This post was most recently updated on March 30th, 2016
Mauricio and I are always searching for adventure, whether we’re at home or traveling through Italy. So naturally, spending Sundays in Los Angeles has become a bit of a tradition for us whenever we’re hanging around our hometown. We continually jump at the chance to drive up and explore one of our favorite cities. And whilst there are so many great activities to partake in throughout Los Angeles on a Sunday, sometimes, we like to stick around one neighborhood all day long and really get to know it. From Santa Monica’s famous Sunday brunches, to its sunny beaches, to its lively farmer’s market, a Sunday in Santa Monica will be the perfect little ending to your week.
Last Sunday, Mauricio and I left home at about 7:30 in the morning, ready to conquer a hike through Runyon Canyon, followed by brunch, browsing a farmer’s market or two, and lastly, visiting the Getty Villa. During our 1.5 hour drive up to Los Angeles, we decided to screw the hike and head straight for Santa Monica. Usually we love to get our exercise in, but Sunday in Santa Monica calls for eating, and plenty of it. Had we hiked through the Santa Monica Mountains that morning, we’d have missed out on the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, which obviously would have been absolutely and totally unacceptable for a Sunday in Santa Monica.
And why don’t we just be honest for a second? I’ll take eating good food over exercising any day. And often, I promise myself that I’ll run extra at the gym the next day…but then I don’t.
Oh well, it’s a never-ending cycle, and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. I love you, food.
But anyway, as soon as we arrived in Santa Monica, we changed out of our hiking clothes and into our exploring outfits. We changed in the car, meanwhile Mauricio had a fit about how the cops would issue us tickets for “public indecency”. Ha! Calm down, my friend.
Sunday in Santa Monica: Brunch time!
And then it was time for brunch. Delicious, sweet, beautiful brunch. And Urth Caffé, Los Angeles’s gift from the gods, was just the place. For me, a heavenly chicken pesto omelet with a side of leafy greens and a glorious Moroccan mint tea latte. For him, a cheesy breakfast pizza with sausage and porchetta and an Indian chai tea latte. Yum! Oh, and I forgot to add that Urth’s prices are incredibly reasonable!
And in other news, there’s an Urth opening up in Laguna Beach and I could not be more excited. Praise the Lord!
If Urth is too busy, try: Huckleberry
Sunday in Santa Monica: Exploring Main Street!
After a long and leisurely brunch, we took to the streets to continue our epic Sunday in Santa Monica. Conveniently enough, Urth occupies a spot on Main St. in Santa Monica, which is the perfect place to stroll and browse. From thrift shops, to restaurants and cafés, to clothing boutiques and vintage stores, Main is a lively street, exuding casual, hipster vibes. How Los Angeles on a scale of 1 to 10? About a 9.7.
Sunday in Santa Monica: Hit the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market!
As you continue south on Main Street, you’ll bump into the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, bustling with happy shoppers bouncing around from one delicious food stall to the next, one fresh fruit/veggie stand to the next. Who doesn’t love a good farmer’s market? And especially one that features great live music? A beautiful, sunny Sunday in Santa Monica wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the farmer’s market.
By far, one of my favorite things to do is meander through a farmer’s market, trying samples of local oranges and peaches, homemade granolas, gourmet hummus, spicy salsas accompanied by warm tortilla chips, and the list goes on… Once Mauricio and I have sampled everything (at least once) that the market can offer us, we choose a couple of items to take home with us. This time, I bought just one lonely item: an extremely spicy “Chile Macho” paste to marinade any kind of meat. Yum, yum, yum!
Sunday in Santa Monica: Ice Cream!
Since Sunday in Santa Monica is all about food, having a proper dessert is necessary, and I know just the place! As you continue moseying down Main, you’ll find Three Twins Ice Cream, which may have been the greatest discovery I’ve ever made in the entire history of my life. Yeah, it’s that good. If Mauricio’s a pizza aficionado, then I’m a crazed ice cream connoisseur. If you don’t know this already, I sample ice cream in every place I visit, and if I find banana ice cream on the menu, it is so on. THIS WAS THE BEST BANANA ICE CREAM I’VE EVER HAD! And based on this judgment, I’m going to make another sweeping judgment and state that all of their ice creams are amazing. I haven’t tried them, but I just know. They simply must be. It’s almost scientific. A Sunday in Santa Monica positively begs for Three Twins Ice Cream.
Sunday in Santa Monica: Beach it!
With delicious ice cream in hand, we made our way to the beach to check out Santa Monica State Beach for its iconic pier (complete with theme park rides and restaurants), long stretches of yellow sand, and mountain views. A beautiful day in California always calls for a stroll along the water, sinking your toes into the warm, soft sand.
Sunday in Santa Monica: Do some shopping!
If you’re in the mood for a bit of shopping or plain ol’ people watching, the Third Street Promenade should be your next destination. Here, you’ll find high-end stores such as AllSaints, Burberry, Micheal Kors, as well as the likes of Nike, Brandy Melville, Nordstrom, and Old Navy. Whatever you fancy, you’ll find it at the Promenade. If you don’t feel like shopping, come here anyway for live street performers, people watching, and plenty of restaurants for dinner.
Sunday in Santa Monica: Feeling artsy?
If you think you’ve done all there is to do in Santa Monica, not so fast! There are a few art galleries around town to pay a visit, such as Adamm’s Stained Glass Gallery, Art One Gallery, and Bleicher/Golightly Gallery. Even if you stumble upon these art galleries by accident, step inside and have a look around! They will not disappoint.
At the end of our Sunday in Santa Monica, we were absolutely wiped out. Yet we still stopped for tacos in Huntington Beach on our way home (which should come as no surprise!). After a gorgeous, fun-filled Sunday in Santa Monica, I cannot wait to get up to Los Angeles again sometime soon. As I sit at my desk at work, all I can think about is getting outside and exploring more of Los Angeles! But alas, I need to earn some more money to pay for the rest of our upcoming trips in 2015!
So instead, get out there for me, my friends! Spend your Sunday in Santa Monica, and trust me when I say that following this guide will be a surefire path to the perfect Sunday in Santa Monica.
Over to you! Have you visited Santa Monica before? How did your day differ from ours? Would you do anything differently? If you haven’t visited Santa Monica before, is it on your list?