring wife like you.



Heather you really know how to do the LA trip! I love the places you shared and I had to smile when I read about your trips to San Monica beach when you were in your twenties. Our place was Venice Beach…we were in our late twenties too, and boy we had made some wonderful memories back then. Just the other night we were eating some fettucine with tequila in it’s sauce and it reminded us of a Italian cafe on Pico. So those are some of our old stomping grounds too!


It looks you had a fabulous trip, Heather! We are hoping to make it to SoCal in March and I can ‘t wait!

Have a lovely week!! xoxo


Fabulous, fabulous looking trip!! These are terrific recommendations for my next trip south. Sadly I can’t give any suggestions for your camera because I’m still using mine on auto everything too :-). Your pictures are still gorgeous. Have a lovely week my friend. Let’s put something on the calendar to meet up very soon. xoxoJennifer


Next time I go to LA I want to go with you! You find the best places!


Wow what a great trip. I am officially jealous!

I need to bookmark all the places you listed for the next time we head out that way.



What a nice trip you had Heather. You can’t beat the weather, right? I don’t know if I mentioned but we were at the Santa Monica Promenade around Thanksgiving – so fun and all lit up. I love the glimpse of the ocean in the background. Jess has the Canon Rebel too, and I have the Canon Power Shot. You are going to have so much fun with it. The picture of the palm trees is so pretty. Don’t ya just love the palm trees in So Cal? Now, I am wanting to take a trip there again.



Okay next time I am going too!! Looks like so much fun!!


How beautiful is LA through your lens and words!
Such a sweet his and her story you share today!
Have a good week!


HEATHER! You and I could have bumped into each other during Christmas, since I was in this exact area! Don’t ya just love it? The intense memories I had just driving up Sunset Blvd to PCH then ambling down the fabulous shopping areas running parallel to PCH. 85 degrees of home, surf and fun. One of my favorite shops was Baby and Child; I could NOT tear away from that gorgeous shop! And as I saw the young, tanned and beautiful young people strutting about, I remembered when I was that YOUNG, TANNED and BEAUTIFUL girl, long ago….

Well, I’m here at home today due to school closings. Dangerous cold has given us our fourth school cancellation. I think at this moment, I wouldn’t mind a walk on Santa Monica Pier…

Love to hear from you!