Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a beautiful city, nestled at the edge of Los Angeles. With a perfect beach, a beautiful boardwalk, great shopping, and a more compact and friendly vibe–at least compared to the sprawl of freeways and driving that is the City of Angels–Santa Monica truly has a lot to offer. Let’s dive in!

Santa Monica Dtown

I parked and walked along the main shopping street, looking for my friend.

Santa Monica Burger

We found each other and got a decent veggie burger at Burgerlounge. Our first choice–a vegetarian place next door–was thronged with people. The fact that a burger place has a lot less customers than a vegetarian place speaks volumes about Santa Monica’s healthy vibe. SM Downtown Avenue

We left and continued to explore.

Crazy Tree SM

Along the way, a street performer dressed as a tree snuck up behind this woman, who, thankfully, took the joke with good humor.

Rich Houses SM

We took a pathway down to the beach, and checked out…

SM House Modern

…these amazing beachside houses.

SM Modern Epic

A similar house was recently on the market for 7 Million.

Santa Monica Beach Pier Distant

With views of the beach, the ocean, and the pier in the distance, that price isn’t surprising.

Santa Monica Beach

We headed over to the pier, which has its own spectacular view.

Santa Monica Beautiful Beach

On the pier we watched a large group of swimmers, and beachgoers lounging.

Ferris Wheel SM

With carnival rides, ice cream, and fast food, this was a true all-American experience. Roller Coaster SM

There was even a rollercoaster!StickHouse SM

We were hot and sweaty, so we hit up Stickhouse, an artisinal gelato-on-a-stick placeStickHouse Gelato SM

I had the avocado–the green bar near the center.

Kicks SM

We moved on, seeing a massive amount of Nike and New Balance shoes…

Kitson SM

A great Kitson store…Nasty Gal SM

And of course, Nasty gal–which my girlfriend loves.

WeWork SM Room

On the way back to the car I noticed a place called “WeWork” and decided to check it out. Basically, it is a hip, open office, where members can do work and socialize with other freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives. It was a truly impressive place. Wework SM Water

Free coffee, water, beer and wine are included in the monthly membership fee.        WeWork Santa Monica

People were friendly, and my friend struck up a friendship with a guitar playing member.

Santa Monica feels like a place where everything is perfect. Shopping is great, the food is healthy, the people were open, and the beach was fantastic. If I had to choose a place to live in the LA area, this would definitely be near the top of the list. The only fault is the cost, with million dollar houses nearly everywhere, and rent unaffordable for most. Practical considerations like that keep this dream out of reach for many. But those lucky enough to live here truly are living in paradise.

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