I'm staying in Santa Monica and want to know how locals here would spend their day. Hoping to get some ideas on how to spend my days :) Thanks!
Right now the weather is hot, so definitely take advantage that you're so close to the beach. I would go take a walk on the Santa Monica Pier and check out Venice Beach Boardwalk. For some shopping I would go to Third Street Promenade (you'll also find street performers) or Abbot Kinney for more local stores and unique finds.
For food I love Typhoon - Thai restaurant, must tries are the mashed potatoes, catfish, and string beans. Plus the ambiance is really cool, go at sunset and you'll have the prettiest view!
Gjelina - their mushroom toast cannot be missed!They are known for their pizzas, but I preferred other things on the menu. Yellowtail appetizer, their vegetables and the desserts.
Enterprise Fish Company is a good place for beer and appetizers. I love their calamari and bread!
Not too far away is Montana Avenue that is a nice place to walk around, they also have cute cafes and breakfast places.
Hope this helps!
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If you like to hike, go to Temescal Canyon Park and do the loop trail. It's about 2.5 miles and offers some of the best views of the Santa Monica (insiders tip, start on the right path not the left, the right path is no fun on the way down or just go up and down the left path its far better). Abbot Kinney, Main Street, or Third Street Promenade are all good spots for shopping, abbot Kinney is the most unique but Third Street has the most stores. Also a fun way to spend the afternoon is strolling the Venice Beach Boardwalk, you could also rent a bike, there are a number of places. I recommend starting in Venice and heading north towards Santa Monica. If you need a drink to keep your energy up, there are a bunch of bars you can stop at a long the way, I recommend On the Waterfront Cafe for a german pretzel and beer or Venice Ale House or Hotel Erwin has a rooftop bar thats fun. Catch some skaters at the Venice Skate Park or enjoy the street performers, there's always a lot to see. Watching the sunset on the beach in Santa Monica is a great cap to the walk, the ferris wheel lights up you can sit on the beaches giant musical chairs (look them up) or any of the giant swing sets. For something unique, Bergamot Station offers 20 or so galleries of local artists. Not many people know about it, so you're likely to miss most of the tourist crowds and see some great art.
I take all my friends to brunch at The Misfit Restaurant + Bar try their chicken sandwich or my personal favorite the shakshuka. Pono Burger is a way better option than Umami Burger for a lunch or hit Tacos Por Favor for good standby Mexican food. A godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery is super popular as well, if you can pick up a pre-made one on top of the deli to avoid the line, and grab one of their unique beverages. For dinner Tar and Roses or Fork in the Roadare two of Santa Monica's best but a little on the pricey side. If you want something more unique try Aussie Pie Kitchen or Wurstküche Restaurant. For a coffee fix head to Dogtown Coffee (DTC) and try their iced sea salt coffee.
Main street has the most bars you cant go wrong wondering into any of them. Brick + Mortar or The Victorian are good place to start. If you do go to the Victorian, first go around the back and hit up The Basement Tavern, but get there early the line is bad after 10 or 11. If you find yourself by third street, Copa d'Oro, The Bungalow are good spots. West 4th and Jane if a great spot to watch sports and is my go to local bar.
Lot's of info there Enjoy your stay.
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