Things to Do in Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, CA, located on the picturesque coastline of Los Angeles County, California, is a vibrant and iconic city known for its laid-back beach lifestyle and diverse attractions. Renowned for its world-famous Santa Monica Pier, featuring an amusement park, aquarium, and iconic Ferris wheel, the city is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The bustling Third Street Promenade offers a dynamic shopping and dining experience, while the sandy shores provide opportunities for beachgoers, cyclists, and skateboarders. Santa Monica is also home to Palisades Park, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and the bustling Santa Monica Beach Bike Path. With its mix of cultural events, outdoor activities, and a thriving arts scene, Santa Monica captures the essence of Southern California’s coastal charm.

Santa Monica Pier

200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Santa Monica Pier, an iconic symbol of leisure and entertainment, graces the coastline of Santa Monica, California. Steeped in history and charm, the pier is a vibrant and bustling destination that draws locals and visitors alike. The iconic Pacific Park amusement park welcomes thrill-seekers with its classic Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and carnival games, providing a nostalgic seaside experience. The pier also houses the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, offering an educational glimpse into the marine life of the Pacific Ocean. Beyond the attractions, the pier’s end provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific, making it a popular spot for strolling, fishing, and enjoying the spectacular California sunset. Lined with shops, eateries, and street performers, the Santa Monica Pier stands as a timeless coastal landmark, embodying the lively spirit and diverse offerings of this beloved Southern California destination.

Downtown Santa Monica

1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Downtown Santa Monica, nestled between the vibrant urban landscape and the Pacific Ocean, is a dynamic and lively district that serves as the heart of this iconic coastal city. Anchored by the famous Third Street Promenade, a bustling pedestrian-only street, the area is a mecca for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Visitors can explore an array of boutiques, major retail stores, and eclectic shops while enjoying the diverse street performances and live entertainment that often grace the promenade. The district seamlessly blends the energy of city life with the relaxed beach vibes, creating a unique and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, the nearby Santa Monica Pier adds to the allure with its iconic Ferris wheel, amusements, and waterfront dining options. With a mix of cultural attractions, outdoor spaces, and a lively atmosphere, Downtown Santa Monica stands as a must-visit destination that perfectly captures the spirit of Southern California’s coastal lifestyle.

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier

380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Pacific Park, located on the iconic Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, is a lively and colorful amusement park that adds an extra layer of excitement to the city’s vibrant beachfront. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Pacific Park is home to a distinctive Ferris wheel, which has become a symbol of the Santa Monica coastline. The amusement park features a mix of classic and modern rides, including the West Coaster roller coaster and the Pacific Plunge tower ride, providing thrilling experiences for visitors of all ages. With its vibrant lights, carnival games, and seaside atmosphere, Pacific Park offers a nostalgic and fun-filled escape, making it a popular destination for families, tourists, and locals alike. The park’s strategic location on the historic Santa Monica Pier ensures that visitors can enjoy not only the exhilarating rides but also the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the lively energy of the surrounding beach community.

Palisades Park

Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Palisades Park, situated along the scenic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California, is a breathtaking oasis that seamlessly blends natural beauty with recreational opportunities. This iconic park spans 26 acres and offers visitors stunning panoramic views of the coastline, providing a tranquil escape from the urban hustle. Lined with palm trees, well-maintained gardens, and walking paths, Palisades Park is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The park’s strategic location makes it an ideal place for picnics, leisurely strolls, and relaxation while enjoying the soothing sounds of the waves crashing below. With its well-manicured lawns, public art installations, and a serene atmosphere, Palisades Park stands as a cherished gem in Santa Monica, inviting residents and visitors to savor the beauty of the California coastline.

Santa Monica Place

395 Santa Monica Pl, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Santa Monica Place, situated in the heart of Santa Monica, California, stands as a premier shopping and dining destination, offering a blend of sophistication and coastal charm. This open-air shopping center underwent a significant redevelopment, resulting in a modern and stylish atmosphere that perfectly complements the city’s upscale reputation. Boasting a curated selection of high-end and popular retail stores, Santa Monica Place is a fashion-forward haven for shoppers seeking luxury brands and unique finds. The rooftop dining deck provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, creating a delightful backdrop for enjoying a diverse range of culinary delights. With its contemporary design, upscale retailers, and a prime location just blocks from the beach, Santa Monica Place has become a signature destination for those seeking a premium shopping and dining experience in the heart of this vibrant coastal city.

Tongva Park

1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Tongva Park, nestled in the heart of Santa Monica, California, stands as a lush and thoughtfully designed urban oasis. Named in honor of the region’s indigenous Tongva people, the park spans 6.2 acres and provides a serene escape from the urban hustle. Designed with sustainability in mind, Tongva Park features meandering paths, vibrant gardens, and a variety of native plantings that reflect the natural beauty of Southern California. The park seamlessly blends nature and art, with sculptural installations, water features, and scenic overlooks offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. Whether visitors seek a peaceful retreat to read a book, engage in outdoor activities, or simply enjoy the tranquil surroundings, Tongva Park stands as a testament to Santa Monica’s commitment to green spaces, community, and cultural appreciation.

Museum of Flying

3100 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, California, is a captivating tribute to the rich history of aviation, celebrating the spirit of flight in a city with deep ties to the aerospace industry. Located near the Santa Monica Airport, the museum showcases a remarkable collection of aircraft, aviation artifacts, and exhibits that trace the evolution of aviation from its early days to the present. Visitors can explore vintage planes, helicopters, and memorabilia, gaining insights into the pioneering achievements of aviation pioneers. With a focus on both military and civilian aviation, the museum offers a comprehensive perspective on the technological advancements and human endeavors that have shaped the skies. Boasting a mix of interactive displays and historical artifacts, the Museum of Flying provides an engaging and educational experience for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and families alike, making it a must-visit destination for those fascinated by the wonders of flight.