If a road trip to Santa Monica, California is on your list of summer plans then take notes. Professional triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury, second place finisher at Ironman Mallorca and Santa Monica resident since 2013, shared her favorite places to grab a cup of coffee, eats and post-workout treats. She also gave us the low-down on where to swim, bike and run but we all know that none of that will happen if we don’t get a good cup of coffee first!

Best place to get your morning started with a cup of coffee? What’s your coffee drink of choice?

Caffe Luxxe at the Brentwood Country Mart is one of my favourites, but there are a myriad of others I love: Groundworks and Urth Caffe (both on Main Street) and Cafe Bolivar on Ocean Park Boulevard. I love a straight up strong Americano or an almond milk latte.

The workout is done. What is the best place to go for mid-day eats? Any menu recommendations?

Cafe Vida in the Pacific Palisades. It’s just a few blocks from the pool where Tower 26 swims so it’s great to hit it for breakfast or lunch after a big swim. The Californian omelette is one of my faves, as is the Breakfast Bowl and the Perfect Date shake. Check out the salad specials as they are always worth a look. The coffee is good too. If you’re still yearning for something more, then across the street is Juice Crafters, which is home to many classic LA-style juices – think kale, beet, spinach and parsley – you get the picture! You can’t be in LA without a $7 green juice in your hand! And their Acai Bowls are awesome and I’m also a sucker for their wheatgrass shots.

Even the most dedicated athlete like to splurge once in a while. What are your picks for post-work treats?

Sidecar Donuts or Sweet Rose ice cream parlour – both are terrific! If great beer and burgers are more your thing then you cannot go wrong with Father’s Office.

Let’s talk training locations! Best beach for open water swimming?

All of our open water swim workouts take place from Tower 26 in Santa Monica and it’s an absolutely stunning place for swimming. In the middle of summer the sun is usually rising as we do our warm up mile and it’s an unforgettably beautiful scene. There have been a few occasions when conditions are tough, but for the most part it’s safe, serene swimming.

Where to swim? Bike route? Run?

I swim with Tower 26 at the Palisades High School or at ocean workouts from Tower 26 on Santa Monica Beach, but Santa Monica College Pool is also a great spot, as is Culver City Plunge. Both of those offer good lap lane availablilty and can be long course meters or short course yards depending on time of day.

One of my favourite bike rides is Latigo Canyon Road, it’s about an hour’s climb at a sociable pace and offers stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the ocean. For running, I love hitting up the beach path and often run from Temescal Canyon Road @ PCH south, past Santa Monica Pier towards Venice. Running through Venice and past places like Muscle Beach is always a lot of fun – you are guaranteed to see some sights!

San Vicente Boulevard and Ocean Avenue are also popular run spots – you’ll see plenty of beautiful SoCal bodies out here!

What/why do you love about living in the Santa Monica area?

It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty – I love the ocean and the mountains and it’s so easy to be active and live an outdoor lifestyle here. We are spoilt with the weather, the climate is simply unbeatable, and there is so much to see and do – whether it’s beaches, restaurants, coffee shops or movies. It’s my home from home.
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