Santa Monica Beach

The Best of Santa Monica: A Guide to Restaurants, Shopping, Wellness, and Outdoor Activities

Santa Monica, with its beautiful beaches and vibrant atmosphere, offers a plethora of activities for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal, a relaxing wellness experience, or an outdoor adventure, the charming coastal city has something for everyone. Read on for our Hotel June guide for experiencing the best of Santa Monica—a must-visit while you’re on the Westside.


Santa Monica is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse range of dining options to suit every palate. 

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Huckleberry Cafe, known for savory breakfast sandwiches and expertly brewed coffee. Back on the Beach Cafe offers a picturesque setting right on the sandy shores of Santa Monica beach where you can enjoy hearty breakfast dishes, like the classic Eggs Benedict and the spicy breakfast burrito.

For lunch, head to Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery, a Santa Monica institution famous for its signature sandwich, the Godmother, packed with savory meats and cheeses. Augie’s on Main is another hidden gem showcasing a twist on classic dishes, like the panko-crusted “dirty” chicken.

For dinner, consider visiting Tar & Roses, a popular spot known for creative small plates and a welcoming ambiance. Cap off the night with a cocktail at The Bungalow, a laid-back bar with a beach vibe.

Looking for more dining options? Try these spots:

Breakfast / Brunch – Tartine, Layla Bagels, Palma

Lunch – Alfalfa, Crudo E Nudo, Cha Cha Chicken

Dinner / Drinks – Vamos Vamos, Bar Monette, Cobi’s, Father’s Office, Heavy Handed, Le Great Outdoor, Calabra


Santa Monica offers a mix of upscale boutiques, quirky shops, and major retailers—a perfect destination for shopping enthusiasts. 

For a more unique shopping experience, explore Montana Avenue, where you’ll find a variety of boutiques selling everything from clothing to home goods. 

Main Street is another popular shopping destination known for its shops, galleries, and coffee shops. 

Another can’t-miss spot is Third Street Promenade where you’ll find popular stores like Sephora, Lululemon, Patagonia, and more.


After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a wellness experience and unwind with a beachside yoga class by Beach Yoga SoCal, a cycling class by The Sun Cycle, or a sound bath meditation by Calming Spot—all held on the sand with views of the Pacific Ocean. 

For a more indulgent experience, book a spa treatment at one of Santa Monica’s luxury spas, like Surya Spa at Santa Monica Proper Hotel or The Now Massage.

 For relaxation therapies, visit IntoMeSea for quartz crystal tubs, float tanks, and infrared saunas. For facials, visit Alchemie Organic Spa Retreat Apothecary for a holistic hydrafacial. And for a guided studio workout, book a class at Sweat Yoga, Love for Pilates, or Pilatesmith.

Outdoor Activities

With its stunning coastline and beautiful parks, Santa Monica offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Spend a day at the beach soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean, or head out for a jog along the Santa Monica Bluffs Trail.

For a more active outing, rent a bike and explore the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which runs along the coast and offers breathtaking Pacific views. You can rent an electric bike from Bike Attack Electric, or find options for single speeds, kids’ bikes, and tandem bicycles at Sea Mist Rentals.

If you’re ready to hit the ocean, hit the waves with a surfing lesson or paddle board lesson from one of Santa Monica’s experienced instructors at Aqua Surf School or Go Surf LA. Then, head over to Bay Street, a favorite spot for surfing enthusiasts known for its reliable year-round waves. 

Before ending your day in Santa Monica, head down to the Santa Monica Pier to find an array of shops selling beach-themed souvenirs and memorabilia.

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