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. Here’s how to spend a day in Santa Monica.
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!
Here’s how to spend a day in Santa Monica. It 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!