Events + Programs

Downtown Walking Tours

A Walk Through History

Every Saturday at 10AM

In approximately two hours and six blocks, the walk traverses more than 130 years of Santa Monica history, from its Wild West frontier beginnings to the sophisticated metropolis of today. You’ll learn about the civic leaders whose vision built the growing city, and experience downtown’s diverse architectural heritage, including:

- The 1875 Rapp Saloon, opened the year the city was founded, later served as the first city hall. Having passed through many adaptive reuses in its long life, today it is incorporated into the Hostelling International facility.

- The Majestic Theatre, later the Mayfair, the city’s first theater built to showcase the nascent film industry, which used the city for film locations.

- The Keller Block, a splendid example of Romanesque Revival architecture.

- The Builders Exchange, a restored Churrigueresque/Spanish Revival building, with intact decorative interiors.

Builders Exchange detail 2Photo Credit:  Brian Thomas Jones

- The Bay Cities Guaranty Building, the city’s first skyscraper, a soaring Art Deco landmark with its signature clock tower.

BayCitiesGuarantyPhoto create:  Brian Thomas Jones

- The El Miro Theater, an exuberant Art Deco/Streamline Moderne creation that became the centerpiece for the revitalization of the old mall into the Third Street Promenade.

Three Ways to Tour Downtown

1. Docent-guided walking tours at 10AM every Saturday morning.
Location:  1436 Second Street (between Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard)
Reservations are suggested.  Click here to make a reservation online.

Walking tour gift certificates are now available. Please contact info@smconservancy.org

2. Self-guided Tour booklets providing a map and detailed information on the city’s history and the historic buildings featured on the tour, are available for $3 at the Visitors Center, 1920 Main Street; the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) sites at the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade; and the Hostelling International Travel Store, 1434 Second Street.  Please note:  these booklets are not available at the CVB kiosk at Palisades Park.

3. Group Tours may be booked by special appointment. Leave a message at 310-496-3146 or send email to dwt@smconservancy.org at least two weeks in advance.


PLEASE NOTE

If you are making a reservation on Friday or Saturday, please call 310-496-3146 and leave a message rather than sending an email.