In my point of view Santa Monica can be described in three words: the beach, the pier and the stores, they really are Santa Monica’s three main attractions. Santa Monica is everything Los Angeles isn’t: relaxed and refreshed, and full of boutique restaurants and hidden gems that offer a certain shelter from the chaos of everyday life, instead of the florescent spotlight that beats down on LA. My girlfriend and I didn’t really paid attention to the stores and the shopping district though, this time we were more into the sun, the beach and the pier instead.
Built in 1908 for passenger and cargo ships, the Santa Monica Pier does a pretty good job of recapturing the glory days of Southern California. Buy an ice-cream cone at one of the snack shacks and stroll seaward past the wooden carousel, roller coaster, and arcades, then buy a ticket to ride the Ferris wheel!
At the Pier you can have a nice walk, take some pictures, enjoy an ice cream or feel the Santa Monica breeze. Here, you can see street artists performing from early noon until late at night or people trying their hand at fishing.
Regarding food, there are lots of restaurants you can choose from. If you are on a budget or just want something fast, check out all the fast food you can find in the area; otherwise for a fabulous dinner of fresh seafood, I advise you to go to The Lobster, at the entrance to the pier. It’s been here since 1923 and after many years of successful business as the restaurant asserts, it “has become a Santa Monica institution, serving as a cornerstone and internationally recognized landmark adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier.”
Photo Credit: @eatwithpancakes
Santa Monica Place lies adjacent to Third Street Promenade and the entire shopping area is just a 5-minute walk from the pier and the beach. The beach is so wide that you’ll always find a spot although it can get crowded right along the waterline. If you’re looking for something a bit more active, you can always walk, rollerblade or bike along the beach promenade.
Last but not least, take some time to appreciate Santa Monica sunset. You won’t be disappointed! Each evening the sky explodes in layers of orange, pink, and purple, all rippling against the ocean tides.
Cool Place to eat: Urth Caffè Santa Monica