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After a glorious 3 days in Los Angeles it was time to drive back to the beach and visit Santa Monica.  On the way we stopped off at Rodeo Drive before arriving at our hotel.

We booked Le Meridian which was a lovely, modern hotel.  We parked the car, checked in and set off to explore.  The last time we went to Santa Monica was a few years before where we only stopped for a couple of hours driving from Pismo Beach to Orange County.

24 hours in Santa Monica

Along the beach is a boardwalk full of people walking, running, cycling, skating.  It’s certainly a healthy and active place.  We visited the original Muscle Beach, you can read about this over on Voltage Sport.  After hanging out at Muscle Beach we went to the world famous pier!

24 hours in Santa Monica 24 hours in Santa Monica

The sun was shining so we stopped at Restaurant Al Mare for lunch.  We shared some prawns and calamari followed by pasta and beer as we sat watched the world go by from the balcony.

24 hours in Santa Monica

The pier itself was fairly busy, it’s full of entertainers, restaurants and has a mini theme park!  The iconic American road Route 66 ends on the pier too.

24 hours in Santa Monica 24 hours in Santa Monica 24 hours in Santa Monica

We’d had a hectic few days so we went back to the hotel for a couple of hours of pool time before heading out for the evening.  We did some research of where to eat, when you are somewhere for just a short space of time we wanted to get it right!  We settled on Mercado a modern Mexican restaurant at the 3rd Avenue Promenade.  The food was great and this area of Santa Monica is full of shops so it would be great through the day.  After our meal we went for cocktails in the Copa d’Oro a lovely little lounge bar.

24 hours in Santa Monica

We then walked along the beach front in search of another bar.  We found a place called The Bungalow which is on the grounds of the Fairmont Miramar.  It is in fact, a bungalow with a large outside garden area and lots of rooms inside.  It was like been at a house party!  Despite it being a Monday night it was really busy in The Bungalow.

We had a fun night – Sometimes those which are unplanned are the best!  The next morning we got up early and checked out to continue our road trip. We had a fantastic time in Santa Monica and would love to go back again soon!

24 hours in Santa Monica