As a new mom and recent Los Angeles transplant, I seek out stroller-friendly areas where I can spend the day and explore. A walkable, beachside pocket of L.A., Downtown Santa Monica is home to countless restaurants, stunning views of the Pacific and activities for every age group.This itinerary is from a recent day trip with my toddler and covers a few favorite spots:
9:30 a.m. — FARMER’S MARKET: If you are lucky enough to visit Downtown Santa Monica on a Wednesday or Saturday, start your day at the crown jewel of West Coast green markets. The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Arizona Avenue, has the largest assortment of certified-organic growers in L.A. This is a great place to load up on snacks for the day and local produce from California’s farmers. We picked up lemon flavored vegan donuts and coffee as we walked around. Open Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
10:30 a.m. — PIER AND BEACH WALK: Walk down Arizona towards the Ocean and make a left at the Palisades Park towards the Santa Monica Pier. No Visit to Santa Monica is complete without experiencing this Pier. Check out the Pacific Park amusement park, home to the famous solar-powered Ferris wheel and take in panoramic seaside views. Before heading in for lunch, put your feet in the sand, using the convenient stroller friendly paved walkways near the entrance of the pier. www.pacpark.com 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
12 p.m. — LUNCH AT FLOWER CHILD: From the Pier, walk up Colorado Avenue and left on Second Street to Flower Child. This restaurant has a healthy kids menu, changing tables in the bathroom and crayon buckets to entertain the little ones. Parents will be taken care of too with matcha green lattes and build-your-own grain bowls. www.iamaflowerchild.com 1332 Second St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 382-2901
1 p.m. — THIRD STREET PROMENADE: Continue on Second Street towards Arizona, make a right on Arizona and left on Third Street. Spanning three avenues from Wilshire to Broadway, Third Street Promenade is a walkable open air shopping area. Dinosaur fountains mark the entrances and at the south end of the promenade you will find Santa Monica Place, with Samo’s Kids Club and play area on the third floor. I usually plan on walking the Promenade around my baby’s nap time so I can sneak in a little shopping. www.downtownsm.com 1351 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401
3 p.m. — COLOR ME MINE: Located a short walk from the Promenade on Fourth Street between Arizona and Santa Monica Boulevard, this paint your own pottery studio caters to all ages. Color Me Mine is the perfect place to hand-make family memorabilia while occupying the kids for a few hours. You can bring your infants to make hand or footprints while toddlers can “hand paint” plates and mugs. The studio has an infinite selection of ceramics to choose from and it’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours. They will glaze and fire your masterpieces which will be ready for pick-up in less than two weeks. Don’t worry if you are just visiting — they will ship for you. We made Grandpa a birthday gift and were grateful they are taking care of packaging it! www.colormemine.com 1335 Fourth St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 393-0069
5 p.m. — SUNSET SUSHI: Walk south on Fourth Street and down Santa Monica Boulevard towards the ocean. Finish your day and catch the sunset picking up Sugarfish to-go on Second Street on your way to the water. Just make sure to call 45 minutes in advance for your take-out order. Sugarfish sushi has a West Coast cult following for a reason. They will prepare their famous “trust-me” order to-go in the most beautiful takeout box you have ever seen. No detail is left out, the order is complete with chopsticks, hand wipes and visual instructions on how to replicate their addicting sushi experience on your own. This is my secret to an epic early dinner complete with beach front views. www.sugarfishsushi.com 1345 Second St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 393-3338
Monique Otero ( a.k.a. brunchpants ) is a mom and food obsessed blogger focusing on travel, healthy living and urban survival. Recently relocated from NYC to L.A., you can find her at www.brunchpants.com or on Instagram.