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Santa Monica Guide: My Fave Things to Do & Places to Visit
Santa Monica has always been my home away from home, but with a lot more sunshine, year-’round warm temps & beachy vibes than the West Coast of BC can offer. I like to go a few times a year to reset, decompress and reconnect, revisit goals and regain clarity on the important things in life. Read more about what Santa Monica has to offer in my ultimate guide to Santa Monica!
The Upper West – If you’re looking for one of the best happy hour spots, look no further! Upper West has an awesome all-night long happy hour on Monday and regular hours on the weekdays. The food is amazing on the happy hour menu and there’s no shortage of delicious dinner selections.
Sidecar Doughnuts – Sidecar Doughnuts is the newest cafe for all things coffee and doughnuts. Don’t expect greasy, crumbly doughnuts here. These boutique and freshly made doughnuts hit the spot. Plus, their coffee ain’t bad either.
The Bungalow – This Santa Monica bar has it all: a beach view, trendy decor, delicious cocktails and an elite, Westside crowd. Of course being seen at this trendy environment may not be your cup of tea, but you won’t witness a better sunset (unless you’re on the pier’s ferris wheel).
Santa Monica Beach – Not only is this one of the most iconic beaches in LA, but it also happens to host some pretty amazing events throughout the year.
Pacific Park – Located right in the center of Santa Monica Beach is the Santa Monica Pier, home to the amusement park Pacific Park. Another event hotspot and tourist-friendly attraction, Pacific Park is home to several rides, games and carnival-like eateries.
Palisades Park – Palisades Park is a wonderful place to take in the view of the famous PCH freeway and Santa Monica Beach. Palisades Park is open to all walks of life, where you’ll find dogs and owners on a walk, buskers earning some money and tourists enjoying the view with their cameras.
Farmers Markets – Santa Monica has several markets to cater to the local’s busy schedules. You can find various farmers markets around the city on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays all in different spots of Santa Monica. Not only do these markets have great, organic selections, but you’ll also get a real taste of Santa Monica’s street scene.
Community Gardens – Santa Monica is quite a small neighbourhood when you look at it on a map, so it’s only natural that locals look to their local community gardens to grow their own organic food and foliage. This is not a tourist destination by any means, but it you’re looking for real Santa Monica culture, look no further than Ocean View Farms or the Santa Monica Community Garden.
Santa Monica Place – If you’re looking for your typical brand names, this is a great shopping spot. It’s also a great place to hide from the summer heat when the tourists are sure to pack Third Street.
Third Street Promenade – Third Street Promenade is known more for its outdoor vibe than its shopping. While you’ll find some of the best stores here, you’ll be drawn more to the buskers, street performers and eclectic crowd than the shops.
Main Street – For more of a boutique experience, head to Main Street, Santa Monica. Filled with vegan shops, cafes and bars, you will find a ton of local businesses selling all kinds of things from organic spray tans to hip stationary to hipster threads.