A walkable Downtown Santa Monica

When I decided to move to the Los Angeles area, it was important to me to find a walkable community. Coming from Chicago, I had everything I needed within a one-mile radius. L.A. is much more spread out than Chicago, but I was still determined to find my desired community.

I was thankful that my boyfriend recommended Santa Monica, because we found everything we need walkable in the Downtown area: plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from, two grocery stores by us, many outdoor activity options, pedestrian-friendly streets, and more. In fact, WalkScore.com rates Santa Monica a 78 out of 100. To compare, the number one rating on the site goes to New York with 88. Chicago’s rating is 75 (I’m guessing this is because of the weather). Here’s a look at a typical Wednesday for me in Downtown Santa Monica:

Downtown Santa Monica is a pedestrian's paradise.
Downtown Santa Monica is a pedestrian’s paradise.


6:30 a.m.

Good morning, Santa Monica! The weather calls for another gorgeous day in Southern California. I stretch a little before taking my beach cruiser out for a ride. It’s a quick trip to get on the beach path. I pass runners, walkers and cyclists. Sometimes I take a break around the original Muscle Beach, where people are starting their days with intense workouts on the ropes and rings. One day, I might try those! One day.


8 a.m.

After I drop my bike off at home, I grab my grocery bags and head out again. First stop: SuperFood Cafe. I order the G Fresh juice, my favorite item on their menu. I sip on the delicious mix of apple juice, kale, spinach, celery, ginger and more. How refreshing!


Next, I make my way toward Arizona Ave. for the Downtown Santa Monica Farmers’ Market that starts at 8:30 a.m. Now, it’s time to stock up on produce and fresh vegetables for the week. I must admit that I also love the Wednesday market because I get to see so many chefs buying the necessary ingredients for their menus. That’s kind of a thrill for me.

The Downtown Farmers' Market takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market takes place Wednesdays and Saturdays.

9 a.m.

Just boring getting-ready-for-the-day-stuff. Moving on…


10 a.m.

Arrived at the Santa Monica Public Library just in time to check out a study room. I get started on some of my consulting work while enjoying the quiet and private luxury of my own little office (the study room). My workday has officially begun.

The Main Library's courtyard.
The Main Library’s courtyard.

1:30 p.m.

A late lunch with a friend brings me to Bangkok West Thai (or any of the great restaurants within walking distance of the library). Then, it’s back to work in the library.


6 p.m.

I walk over to Sonoma Wine Garden to meet some colleagues who also work in the consulting and freelance circles. We opt to sit on the outdoor patio because it’s beautiful, and well, it’s Southern California and sitting outside is a given. We talk a little business, a little personal. We take advantage of the happy hour prices: $6 cocktails and glasses of wine. After the wine, we take a short stroll along Palisades Park. This city is paradise!


7:30 p.m.

My boyfriend convinces me not to cook tonight, and instead, to meet him at one of our all-time favorite places: Chipotle. Romantic? Not so much. Good food that hits the spot? Absolutely. (Of course there are nights when we opt for a nicer place, but we are slightly obsessed with Chipotle.)


The Promenade.
The Promenade.

We walk home through the Promenade and catch some entertainment from the street performers. I let out a long sigh. It’s been a good day. I start thinking about what outdoor exercise I’ll do tomorrow morning and what I’ll cook tomorrow night with our fresh vegetables.
Can’t wait for another day in Downtown Santa Monica!

And because we have this song in our head, we decided to post it here for you so you too can Walk It Out!