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  • By Ozzie Ausband
  • / April 23, 2021

SoCal is the place to be. Whether you’re surfing the coast or getting breakfast in Santa Monica, the locals are friendly and the weather is perfect. Home to over a hundred historic landmarks, the city of Santa Monica is especially appealing to visitors who like to learn about the past. So, the next time you’re cruising around looking for a coffee shop in Santa Monica, don’t forget to check out these city landmarks!

Mayfair Music Hall

If you didn’t know, Charles A. Tegner and J. Euclid Miles are two historical figures known for their contributions to Downtown Santa Monica by founding the first theatre. The Mayfair Music Hall, first known as the Santa Monica Opera house and later known as the Majestic Theatre, was a lavish establishment built to entertain high-class customers. The theatre underwent a remodeling project in 1929 which included a Spanish Baroque styling called Churrigueresque. The new theatre featured vertical shafts, wrought iron balconettes, floral themes, and architectural ornaments. In 1973, it became the Mayfair Music Hall, a place for different kinds of people to come enjoy food and entertainment. 

Merle Norman House

Perhaps one of the lesser-known landmarks in Santa Monica, the Merle Norman House still holds a rich history that goes back as far as the Great Depression. Merle Norman is known for her extremely successful and widespread cosmetics franchise, which she started in her very own kitchen. She’s most famous for her 3 Steps beauty treatment and her knack for marketing. It’s this kind of entrepreneur culture that prevails throughout Santa Monica. Merle’s house is a Mediterranean Revival-style surrounded amongst Victorian houses. Not only is it representative of this historical figure but the architecture itself reflects the culture of early America.  

Looff Hippodrome 

No, we didn’t just sneeze while we were writing this next section. The Looff Hippodrome is a real place, over a hundred years old. Charles I.D. Looff, a known woodworker for amusement parks, created this pier destination which was home to the famous Looff carousel. He built his first merry-go-round on Coney Island and contributed to many amusement parks in the United States. The Looff Hippodrome was his last work. It was responsible for much of the pier’s success and business. Looff was inspired by Medieval, Gothic, and Russian architecture when he built the Looff Hippodrome. 

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica pier is more than just a beach pier; it’s an amusement park, restaurant lane, and shopping center all in one! Particularly famous in California, many locals head to this spot after grabbing their coffee in Santa Monica. When you’re not visiting the Playland Arcade, Looff Hippodrome, solar-powered Pacific Ferris Wheel, or Pacific Park, you can also just stroll the boardwalk and listen to live music while you’re enjoying a coffee and breakfast burrito from Dogtown Coffee. 

Dogtown Coffee

If you’re looking for the best coffee in Santa Monica, then look no further! Dogtown Coffee is a local eatery in Santa Monica that serves breakfast, lunch, and a delicious array of signature coffee drinks and tea. The original location on Main Street is at the heart of the surfing and skateboarding community at the iconic Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions space. Dogtown Coffee preserves the free-wheeling attitude, creativity, and skilled determination of the skateboarding and surfing counterculture that blossomed in the 1970s with the Z-Boys. Dogtown Coffee is famous for its organic, locally roasted coffee and unique, signature drinks like the Salty Dog, a 24-hour cold brew infused with deep caramel and topped with sea salt foam.

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