From the desert to the surf, these three stretches of the old Mother Road have outdoor adventure, high culture, and some of the West’s best road food
Blue Plate Oysterette. Look for its blue-and-white-striped awning above the Santa Monica Pier—the shellfish-slugging crowds at tables out front are a dead giveaway. There can be a wait during peak times, but it’s worth it for the oysters on the half-shell, oysters Rockefeller, and fish and chips. Take a piece of saltwater taffy from the fish-shaped bowl on your way out. $$$; 1355 Ocean Ave.; 310/576-3474.
Hotel Shangri-La (pictured). This places oozes Old Hollywood art deco details. Even the building has curves! Grab an era-inspired drink from the rooftop bar, which looks out to the Pacific Ocean. Or stay the night in an ocean-facing room and savor the view from the in-room soaking tub. From $350; shangrila-hotel.com