In an effort to tackle UV rays with cool shades, we went straight to the sunshine source: Southern California. The first two stops on our sun-safe trip were Santa Monica and Venice Beach, and we made sure to indulge in some of the region’s top sights and tastiest treats.
What We Saw
Long strolls along the Santa Monica Pier were a must, as were taking a spin on Venice Beach’s best thrill rides. We conquered our fears on The Scrambler, but the iconic Ferris Wheel is a less dizzying way to see the city in all its glory.
One of our favorite areas of Venice Beach was Abbot Kinney — a borough where even established chain stores retain a unique sense of self. A major highlight in the shopping district was Le Labo Inc., a store that boasted a selection of fantastic fragrances, friendly staff, and eclectic decor.
Who We Met
We spotted a dancing skateboarder with big headphones and a bigger smile and knew we had to say hello. He told us that eyewear was essential to doing what he loved, and without sunglasses he could never tackle the concrete of California in safety and style.
What We Ate (and Drank)
We loved the fresh juices from The Butcher’s Daughter (also located in Abbot Kinney), which were served to us in these adorable flights. Our top choice was #8, the Honey Bee. If you ever find yourself in this beautiful shop/restaurant/bar, take the time to soak everything in, from the decor and gifts in the front, to the wine, and — of course — the delicious and nutritious juices.
Another dining destination was Pono Burger in Santa Monica. Located in a restored World War II bunker, Pono is all about fresh ingredients and a passionate approach to life in general. In Hawaiian, Pono means “to do things the right way” and, after tasting Chef Makani’s creations, we can confirm that she does just that. Our personal favorite was the Turkey Burger and organic russet potato frites… which we may have gone back for a second time.
What We Experienced
It’s often the little moments that really make a trip. Driving from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, we stopped at El Matador Beach in Malibu. We could hear the sounds of the ocean before we could even see it. It sounded so clear and crisp that it almost felt fake — like waves on a sleep sound machine. As we walked down the path and caught our first glimpse of the waves, we’ll never forget the awe-inspiring feeling that only in that moment — through those unique sounds and spectacular sights — that we could have felt.
Where You’ll See Us Next
Our next stop is historic San Francisco for the best of bridges, burgers, beers, and natural beauty.
Who Even Are We
That’s us! Carly (left) and Kristi (right). We’re part of the Community Team at Clearly. We’re driving from Santa Monica to Seattle to see the sights, meet cool people, and capture it all on film with our friend Gordon (behind camera). We’re sharing the journey over Instagram (@oastaldotcom) and through our hashtag #SeeClearly. Follow along and say hi — and let us know where to go next.