Last month my husband and I and my sister-in-law had the chance to visit sunny Santa Monica and it was such a memorable trip...mostly all good things, but there are definitely some things to know before you go.
We stayed at a cute Airbnb in Santa Monica which was a guest house from one of the mansions there. The area we stayed in was quiet, peaceful and really gorgeous. Not only that, the food was all walking distance and there are so many awesome and healthy restaurants nearby which are fast meals, but don't compromise on the ingredients which is so amazing! There was also a Whole Foods right down the street so everything was super close by if you need to get groceries or anything from the store. The best part? The beach was about a 10-15 minute walk away to Santa Monica Beach and even faster if you take one of the electric scooters ;)
The House: This was the perfect little house it had a kitchen, bathroom, queen bed and a little twin bed as well. It had a nice backyard with a pool and was in a quiet residential area which was safe.
The Neighborhood: Although the area we stayed in was safe, my sister-in-law and I went running one morning and didn't realize that a few blocks away was a rough neighborhood. We were walking outside on our way into Rite Aid and some creepy guy spat in my face. From what we experienced, and after talking to some of the workers in the store, it seems like Santa Monica is a nice area but they warned us to be alert and be careful about our surroundings. It is known that there are a lot of homeless people and it can be sketchy.
One of our favorite restaurants we would go to a LOT was called Kreation Kafe they have tons of options for healthy, organic foods and drinks. It was like heaven for us because we are all gluten free and dairy free so this place was a dream.
On our last morning in Santa Monica we ate at Fig restaurant which is located inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. We had such an awesome experience, the restaurant is really beautiful and the food was delicious; on top of that, the service was really fast.
After all the healthy food you have to balance it out with some sweets right?! We found a bakery called Erin Mckenna's Bakery where all of the baked goods are made with vegan and gluten free ingredients! One of our favorite things we had here was the coconut yogurt with fruits, granola and honey...Feliks still talks about it!
During our stay we rented a car using the app Turo and it was very affordable, we rented a car because we knew that we would need to go into the city often since we had a few events going on; although if you are mainly staying in the Santa Monica area you could get around simply by Uber or using the electric scooters there.
Santa Monica is only about 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles although it can usually take 1-2 hours just to drive that short distance!
While we were there we only had the chance to go to Santa Monica Beach for 1 day and we loved it! It was super clean and the water was very clear which is surprising for the amount of people that go to the beach there.
Overall, we had a really nice time in Santa Monica and would definitely go back in the future! There were a few dirty/sketchy areas (more than I am used to even after living in New York) but would just suggest to be careful and do your best to not walk alone especially at night. Hope you can find this useful for your next trip to California :D