340 days of sunshine, miles of white pristine sandy beach and enough restaurants to keep foodies occupied for months, Santa Monica is high up in holiday heaven… but with a twist. Health, fitness and vitality take centre stage at this vibrant city by the sea, so rather than piling on the pounds on your holiday at Santa Monica, you are most likely to lose them. From roller blading to surfing, organic food shopping to revitalising spa treatments, Santa Monica is the perfect holiday destination for that kick-start into a healthier new you in 2013.
The city has a long past associated with health and fitness, dating back to the 1930s, the famous Santa Monica Muscle Beach attracted America’s most famous body builders such as Jack LaLanne and Joe Gold. Regular gymnastic and acrobatic exhibitions were held for lucky onlookers. Today visitors to the city can get a taste of this beach-side exercise at the new location of Muscle Beach on Venice Beach with weight lifting equipment, rope climbing and acrobatic bars readily available for free use by city-goers.
An activity long-associated with the Californian beach lifestyle, roller blading down the beach is a must for any tourist. The South Bay Bicycle Trail runs along Santa Monica Beach stretching 22 miles north towards Malibu and South to Torrance – the longest beach path of its kind in the world! Run, cycle, roller blade, walk, hop, skip or jump down this magnificent stretch of beach, with the sun, the sea and the fresh air to invigorate you. The locals recommend it – they use this outdoor ‘gym’ for exercise all the time! Getting outside and turning fitness into fun is key to long-term weight loss – beach yoga and volleyball are other great ways to enjoy the fresh air!
Fancy something extra quirky? Visit the Trapeze School of New York on Santa Monica Pier, from athlete to coach potato, classes will take you to new heights (literally) as you fly through the air on various trapeze endeavours. With views of the ocean and world-class teaching, it’s no wonder famous pop-star Pink trained here for one of her tours!
Want to learn how to surf? Surfing instructors are easy to come by in Santa Monica and even surfing chefs! Hotel Casa del Mar for example offers a Surf with the Chef Package with Chef Bowlin, an avid surfing fan who will prepare a market fresh lunch for you after you’ve hit the waves!
After working up an appetite with all that exercise, Santa Monica’s renowned dining scene offers something for every taste palette. Fresh seafood or salads and Californian-fusion cuisine are popular at many of the best restaurants, with long lists of tasty dishes to chose from. At the moment, Santa Monica has launched ‘Eat Well Week’ from 6th – 13th January – a special week for chefs to showcase fresh, healthy dishes and recipes at set menu prices. Popeye has even been making an appearance… the health food advocate was created in a studio in Santa Monica in 1929 and is of course, the ideal role model for the event!
Home to the top farmers’ markets in the country, city chefs source the very best in healthy organic ingredients for their menus, or pop down there yourself and do a little health food shopping! Take a look at the Santa Monica Recipe Cards and recreate some of the best dishes on offer at home… and enjoy!
To treat the new healthy you, the city also has an endless selection of spas and treatments to indulge in, from massages and facials to body wraps and spa packages. Try Alchemie, Santa Monica’s new organic spa retreat offering nature inspired spa services, they even have Friday Happy Hours where guests can indulge in mini treatments, wine and appetisers!
Return from holiday in 2013 with a rejuvenated glow, a spring in your step and maybe a newly discovered talent for acrobatics. Santa Monica is the perfect place to kick-start a healthy lifestyle in the New Year!
Contributor: Ali Bedford
Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau is a client of Magellan PR. For more information, please visit http://www.santamonica.com , follow them on twitter @GoSantaMonica or on Facebook/visitsantamonica.
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