Santa Monica Travel Guide

So like six months ago my friend and I joked about how we should run away somewhere warm for our birthdays (they’re one day apart) and a few weeks later we brought it up again and I was feeling particularly adventurous so I booked our flights and hotel on the spot 😳 IT WAS HAPPENING. Cue obsessive Pinterest research of all the most instagrammable spots in LA. We’re bloggers now, okay. 😂 

Since we knew we were going to be running around all over town we knew we needed a rental car. I had heard a lot about Turo, but never used them before because I usually need to rent car seats, but solo mom trip = more freedom so we went for it. You can rent anything from a Corolla to a G wagon since you’re driving someone’s personal car. It’s totally insured and legit (I had my lawyer check 😂) and we got the cutest little Jeep Wrangler for our weekend for only $54/day!

Number one on our list was the Hollywood sign, obviously. So as soon as we landed we drove straight there. You can read Sam’s post about that adventure here (https://samanthaheneghan.com/)

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We decided to stay in Santa Monica because we wanted to be near the beach and picked The Viceroy. It was SO cute. I’ll take a boutique hotel over the Four Seasons any day!! They welcomed us with champagne and everyone was super sweet. 

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I mean even the bathroom is adorable.  

After our hike we were literally dying so we quickly checked in, showered our bodies (lol) and headed to the Drybar. If you’ve never been to a Drybar, you are seriously missing out. All they do is wash and style your hair, but it’s like a mini spa experience and neither of us had the energy to wash our own hair (first world problems). 

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Once we got pretty, we wasted time until dinner at Catch. Possibly the worst I’ve ever been treated at a restaurant, but hey it’s LA lmao. I will say that the food was effing amazing (Sam swears it was the best steak of her life), but not sure I’ll ever go back. If you do go, I’d recommend making your reservation at least an hour before you actually want to eat and be okay with standing at the bar for eternity. On the bright side, it was prime people watching territory since everyone thinks they are HOT SHIT. 

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DAY TWO:

First on the agenda- breakfast in bed. Duh!  

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Next- rent bikes and wonder the pier. The Viceroy is situated right between Venice beach and the Santa Monica pier and there are bikes for rent everywhere. Also apparently our hotel had free bikes for guests to use but didn’t tell us 🤔 

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Lol 👆🏻 Who did I think I was?  

 

Next stop- our hotels ADORABLE pool  

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The other nice thing about LA is that literally everyone is taking pictures of themselves so it feels way less awkward.  

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Ummmm HELLO PINUP!! Might get her tattoo’d on my thigh.  

 

 After our pool photo shoot and two mojitos we were feeling extra extra so we setup a tripod in our room to take tumblr pics 😂 I cant believe I’m telling you all my secrets. 

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Then some tripod beach yoga action  

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After the beach we had dinner at Nobu. We forgot to book the Malibu location in advance so we had to “settle” for LA, but after our Catch experience I was very pleased to go somewhere less busy. I highly recommended the wagyu tacos😍 and any of the sushi. Sashimi is weird. 

 

DAY THREE: 

Our final day (or so we thought). Woke up, went to take more pool pics, packed our shit and then got a notification that Sam’s flight was cancelled. Cue panic. My flight was still on schedule, but being the amazing friend I am, I decided to rough it one more day in paradise so that she didn’t have to stay alone. Friendship is all about sacrifice, you know. So I switched my flight, got her a new one, extended the car rental, fought with my husband, arranged a babysitter, and got another room for the night.  

After all that we finally got to brunch at The Ivy only to find out we were a day late to be eating next to Reese Witherspoon 😭 but the food was bomb and the place was adorable. Highly recommended!  

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After brunch we drove to Beverly Hills, naturally. Roamed around Rodeo drive and then went back to the hotel where I drew the curtains and curled into bed to recharge my introvert batteries.

I hope you enjoyed reading and if you’re planning a trip soon, I hope this helps fill your itinerary!  

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And for everyone who rolls their eyes at the curated photos, here are some bloopers to lighten your mood: 

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lmfao she’s going to hate me

lmfao she’s going to hate me

When you fall out, and keep cheering on your bestie

When you fall out, and keep cheering on your bestie

bad posture is one of my worst habits 🤦🏻‍♀️

bad posture is one of my worst habits 🤦🏻‍♀️

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When your fake laugh is a little too intense. 

When your fake laugh is a little too intense. 

We’re really good at acro yoga. 

We’re really good at acro yoga. 

Confidence level: highlighting your own hair

Confidence level: highlighting your own hair

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xoxo, gossip girl