Credit: Loews Santa Monica
Credit: Loews Santa Monica

Your Guide to a Sun-Soaked Day in Santa Monica

From the Farmer’s Market to Golden Hour, You’ll Never Want to Leave Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a worldwide sensation–a destination that’s appreciated and admired by locals and visitors alike. It’s an internationally recognized hub for its arts and culture, historical landmarks, restaurants, shops and abundance of things to do. Here’s how to spend 24 sun-drenched hours in Santa Monica, from exploring the bohemian boutiques of Montana Ave to enjoying golden hour cocktails at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Santa Monica Itinerary

 

Where to Stay | Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Loews Santa Monica

To best explore all that Santa Monica has to offer, spend the night at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel—a bright and beachy retreat that offers direct access to the beach. Here, you can enjoy five-star amenities like complimentary bikes to explore the boardwalk, a signature fireside lounge space, a pool deck overlooking the sand and sea and 13 campfire-inspired oceanfront fire pits perfect for roasting s’mores or savoring a SoCal sunset!

Santa Monica Itinerary

8 a.m. 

Start off the day with a morning walk at Palisades Park, which encompasses almost 25 acres of green open space along with vast, expansive views of Santa Monica Bay and the pier across Pacific Coast Hwy. Take in that salty ocean breeze as you get your steps in bright and early!

6/11

 

9:30 a.m.

Credit: Santa Monica Travel & Tourism

Next, head over to the iconic Santa Monica Farmers Market. Open-air gatherings are a quintessential element of the Southern California lifestyle. On Wednesdays, the Downtown Farmers Market is held from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Arizona Ave, between Fourth and Ocean, and hosts more than 75 vendors spread out over four blocks of space. The Saturday and Sunday Downtown Farmers Market is held from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Arizona Ave, but between Fourth and Second this time, and offers the largest percentage of certified-organic growers of any market in the city. Grab your reusable tote and pick up a few fresh goodies!

Santa Monica Itinerary

10:30 a.m.

 

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What’s a morning in Santa Monica without a proper stop for coffee? La La Land Cafe on Montana Ave serves up a collection of drinks that are as Instagrammable as they are flavorful. Try the colorful, signature Lavender Bloom Matcha Latte, which can be made hot or iced. Either way, it’s a delightful combination of lavender, vanilla, milk and matcha.

10:45 a.m.

The perfect pairing for a La La Land Cafe latte is a gluten-free pastry from Breadblok across the street. Every single thing this bakery makes is gluten-free; plus, the all of the ingredients used to make these delightful creations are 100% organic and free of gums, soy and refined sugars. Try a classic croissant, a chocolate eclair or a raspberry beignet—there are no wrong choices.

Santa Monica Itinerary

11:30 a.m.

Credit: Montana Ave. Merchants Association

It’s no secret (or maybe it is?) that Montana Ave is a mecca for shopping. Here, locals and visitors can escape the crowds and explore a charming, under-the-radar 10-block stretch of shops hidden away from the more touristy areas of the city. Encounter a plethora of boutiques to explore, such as Burro, Casper, Last Resort LA and The Detox Market. It’s a retail paradise of local and boutique businesses, and you’re bound to find one you love.

 

1:30 p.m.

 

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For lunch, don’t miss out on visiting Blueys Market and Cafe. This Aussie-inspired restaurant offers a range of healthy and light yet satisfying fare like acai bowls, organic sandwiches, burgers and juices. Opt for the sweet halloumi tartine and a refreshing beet juice at this surf-shack-inspired cafe. 

Santa Monica Itinerary

3 p.m.

After fueling up, head over to the JuneShine Santa Monica tasting room for an unforgettable hard-kombucha tasting experience and a laid-back, breezy atmosphere. Even better—it’s in a fabulous location right on the beach. Choose among a selection of 14 rotating flavors (including some tasting room exclusives that aren’t offered in retail stores). This bohemian-inspired spot offers a welcoming, community-driven haven to spend the afternoon while enjoying a light drink!

 

5 p.m. 

Credit: Loews Santa Monica

Finish off a busy day of exploring with a relaxing sunset cocktail during golden hour at Loews Santa Monica’s Blue Streak restaurant (where on-site executive chef Chris O’Connell sources his produce from the Santa Monica Farmers Market). This oceanside dining outpost offers unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier from an elevated deck adjacent to the ocean. This luxurious, family-friendly and pet-friendly hotel’s signature golden hour is from 5-6 p.m. daily, when locals and guests alike can “toast to the coast” by enjoying half-off select bottles, glasses of wine and shared plates on the Ocean Terrace. 

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