It truly astounds me how freakin’ big Los Angeles is. On my last trip there, I spent my time near Huntington, Laguna and Hollywood, but despite my two weeks, I only experienced a dusting of this West Coast hub. I recently spent a day at Santa Monica and fell in love with this urban city with a sprinkling of suburban charm.
Lunch at Urth Caffé
Ranked highly on Trip Advisor, this quaint cafe with its plant-lined patio was our first stop in Santa Monica. I finished every last bite of my gluten-free Caprese panini, and I was bummed when I’d finished all the candied walnuts in my spinach salad topped with vinaigrette. Its darling, tranquil atmosphere along with its extensive, quality menu make this worth a visit.
Santa Monica Pier + Pacific Park Amusement Park
You simply cannot visit Santa Monica and not see the pier! This pier is lined with restaurants, shop stands and an amusement park. (You’ll also see a Route 66 sign, but a store employee told us it’s a fake; the real one is off of Colorado and Lincoln.) We bought tickets for the ferris wheel, which was a highlight. You get an incredible view of the city, time off your feet and a ride back to childhood.
Promenade on Third
This outdoor mall takes “shop till you drop” to a whole new level—it’s massive! We enjoyed popping into the Apple store to check out the new iPhone X (so cool!) and into Zara to reminisce on my summer in France. We gave our feet a rest with a coffee break at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I love Starbucks, but my Chocolate Pecan Blended Beverage gave Starbs a run for my money. Its rich flavor and creamy consistency honestly bum me out because I won’t be able to drink it when I go back home!
Take a stroll through this park to catch some ocean views and chill on the benches to give your feet a rest. (Peep the pier in the distance!)
Stroll down this bustling street to shop. We spent a good amount of time in the three-story Barnes and Noble, which was incredible—and had great views of the street!
Santa Monica has so much to offer from trendy cafes to thrift shops, beach views and pier activities. I can’t wait to return to this Southern California gem!