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A winter day in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is one of my favorite places in Los Angeles - which is probably the reason why I chose here to call home.

As with the whole city, the weather is always perfect (but windy, so don't forget your coat, even in the summer). Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautiful cities in the World, I can say: Santa Monica has the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen!!! Everyday hundreds of people gather at the Palisades Park to watch the sun disappearing into the ocean. It is breathtaking.

But before we get to this point, lets come back a bit for what it is for me, a perfect day in Santa Monica during winter.

10am: Nothing like a delicious brunch to start the day. My favorite place is Le Pain Quotidien. As you will learn about me, I'm crazy about anything French (I've spent part of my childhood in Paris). So, for me, they are my French paradise in L.A.

Their cafe au lait is really authentique and their chocolat croissant is de "morrer comendo" (wonderful). You can order their Petit Déjeuner or any thing from their menu. They are all great.

11am: Now, what better thing to do after that then to ride a bike in the famous Santa Monica Beach? You can either rent one at the beach for the day or rent a bike-sharing from one of the numerous kiosks spread all over the neighborhood. The best way to enter the beach by bike, is through the Pier (which you will get to know better later). To your left, there is Venice Beach, with it's loud music and exotic people and to your right, the famous houses in the sand and less people competing for the bike lane.

1pm: You are probably starting to get hungry again. Well, I am. There's an infinite choice of restaurants in Santa Monica and it's really a matter of taste. Unfortunatly, no Brazilian restaurant... But plainty of Italians, Greeks, Mexicans, Japoneses and burguers. Lot's of burguers. You can also go to the Santa Monica Place, between Broadway street and 3rd st Promenade and head to the 3rd floor, where there is plenty of choice. There is a newly opened Cheescake Factory, and if you've never been there, please go. Even if it's only for the desert. Their Cheesecake is fabulous!!!

2pm: Okay, now you are ready to do some shopping. If you are like me, you probably have a huge list of people to whom you want to bring gifts, and the 3rd Street Promenade is THE PLACE for that! From Bloomingdales to H&M, you will find anything to suit your pocket. There is even a TG-Maxx (a department store with designers clothes and accessories for half the price) at the 4th street with Arizona.

4pm: If you're not done yet, stop everything and run to the Pacific Ocean Park to get the sunset. I promise you will not regret. Don't forget to grab a coffee along the way. It will make everything even more perfect. For me at least.

Foto by Emiliano Ruschel

5pm: Now is the perfect time to go to Santa Monica Pier, as all the lights are on, and you will feel like you are on a movie. A perfect place also to have dinner before you head to the next and last stop of your day! Prepera for the cold.

9pm: A perfect day for me can't end without going to the movies... But if you are not like me, you can skip this part and head to the numerous Bars around here. One very cool is the The Misfit. The decor is AMAZING!!!

But if you love a good movie, there is 3 theaters in Promenade: 2 at the 3rd street and one recently opened at the Santa Monica Place, The ArcLight. This one is brand new and is very famous in L.A. But I love the others best, as they just got renovated and now, instead of chairs, they have all reclinable chairs. And the best part: for the same price as a normal Theater.

I hope you liked my sugestions and had a great day. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any tips, please share with us!

P/S: In the summer the sunset is around 10pm. In winter, 4pm. And it is cold. Very cold. Maybe not if you are from Alaska, but for a girl from Rio de Janeiro, it's freezing.

Tip: There are plenty of parking lots around. One at Santa Monica Place and the first 90 minutes are free.

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