It's the stuff of legends. 

People actually walk places on the Westside. Drivers respect pedestrian cross walks. Cars will stop for you in the middle of the road.  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, people!

Whether you
already live by the beach or you're preparing a pilgrimage from all points east, Main Street in Santa Monica is a deep destination of many rewards.

Pubs, cafes, shops, art galleries, retail, detail,
restaurants, spas and giant movie robot are anxiously awaiting you on this small strip of big wonders.  Here are a few of our favorite spots and some tips on getting the most out of your beachside jaunt.

-- LA.COM 




ZJ Boarding House

It's the beach and you need gear for the sand and the waves. ZJ's is the place to get it. Established in 1988 as a hole in the wall surf shop, ZJ Boarding House has it all no matter what your skill level. Their passion for surfing is well known in the local community and the staff has helped many a tot get their first taste of a board. They specialize in surf and skate, featuring all the top brands, and have expanded over the years to also cater to snowboarders in both products and enthusiasm (they recently opened two new stores partnering up with Hurley and Billabong). If you want to get a sense of the action but aren't sure what to buy, ZJ's will rent or demo surfboards for you. They'll even provide surf lessons! The merchandise here is stoked to get off the shelves and moving, so if you love the ocean and are looking to catch a vibe, make this your first stop.

2619 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(888) 799-5646
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Jadis

Surely the most bizarro store on Main Street, Jadis' store front displays an eclectic, incongruent, and fascinating range of items. From the metallic, naked, female torso of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, to the intricate, mechanized flying curiosities that would make Tim Burton proud, all variety of object oddities can be found inside.  Part-time museum and sometimes store, Jadis is actually a prop rental house. If you are very, very lucky and catch the magic window when the doors are open, get inside immediately and have a look around. 

2701 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 396-3477
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Holy Guacamole

Dive into delicious, cheap Mexican food. Holy Guacamole dishes out decent fare quickly and at a great price. The big favorite on the menu? Their super burritos. Self-explanatory. Wash it all down with an orange or lime jarritos as you gaze up at the pseudo Michelangelo fresco beaming down with approval at you from above.

Holy Guacamole
2906 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 314-4850
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Edgemar Plaza

I want a plaza. I want a fountain. I want coffee. And ice-cream. And also something culturally stimulating.  And I want it to have the cosmopolitan feel of a central square surrounded by shops and eateries.  I want Edgemar!  Designed by architect mogul Frank Gehry, Edgemar is an open air courtyard where you can grab a cup of Peets on the way to your cut at Piero Hair Salon before sewing something crafty at the Urban Craft Center after eating Ben & Jerry's while catching an off-beat performance at the Edgemar Center for the Arts so we can dissect it all over a cool glass of Sancerre at Salute Wine Bar.  Whew.

Edgemar Plaza
2415 - 2449 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 399-3666
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Cache

Slink back off the main thoroughfare to find Cache -- a sexy new restaurant/bar/lounge. Relax outside on the plush red sofas, perch at the sleek metallic bar, or dine inside at the tables. The choice is yours, but at night, it's a good idea to dress it up a little. This crowd is going to be checking you out.

Cache Restaurant and Lounge
3110 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 399-4800
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La Vecchia Cucina

If you're in the mood for knock-out Italian food in a great atmosphere with friendly service, put on your Linguine Pescatore hat and head over to La Vecchia. This family run establishment has been keeping the punters coming back for more since 1990, and the staff know many of the locals by name. Winner of Zagat's Award Of Distinction and Award of Exellence, the vibe manages to combine upscale and welcoming. In other words you'll get posh food but don't worry if you use the wrong fork. Go the traditional route and reserve a table, or for something less formal, La Vecchia offers full menu service at the bar. Happy hour is also a hit with lines forming on the sidewalk before the doors open. Get there early and claim your spot on a prized bar stool.

La Vecchia Cucina
2654 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 399-7979
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Library Alehouse

It would be easy to walk past the Library Ale House and think it's just another pub, or simply a nice place to sit outside for five minutes on a wooden bench. Think again. The Library Alehouse is monster of the microbrews offering 29 unique selections as well as a variety of imports on tap and many hard-to-find bottled beers from around the globe (the widest selection in Southern California, so they say). Alongside this crazy choice of brews, the Alehouse prides itself on being an eco-friendly restaurant, serving tasty dishes at reasonable prices that use ingredients from local farmers' markets. Further fostering the community spirit, Library Alehouse also supports a different non-profit organization on the last Tuesday of every month. Another great reason to visit and get decision paralysis at the bar.

Library Alehouse
2911 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 314-4855
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California Heritage Museum

"What is that green, historic-looking building?" you wonder, as you drive past the corner of Ocean Park Blvd and Main St. It's the California Heritage Museum, of course. Stop in for a dose of Decorative, American, Fine and Folk Art conveniently located in the heart of Santa Monica's Main Street section. Under the steely gaze of John Percival Jones, and residing next to The Victorian -- a special event site and cafe -- the front gardens transform every Sunday into a packed Farmer's Market of trendy singles, gawking tourists and laid back locals. An occasional celebrity might even be spotted buying fresh produce, riding a pony, scoffing down a delicious breakfast or listening to live bands.

California Heritage Museum
2612 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 392-8537
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Circle Bar

So you've hit all the bars but it's not enough and you want to stay up late and keep partying. Good for you. That's when Circle Bar comes into play. Circle Bar is a small, womb like club, with moody, red lighting that would make SoHo proud. They don't care if you're a bum off the street or a celebrity, you are welcome here and you'll all get the same treatment.

Circle Bar
2926 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 450-0508
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The Bey's Garden

Walk in the doors and prepare to sink into heaven at this day spa and aromatherapy boutique. The Bey's Garden knows how to pamper without being pretentious and you'll re-emerge fresh in both body and mind.

The Bey's Garden
2919 Main St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 399-5420
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