Santa Monica Travel Guide

When you need a break from action-packed Los Angeles, do as the locals do and head west to Santa Monica. This chic California beach community offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of its big-city neighbor. Don’t miss out on its gorgeous beach and its family-friendly pier. Then, step off of the sand to bike the scenic Marvin Braude Beach Trail and lounge in Santa Monica's beautiful parks. Or, enjoy some retail therapy and people-watching at the Third Street Promenade before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the city's highly regarded restaurants. No matter how you choose to pass the time, you'll instantly feel at ease in Santa Monica.

The Penthouse

The Huntley Hotel

When we hear the word "penthouse," we usually expect a view, and indeed there are great views from the eighteenth floor perch of this restaurant at the Huntley hotel. During the day, sit on the west side and your breakfast or lunch will be served with a view of the Santa Monica beach and palm trees. At dinnertime, from the east side, your first course will be the glittering lights of the City of Angels. Done in white and gold tones, with silver sculptures, mirrors, Venetian lamp fixtures, a fireplace, and tables and booths separated by sheer white curtains, the dining room is comfortable, even though the noise level can get very high due to the proximity of the bustling bar. Executive chef Kevin Meyer's menu may start off with fried zucchini blossoms or ahi tuna tartare, followed by main courses such as lavender honey duck breast with forbidden rice, carrots and caramelized apricots. You will also find a selection of reasonably priced steaks, as well as an interesting wine list and smiling service. Profiteroles and crème brûlée are temptations from the dessert offerings. The dynamic cocktail program includes such concoctions as a Thyme & Cucumber Amnesia, made with hand-pressed hothouse cucumbers, fresh thyme, Aviation New Western Dry Gin, fresh lime juice and white cranberry juice.

Bergamot Station

Image: Getty

Bergamot Station Arts Center is a unique collection of fine art galleries. It is an internationally renowned creative arts complex, with more than 20 contemporary art galleries inside and creative businesses - architecture and design firms. You can find there a wide range of activities (photography, sculptures, paintings). The fine art galleries present regular and rotating exhibitions from artists all over the globe. And throughout the year it hosts community and cultural activities and facilitates educational, non-profit and charitable events.

Santa Monica Farmers' Markets

Santa Monica Travel and Tourism

You will love the farmers markets in Santa Monica. During the weekend, there are two Saturday markets located in Downtown as well as a Sunday market on Main Street. Families, singles and tourists love walking around and shopping for produce, eggs, meat, seafood and other treasures from area farmers. If you are a foodie and would like to see a celebrity scene, you can visit the Farmer's Market on Wednesday mornings where many of the famous chefs from Santa Monica restaurants and TV programs go shopping for their restaurants.

Santa Monica Mountains


The Santa Monica Mountains will offer you surprisingly wild places. Explore more than 500 miles of trails, discover how Native American communities lived in the mountains, see wildlife (bobcats, quail, coyotes, dolphins…) or experience the famous beaches of Malibu.


Citrin and Melisse

A culinary gem, Mélisse is the place locals go to for an exceptional dining experience. Every part of the experience from start to finish is thoughtfully curated, designed and produced with excellence. (The lamb shank is highly recommended!)

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