Santa Monica and Venice Beach, California

In my growing list of short, random trips, I need to add Santa Monica, California to the list. A couple of weeks ago, I was there for a mere three days. The purpose of the trip is top secret for the moment (more later, I promise). While I did not have a ton of time to really explore and get to see LA, I did have the time to wander around Santa Monica and Venice. While here, I stayed at a friend’s condo that was located right on the beach in Santa Monica. The view was pretty dreamy.

Santa Monica is beautiful. Surrounded by mountains and a big sandy beach, I loved it. The paved walkway on the beach was always being used by sporty people. I immediately regretted not bringing my running clothes. Basically, everyone that I saw at the beach was doing something active and I loved it.

I wandered the beach all the way down until I hit Venice. There I watched the surfers do their thing. I probably could have sat there all day. The skaters were also very entertaining. I am not sure that I remember the last time that I saw full-out grown men skating so hard. Loved it.

The strip along Venice Beach – called Ocean Front Walk – is full of little shops and restaurants. You can buy basically anything here (including getting a license for medicinal marijuana!). There is a big Mexican population in LA so naturally a lot of the street food available here was totally Mexican-styles, including this awesome cup of fruit that I ate complete with chili.

I had lunch outside on a patio here at Candle Cafe & Grill. What caught my eye was the fish tacos with a pint of beer special. The food was great (and messy!) and the service was as well.

I was told by a few people that I had to check out Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. Abbot Kinney is a street full of cool shops, cafes and restaurants. I really enjoyed wandering around this area and checking everything out. I could have shopped my socks off if my pocketbook would have allowed it because I loved a lot of the things that I saw.

On Abbot Kinney I had lunch at Lemonade. At first I wasn’t sure about this place as it was more cafeteria-style and I was looking to really sit down and enjoy a meal but then I saw the salad selection and I was sold. For my meal, I opted for two salads. There is the option to split one salad into two so I ended up with four different ones. Everything was so delicious and I had to have a lemonade with it, obviously. 🙂

In case you are wondering, on the above plate contains:

  • Red quinoa, brussels sprouts, sundried tomato dressing
  • Kale, mushrooms, tangerine vinaigrette
  • Fall succotash, butternut squash, white corn, grapes, oregano
  • Well roasted heirloom carrots, mixed herbs, basil


One night we had Mexican take-out from Lula and it was delicious. I have serious (and obviously) love for Mexican food and Lula did not disappoint. It is located right on Main Street in Santa Monica.

The day that I wandered over to the Santa Monica pier was a pretty cloudy almost rainy day. The wind was blowing and it was spitting a little but the weather made for some pretty sweet moody photos. 🙂 There is a Cirque du Soleil show happening right now here and you can see the tents for it on the right-side of the above image.

On the morning that I left Santa Monica, Ben took me to Urth Caffe for an awesome breakfast. I’m pretty sure he promised me that Ryan Gosling would be there but, alas, he wasn’t. Everything on the menu at Urth is organic and looked incredible. I chose the Eggs Salmone which included Urth brioche, natural smoked salmon and baby arugula with two soft poached organic eggs, lemon créme fraiche and basil oil. Hello, dream meal! The latte that I had here wasn’t too bad either. 🙂

 Flying out of LAX gives you an incredible view of the city. It reminds me a lot of Mexico City in that it is a huge city surrounded by mountains (and has lots of traffic!). I cannot wait to go back in the near future and have more time to explore (and find Mr. Gosling…).

3 Replies to “Santa Monica and Venice Beach, California”

  1. I love this post Jessica! Just yesterday I was browsing trips to Santa Monica on Priceline 🙂

  2. Amazing photos Jess. Santa Monica is now on my “must visit” list. xo

  3. Your photograph of the ‘graffiti’ portrait – amazing!

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