Stretching nearly 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard is a kaleidoscope of California culture. You’ll find several chef-driven dining hot spots near mom-and-pop bakeries and generations-old Mexican eateries. A smattering of vintage and designer consignment stores make the whole strip a favorite for deal hunters. Join some locals at Douglas Park for a lawn bowling session and then head to scenic Palisades Park for a bluff-top view of a classic Santa Monica Beach sunset.
With a name like Earth, Wind & Flour, you just know the place will have a creative take on California Italian cuisine. It has been going strong for 35 years. Drop in for a meal or a late-night drink; the bar serves light bites and pours until 2 a.m.
This lantern-filled Japanese sushi bar, Kimuya Sushi ,serves a mean bento box, as well as ramen, teriyaki, and a variety of sakes. There’s also a front-of-the-room sports bar. Happy hour lasts from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and all day on Sunday.
Who says comfort food can’t be exotic? At Malbec Argentinean Cuisine, diners can chow down on Argentinean grilled meats served in an intimate atmosphere. For a lighter touch, there’s a trio de cebiches—a sampler of clasico, aji Amarillo, and rocotto mixto.
Good vibes abound at Rustic Canyon, where farmers market–inspired dishes are paired with handcrafted cocktails, artisanal beers, and an extensive wine list. Plates are designed to be shared here, so bring friends and take a deep dive into the menu.
This Santa Monica location of the popular retailer, Bag'n Baggage, sells top brands like ExOfficio, Briggs & Riley, and Eagle Creek. Sure, they have plenty of suitcases, duffels, and backpacks—but they also sell travel wear, travel pillows, wallets, and all types of travel accessories.
Santa Monica is beach country, and whether you’re a local or just passing through, Diane’s Beachwear will help you find the perfect bathing suit, cover-up, or accessory. The shop carries top designers and brands such as Roxy and Trina Turk.
Santa Monica bike rides are world famous and Performance Bicycle makes it easy to get rolling, with a broad range of bikes and cycling apparel and equipment. Join the shop’s Saturday morning 2.5-hour intermediate or advanced group ride.
Prepare to be tempted by such cake and cupcake creations as red velvet, spicy carrot, and strawberries and cream at Vanilla Bake Shop. Try the bakery’s best-selling Dirt Cake, a chilled, layered dessert served in a Mason jar. Wedding cakes are made here, too.
Take the Rocky road to fitness and punch your way to physical perfection at Gloveworx, a gym offering intense workouts of 12 three-minute rounds of cardio, ring, and bag work. The workout can be modified, so don’t worry—you don’t have to be punched in the face!
Hustle on over to House of Billiards to play on pristine tables, drink craft beer or sip a Pinot Grigio, and snack on classic bar food in a chill atmosphere. Note: House of Billiards is cash only.
Looking for a beautiful sunset view with a beautiful price point? Head over to Palisades Park, a 26.4-acre recreation area perched on coastal sandstone bluffs overlooking the ocean. Or visit during the day and stop by the Santa Monica Visitor Information Kiosk. The park is also walking distance from Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade.
You’ve probably heard of this fitness chain offering low-impact workouts using a ballet barre and light weights. Pay a visit to Pure Barre for a full-body workout concentrating on areas like hips, thighs, abdominals, and arms. Both women and men are welcome.