Neighbourhoods: Live the Cali life in Santa Monica
Neighbourhood Guides

Neighbourhoods: Live the Cali life in Santa Monica

Dilara Yurttutan | 23 May 2017
Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Ideal trip duration:
3-4 hours

Waking up to a blue sky, check. Morning bike rides by the ocean, check. Sunset walks on the beach, check.

No, this is not a list of things I’m listing for a dating profile. These are all the boxes Santa Monica check for me. I get the feeling that in LA, if you want to skip traffic and are lucky with work location, or better a lack thereof, you need to select your turf and stick to it.

Santa Monica is a good place to start. It is the perfect mix of relaxing, local Cali life without being too suburban. Wherever you are you can walk, bike, run to the beach, what else?


Don’t be surprised if you see each and every one of the residents in Santa Monica running on the beach at 6 am. If you’re not with the “Cali” style quite yet, do like me and walk casually. If you can’t go in the morning, then may want to opt for during sunset.

Santa Monica has so much more to offer than Third Street, crowded with shops. But for those who do not want to drive to Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, Santa Monica won’t fail to satisfy your need. And, no Runyon Canyon is not the only place to hike in LA. A 5-minute drive will take you to the most scenic of hikes. As the locals pass us by one by one, I realize I need to work on my hike, these people are not playing around.


For a quiet homey feel, walk up Montana where you’ll find an abundance of cafes and shops. You can see locals picking up their green juice in the mornings and bone broth at night, or enjoying a juicy burger. “There is no added sugar, right?” is a phrase you might come across. Healthy or hearty, whatever you fancy, you can find anything in Santa Monica.

If it’s a rare gloomy day, catch a movie the Aero Theatre where you can find some of an old time classic playing.


Borderline hipster Venice’s Main Street, is like a treasure hunt if you’re looking for an “it” vintage item.

Leave behind your worries of dressing to the latest trend, as the Santa Monica attire is anything you desire! It is the place for those who want to have a relaxing time away from hectic city bustle and traffic, with restaurants of any style, cuisine, price. Chaotic or quite take your pick.





  • Kreation Café – an LA juice shop classic, with plenty to munch on, don’t worry its not detox only.
  • Ivy at the Shore – everyone who goes to LA, wants to, hears of or goes to the Ivy on Robertson. It’s safe to say that celebrities probably don’t hang out there any more, so go to the one on Ocean Ave.
  • Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa– an LA classic sushi chain. a MUST!
  • Shutters on the Beach – this magical spot on the beach is good for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Farmshop – Ok, we’re crossing on to Brentwood but Farmshop is a must go for brunch. Have a pastry basket with scones, go wild on carbs.
  • Water Grill – a classic American Seafood restaurant on Ocean, get a table by the window to look out to the beach at sunset and sip on your Napa Valley Charddonay


  • Tar and Roses – good food, good mood definitely not missing the good booze.
  • The Bungalow – the “it” place of Santa Monica, that has a “Soho House” vibe. Make sure to go early to skip the line, play pool or ping pong, sit outback by the fire or camp by the bar.
  • Bardonna – a Egg McMuffin and a latte please.
  • Beaming – the place to go for matcha lattes and acai bowls, as the name suggests, to beam.
  • Caffe Luxxe – a classic LA stop for coffee


  • Santa Monica Pier – yes, it is a top tourist attraction but the pier has to be enjoyed whether it is getting on a ride or admiring from a distance
  • Los Leones Trailhead – a 5-minute drive will get you started on your hiking venture in the Pacific Palisades
  • The Getty Villa – if you’re avoiding Getty Museum because of the traffic, enjoy the scenic villa atop the coast.
  • Will Rogers State Beach – a quiet get away north of Santa Monica
  • Palisades Park – walk, jog, run, bike overlooking the Ocean or sit and enjoy the sunset.
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