Santa Monica Guide
Eating, Shopping and Sight Seeing in Santa Monica LA
Santa Monica is an essential destination for anyone visiting Los Angeles. Santa Monica offers some of the best features of Southern California in an easily walkable area: a beautiful beach, plenty of spots to eat in, glamorous hotels and shopping, as well as the historic pier to entertain the whole family.
The Santa Monica beach is most people’s idea of the perfect Southern Californian beach, it’s wide, flat, with soft sand, gentle waves and an incredible view of the mountains. It also offers plenty to do, there is the membership free Annenberg Community Beach House north of the pier, and just south heading towards Venice beach is the original muscle beach with monkey bars, tightrope and volleyball courts.
The pier itself is the perfect place to take children as the rides offer something for most ages. There is an indoor merry go round as you enter the pier, the hand painted carousel was built in 1897 and is perfect for younger children. The Gyro Loop ride would be ideal for pre-teens as you control the tempo of the ride by hitting a button; the rollercoaster is also easily manageable for children and those not looking for a white-knuckle adrenaline ride, as the speed is fairly slow! It does offer amazing views of the amusement park, as you travel directly over the other rides. There is a selection of arcade games of varying eras if you are nostalgic for games of the 1980s like Pac-Man or Mortal Kombat. Going even further back, to the pre-digital age there is a shooting gallery to practice your aim in or you could get your fortune told by Zoltar the Magnificent machine, as seen in the classic movie BIG. The pier was built in 1901 and is the last remaining pier on the west coast of America, so is a real piece of American history.
After a morning spent on the pier or the beach, there are plenty of nearby places to eat. Santa Monica offers some of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, from the high-end classic Sushi Roku at 1401 Ocean Avenue to more casual options such as Sake House by Hikari at 401 Santa Monica Blvd, which has daily happy hour specials. While there are plenty of fast food options around Santa Monica it makes sense to check out classic Southern Californian healthy eating spot True Food Kitchen, at 395 Santa Monica Place. The menu is constantly changing and offers plenty of inspiration for anyone wanting tasty food that isn’t tough on the waistline. It’s the ideal place to try tomorrow’s healthy food trends today as Los Angeles tends to influence the rest of the world when it comes to the latest diet tips.