Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue is a refreshing change from the city’s bustling promenade and famous neighboring pier. From locally crafted goods to bespoke luxury brands, you’ll find plenty to do, see, eat, and experience along this classically Southern California shopping street.
Only a few minutes’ walk or a short Uber ride from the downtown area, Montana Avenue is a perfect place to while away a Sunday afternoon or indulge in a day of much-needed retail therapy.
This bright and cozy boutique is an excellent stop when looking for that perfect gift to give or keep. Wander inside and feel as though you are in an authentic Italian casa. With a wide variety of handcrafted wares and other lovely items from around the world, it is easy to get lost among the handmade jewelry, cashmere throws, and one-of-a-kind home accessories.
The lively and sophisticated atmosphere of this busy restaurant is fitting for anyone seeking a refined dining experience. From the attentive waitstaff to the high standards of presentation, this upscale outlet will guarantee comfort with a sense of style. Whether stopping in for an afternoon cocktail or sitting down to a dashing dinner with friends, this classy Santa Monica hub is an ideal Montana Avenue retreat.
Walk by the storefront of this refined European-style hideaway, and become mesmerized by the elegant creations of the cake decorator working just inside. This quaint worldly bakery offers old-world charm with a modern twist. With a focus on elaborate custom cakes, this café also serves rustic handmade sandwiches and freshly baked desserts. Serving an extensive brunch daily (until 4 p.m.), this is a proper spot to start the day or to keep it going with a coffee and small bite.
Home of the American Cinematheque, this fiercely independent movie theater first opened its doors in 1940. Playing classic films and 70mm films, it ran a continuous 24-hour movie schedule for aircraft workers whose shifts were around the clock. This modestly sized theater dedicates itself to preserving cinema history, offers vintage Hollywood and foreign films and hosts special screenings, events, and film festivals. Plan a night centered around a favorite movie or stop in and check out what is playing today.
Whether booking a beauty treatment or browsing the retro Americana cosmetic collection, this stop will be a fun confidence booster. Internationally known as the eyebrow experts, this bright pink-and-white beauty salon doubles as a makeup boutique. Make a dramatic statement with eyelash extensions or purchase that new shade of lipstick. The professional and accommodating staff will provide signature services such as eyebrow tinting and waxing for a more polished look.
This funky, eclectic collection of 24 local female artists’ creations offers wide varieties of handmade crafts and works of art. Whether you are simply an art lover or are looking for a unique local treasure, ducking into this creative storefront will be time well spent. From hand-blown glass to painted clay necklaces, bring a piece of Southern California charm home. Follow this ever-evolving assortment on Instagram and help support female-created design.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.