By Katrina Leno, Author of You Must Not Miss
Yayyy, it’s YALLWEST time again!! I love that this festival is in one of my favorite places in the world—Santa Monica! There is so much to do in this city, but I’m going to focus on places you can walk to from the festival, starting with, of course, the ocean! (Is it really a trip to SoCal if you don’t start at the ocean??)
200 SANTA MONICA PIER • 15 MINUTE WALK FROM THE FESTIVAL
I can’t lie; I love a good pier. The Santa Monica Pier is one of my favorite places to go, especially in the early morning, when everything is closed and the only other people down there are fishermen and tourists still adjusting to the time change.
SANTA MONICA PUBLIC LIBRARY – THE BOOKSTORE
601 SANTA MONICA BLVD • 15 MINUTE WALK FROM THE FESTIVAL • 17 MINUTE WALK FROM THE PIER
Once you’ve had your fill of waves, head back inland for some excellent book shopping. Tucked into the sunny atrium of the SMPL is the Friends of the Library Bookstore, a magical little store open Saturday 11-4:30. Pick up trade paperbacks and hardcovers for a buck or two, and check out the free bins they wheel outside! (FREE BOOKS EEEEEE)
525 SANTA MONICA BLVD • 16 MINUTE WALK FROM THE FESTIVAL • 1 MINUTE WALK FROM THE BOOKSTORE
After you’ve stocked up on more books than you can possibly carry (seriously, how are you carrying all those books??) pop into this California-based coffee chain for a cup of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. They also have small bites, including a ridiculous vegan protein ball which you’ll need to build your strength from carrying all of those books.
802 BROADWAY • 7 MINUTE WALK FROM PHILZ • 10 MINUTE WALK BACK TO THE FESTIVAL
Swingers is one of my favorite diners in the world. Have a friend come and pick up all your books, then take a load off and enjoy their ridiculous wallpaper (cows! Motorcycles jumping over cars!). They have a ton of veggie and vegan options and the outside wall is perfect for a quick selfie (blue with red stars!!). Yay books! Yay food! Yay ocean! Yay California!!