Adventure, City Guide

CITY GUIDE: Beach Cities pt. 1


Today’s City Guide is brought to you by Marissa of Bourbon and Goose!

When people head to Los Angeles more than likely they want to hit the beach. Well, being in LA for 10 years, I’ve lived or been to every point you can image. It really is as beautiful as you’ve seen in the movies. Once you hit the sand, you realize why everyone wants to live here and why most of us never leave. Each beach city is unique and exudes that jen ne se qua that brands it. You’ll find everything you are looking for: shopping, outdoor activities, star sightings and lots of culinary treats for every individual. In this land, gluten-free and vegan reign supreme. (Yes, Dawn from The Babysitter’s Club wasn’t making that up). So let’s start with the most glamorous of all: Malibu.



When traveling to LA, you have to make it to the Bu. Why? Because 1. It’s gorgeous and 2. You’ll see way more celebrities here than Hollywood. Guaranteed. My last sighting was Jay Leno zipping through Malibu Creek Canyon in a classic roadster.

Make your way to Leo Carrillo State Park. This beach has caves, tidepools for exploring and if you like to camp that option is available but you have to book early. Plus, for us dog lovers, this is the only beach where they can join in while you get your tan on.

From there drive the iconic PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) for a 27 mile drive down the Malibu coast. Gawk at the insane beach front properties (Malibu Road is perfect for this but you didn’t hear that from me). Like to get your workout on? Hit Pepperdine University for the most insane set of stairs. They make Santa Monica stairs look like a beginners run. Worked up an appetite? Now you have 2 options: Malibu Seafood Mart for the best fried shrimp or for a healthier option: John’s Garden located in the Malibu Country Mart. At this gem you’ll have shopping options galore. Top off all this luxury with GROM, the healthy gelato. Food Intolerants? They got your back, and support your sweet tooth. Now that you’ve overindulge, time to get back to PCH, we still have 2 hot spots left.

Next up : Santa Monica


Skip 3rd Street Promenade and head directly to the Santa Monica Pier. Check out the iconic ferris wheel, roller coaster and if you timed it right, the free summer concert. Grab a bike (don’t worry you can rent) and start your adventure. Along your ride keep your eyes open, you’ll see the experts practicing out their latest acts on the swing, ring and ropes. You might be lucky enough to see a duo crossing the sing-a-ring set. (See Anna Paquin practicing here) Now that you are inspired detour up to Main St for a quick ride along on the shops including one of my local favorites, the Closet Trading Co. This special gem is resale and consignment, meaning you can score big for less. The boutique feeling and friendly service feels more intimate and the selection would make Malibu jealous.

Once back on the boardwalk, continue heading south and in 10 minutes you’ll be in…

With the shopping bug out of the way, continue back down to the boardwalk for your journey to…

Venice Beach : The melting pot of for all creatives.


In a couple of miles you’ll be in the thick of it. Lots of street performers, options for great eats and drinking but take really take moment to experience it all. Explore the skate park, sit in on the drum circle, grab a can of Montana Gold and hit the graffiti wall and by no means, do not miss the roller skating dancers. This small stretch is filled with so many inspiring, unique and eclectic people you’ll have plenty of stories to share upon your return home.

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  • Reply Jess

    Really great post, Marissa! Thanks for sharing.

    April 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM
  • Reply Laura

    Nice post! When in Santa Monica, I would always recommend Bay Cities Deli. It’s on Lincoln Blvd and they make delicious Sandwiches with fresh italian meats and cheeses. Take a look at for the next time you are there.

    April 24, 2013 at 11:49 AM
  • Reply Traveling to LA? Check out Be Up & Doing's City Guide Featuring Beach Cities: Malibu, Santa Monica & Venice Beach

    […] Bourbon & Goose has a special guest post on one of our FAVORITE blogs: Be Up & Doing by Allison Lehman. Allie’s blog is filled […]

    April 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM
  • Reply Marissa

    Thanks guys! @Jess I appreciate the kind words. @Laura, are you in the area? If so let’s meet up! I love Bay Cities – haven’t been in awhile but it’s delicious! Thx again Allie for being the coolest!

    April 24, 2013 at 9:38 PM
    • Reply Allison

      Your city guide was so popular!! Thanks again for contributing. Can’t wait til your next one!!

      April 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM
  • Reply laura

    @Marissa, awesome that you know Bay Cities. We should definitely meet up! Just e-Mail me :)

    April 25, 2013 at 2:41 AM
  • Reply Alyssa | all things beautiful

    Been thinking about a day trip to take this weekend and now I think I’ll hit up Malibu! Thanks for this!

    April 25, 2013 at 4:35 PM
  • Reply Jennifer M.

    So fun! I’m moving to L.A. soon so found this post to be very inspiring! I’ll definitely have to check these places out (well, I have been to Santa Monica before, but not the other two). I look forward to more of your L.A. city guide posts!

    April 27, 2013 at 2:38 PM
  • Reply California, USA | Mrs D

    […] Up & Doing – Venice Beach and Santa Monica (guest post by Bourbon and Goose), L.A. (guest post by […]

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