Santa Monica is LA’s beachfront paradise, a city-within-a-city, framed by the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I was ecstatic when I heard some friends of mine recently moved to Santa Monica, because this gave me the perfect excuse to reacquaint myself with the area.
Santa Monica Pier is probably the first thing most people think about when they hear Santa Monica. It’s no wonder – the pier is a great place to start any day in Santa Monica.
With views of the beach, all the way to Pacific Palisades and the Malibu Cliffs in the North and Venice to the South, it’s hard to rival these ocean views.
The pier also has a classic amusement park, though I’d never have the courage to get on the ancient roller coaster. I do enjoy the funnel cakes and soft-serve ice cream, though…
You can also enjoy a fortune teller ATM or have your name engraved on a grain of rice (I don’t know either) but what I enjoy most is leaving the hustle behind, walking to the far end of the pier, listening to the faint sounds of the street musicians competing with the crashing waves and feeling the ocean breeze on my face.
Downtown Santa Monica has an abundance of great restaurants and cafés. The Bungalow at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel is one of the the best bars in Santa Monica, maybe even the city. There’s also the Third Street Promenade, a shopping street full of options. You won’t get bored in Santa Monica.
The Independence has a great cocktail list and daily happy hour
Santa Monica and the Pier show a different kind of beauty after sunset
Santa Monica Beach and the Ocean Front Walk area a great place to spend a sunny – or even a cloudy – day. The atmosphere is very Californian, with people cycling or rollerblading around and surfers taking a break from the waves with an ice cream on the sandy beach.
Shutters on the Beach is one of the nicest hotels on the beach, with a Hamptons beach house feel to it
Even a cloudy day won’t keep the crowds away from the beach
Ocean Front Walk goes on all the way to Venice, another great part of Los Angeles. The beachfront promenade is especially colorful and lively, and definitely an adventure every time!