Welcome to Tour Stops, Back9Network’s in-depth look at the best restaurants, bars, events and more at each PGA Tour stop. For outside-the-rope access to living the golf lifestyle where the pros are, follow Tour Stops throughout the season.
The PGA Tour heads to Los Angeles this week and Riviera Country Club for the final stop of the west coast swing. If you’re lucky enough to have scored tickets and are in town this week to check out the golf at the Northern Trust Open, but are looking for the best of what to do while you’re in town, you’ve come to the right place.
There are obviously plenty of options for both stay and play: here’s Back9Network’s look at the best places to eat, drink, stay and play this weekend.
Best Hotel/Resort: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Less than a 15-minutes drive from Riviera Country Club, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows offer guests the opportunity to experience the life of luxury during their stay. If you can think of an amenity you’d like, the Fairmont Miramar has it. Whether its a spa and health club to keep yourself in peak physical form during your stay or just a really awesome outdoor pool to indulge by, you won’t be disappointed.
For the week of the Northern Trust Open, rooms start at $378 a night — not bad when you consider the proximity to the course, all the included amenities and proximity to nearby attractions, restaurants, bars and nightlife. The Fairmont Miramar is our no-brainer for best hotel.
Best Bar: The Basement Tavern
Just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you have to hang out and drink with them. The Basement Tavern is Santa Monica’s best kept secret and also L.A. Weekly’s choice for best watering hole in town.
The bar offers a number of cocktail creations, as well as a no frills bar menu. Every Tuesday through Saturday, the Basement Tavern also offers live music of different kinds. It can get crowded on a Saturday night, but if you’re looking for an afternoon drink, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in a laid-back atmosphere miles away from the world outside.
The write-up on L.A. Weekly’s website perfectly sums up why The Basement Tavern is your choice for a libation or two while you’re in town:
“There is food and a small selection of beers, but don’t be fooled: This is cocktail territory with a laid-back vibe that hasn’t been ruined by hordes of tourists yet.”
Best Restaurant: Tivoli Cafe
It may not be the height of luxury, but you definitely can’t miss the Tivoli Cafe Palisades location. Just seven minutes from Riviera by car, you can definitely make the walk if you’re looking to kill some time.
Tivoli offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and some of the area’s best pizza. For good, organic italian food in the Los Angeles area, Tivoli is a must. Whether your start your day there before heading to Riviera or converging with your buddies after a day of watching the world’s best roll through “Hogan’s alley,” the Tivoli has what you’re craving. Even if you’re a vegan or gluten free, you will find something satisfying.
Best of all, the Tivoli is reasonably priced by Los Angeles standards, offering affordable options for every meal of the day. There are plenty of choices and you’ll obviously eat more than once (I hope) while you’re in town, but the Tivoli is appointment dining for sure.
Where to Play: Trump National Los Angeles/Angeles National Golf Club
Billed as “the ultimate California golf club” on its website, Trump National is certainly worth your time if you’re looking to play golf as well as watch it on your trip. You can play Trump National for as little as $80 if you’re willing to play during twilight. Peak hours command a $280 greens fee but hey, you’re on vacation. Don’t ever lose sight of that.
If you’re looking for a more reasonably priced option, consider Angeles National Golf Club. Sure, it may not have the fanfare that comes with anything that has the name “Trump” attached to it, but it is far more accessible and will only set you back between $45-$125 depending on when you play.
What to Do: Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most popular tourist locations in the United States and if you’re in town, you’ll want to check it out. Seriously, what’s not to love? You don’t only owe it to yourself to head to the pier (and then to Venice Beach) you owe it to me and all your snowed-in friends all over the country.