I’m not too sure why, but I’ve been putting off writing this post. I think because my experience with Trek America was so overwhelming and incredible that I didn’t think I’d be able to do it justice within my blog posts. My videos are able to capture the excitement, the vibe between the group and of course the incredible beauty of the places we visited, but here on the blog? It’s hard to do it justice.
So, I thought I’d ease into it with something I know well – an outfit post! Don’t worry, the full Trek America low-down is coming your way all this week, but to kick things off, here’s what I wore for our time in Santa Monica, and a few things we did while we were there!
We spent just one day in Los Angeles, and one of our first destinations was Santa Monica. Well, technically Venice Beach, which I didn’t realise is just a short stroll down the board walk from Santa Monica (did anyone else think that Santa Monica was outside LA?!). With only the morning to explore, we powered through the most iconic places to see and things to do. So, whether you’re visiting Santa Monica in the form of a quick power-vacation, or you’ve got all the time in the world, here’s my list of things you must do in Santa Monica!
Things to Do in Santa Monica
Pose on the Lifeguard Huts on Venice Beach!
Ok, so the posing isn’t a ‘must-do’ but a visit to Venice Beach definitely is. Connected to Santa Monica beach and just a 10 minute walk down the road, it has a chilled out and very cool vibe (almost like a MUCH more photogenic Shoreditch!). There are plenty of cute cafes to get ice-creams and coffees (more Instagrammable opportunities!) and you could spend hours here just people watching alone.
It’s perhaps a good thing that it was slightly cloudy when we visited the beach at Santa Monica, because one thing I can not resist is a long afternoon lounging on a beach, and there truly is nothing quite like a SoCal beach! The huge stretch of sand and ocean seemed endless, and filled with volleyball courts, groups of friends catching up, and families setting up their picnic pitches for the day. Look toward the sea and there’s plenty of surfer types to oggle at – and beginners to giggle at too!
Santa Monica Pier
Probably the main attraction in Santa Monica, the pier is seriously busy so get there early so as not to get overwhelmed by other tourists! The iconic fairground rides start at 11am so get there a little before that to grab a coffee and get some snaps of the photogenic pier.
Walk the Boardwalk
The boardwalk connects Santa Monica to Venice Beach, but the walk itself is something to add to your to-do list. With cafes, street stalls, shops (and *ahem* a few ‘Green Doctors’ – see my vlog!!) and plenty of people watching opportunities, it’s so much more than just a walkway. If you’re feeling a bit more active then why not rent a bike and bike the boardwalk? There’s plenty of rental shops along the way at really reasonable prices.
Visit Muscle Beach
…. But don’t expect to see many muscles! When we visited it was more full of tourists attempting to do pull ups (myself included) and taking photos to savour the moment, than bronzed muscle men, but still – it’s an iconic part of Santa Monica that you can’t miss!
So the reason why this wasn’t top of my list is because…. we didn’t actually have time to do this!!! With a visit to Rodeo Drive later in the day, we didn’t shop in Santa Monica but there’s a Nasty Gal store just off the beach as well as lots of local boutiques, so if you’ve got time, step away from the ocean and explore the town to discover the best stores.
Take a Surf Lesson
Again not something we had time to do during our visit, but hey this post is turning out to be a bit of a to-do list for myself for net time I go! But we did witness others taking to the board for the first time, and the gentle long waves of Santa Monica beach seem like the perfect place to learn.
If we’d had more time I’m sure I’d have been able to recommend more places, but for now these are the highlights and things you absolutely must do if you visit Santa Monica. To explore, I opted for a pair of classic white jeans, and this pair from River Island are easily my most worn trousers of the summer. The ripped hems that finish just above the ankle give the jeans a casual and relaxed look, while the length and fit is extremely flattering on more petite frames. I also adore this off-the-shoulder stripe top, it’s one that I threw in my suitcase unsure as to whether I’d wear it, but it turned out to be perfect for exploring L.A.
Sandals were a great decision for exploring Santa Monica, and my lace up pair also from River Island were easy to slip on and off for our beach strolls! Finally, no California look is complete without sunnies, and I chose my new Bailey Nelson classic tortoise shell glasses – equally as stylish as a hair accessory!
Shop The Look
I absolutely loved our short but sweet trip to Santa Monica, and with plenty of things left to tick off my To-Do list, I’m sure it won’t be long until I am back again. If you’ve got any SoCal tips then let me know in the comments below!