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Santa Monica, California

Mini Guide

Where to eat, stay, shop and explore in Santa Monica, California.

Santa Monica might be the best place to soak up all that Southern California sun. With an incredibly laid back vibe, iconic sights, some of the best food you’ll find in the state and some fun local characters, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Santa Monica. Here’s a downloadable guide to Next Destination’s favourite Santa Monica spots.


Fairmont Miramar101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
If you’re looking for an iconic hotel, this is it. The Fairmont Miramar has drawn stars through its doors for decades with its private bungalows and prime location.


The Santa Monica Pier
The famous pier comes with a lot of history, incredible sunset views, a picture-worthy ferris wheel and shops, cafes and restaurants.


Santa Monica Bike Rentals
Rent a bike to cycle around the downtown, taking in the art along the buildings. Then head down to the 22-mile long bike path along the beach, past the pier all the way to Venice.


The original Muscle Beach

The first Muscle Beach isn’t in Venice, it’s in Santa Monica and a swing by here on your bike ride means you’ll see the original and maybe even some very athletic people testing their limits.


Elephante, 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
This hotspot is known not just for its fresh, healthy, green-infused brunch, but also cocktails and views of the ocean. Book ahead for either brunch or dinner.


The Getty Villa, 17985 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
A short drive from downtown Santa Monica takes you to the Getty Villa–filled with antiquities, sculptures, frescos and more. The entrance is free, but you need to register here first.


Cobi’s, 2104 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tucked into a homey setting, this Southeast Asian influenced restaurant feels like you’re dining in someone’s living room. Order the curries, bread, pickles and sundae.


The Farmers Market, 155-199 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
One of the most-well known farmers markets in California, this one packs a colourful punch. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays.

— Lala Land Kind Cafe


LaLa Land Kind Cafe, 1426 Montana Ave #1, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Grab a coffee and feel good with this do-gooder cafe that hires foster youth and has a bright, sunny atmosphere. Breakfast and brunch is also a great option here before you walk around the trendy Montana neighbourhood.

Do Yoga on the Beach

Sign up with Beach Yoga SoCal for either yoga on the beach or even better, a sound bath on the beach. You’ll get that Pacific Ocean air, waves crashing and the feeling of sand between your toes


Tartine, 1925 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tartine is famous for its bread and pastries, so add this to your list if you’re a baked goods fan. This location is in an old church, with bread baked on site. Swing by for a quick coffee, or stay and linger for brunch or lunch.

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