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  • Writer's pictureMarie A.

Santa Monica: Day trip itinerary

Updated: Dec 1, 2023


Image of Mexican food in colorful bowls

Los Angeles County is home to nearly 90 cities and more than 400 different neighborhoods; offering visitors a wide variety of places to explore. For those looking for a coastal escape, check out Santa Monica. Just West of Downtown LA, the city offers quintessential Southern California beach town vibes with lots of oceanfront views, food, and shopping. Use the itinerary below to add a fun day trip to your next LA adventure.


Start your day at Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee, located on Wilshire Blvd. Try one of their seasonal donuts, made fresh throughout the day. Looking for a more classic-style donut? Check out the iconic Randy’s Donuts just up the street. (Or try both. We did!)


Once you’ve finished up, loop around and take a walk down 3rd Street Promenade; a car-less pedestrian mall with tons of shopping and local businesses. Soak up the sun and check out some local favorites.


For lunch, head to Tu Madre, a bright and fun Mexican restaurant with a wide variety of burritos, bowls, and taco options. Grab a blood orange margarita and the truffle guacamole as a special treat.


Afterwards, take Broadway towards the water to check out the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Dip your feet in the ocean, watch the surfers drop in, or take a stroll around the Pier.


Last up, walk down Ocean Avenue to grab some refreshments at The Penthouse Restautant at the Huntley Hotel. This 18th-floor floor hangout offers a chic cocktail menu and next-level ocean views. Make sure to take the glass elevator for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Pier. Watch the sunset and relax in style.

Image of the Huntley Hotel penthouse view

When you’re ready, make your way back. Until next time, Dogtown.


Ready to hit the beach? Book your non-stop flight from MSP to LAX today!


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