Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica: A Guide to Exploring the Jewel of the West Coast

Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica: A Guide to Exploring the Jewel of the West Coast

Explore the Santa Monica Pier

No visit to Santa Monica is complete without a trip to the iconic Santa Monica Pier. Built in 1909, the pier boasts a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Take a leisurely stroll along the wooden planks of the pier, enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, and marvel at the historic carousel. Be sure to stop by Pacific Park, the amusement park located at the end of the pier, where you can ride the iconic Ferris wheel, play carnival games, and indulge in classic seaside treats like cotton candy and funnel cakes.

Relax on Santa Monica Beach

With its pristine sandy shores and sparkling blue waters, Santa Monica Beach beckons sun seekers and beach enthusiasts year-round. Spend a day soaking up the California sun, building sandcastles, and splashing in the waves. Take a leisurely bike ride along the beachfront bike path, rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the coastline, or simply unwind with a picnic on the sand. For the ultimate beach experience, consider booking a beachfront cabana or lounge chair rental to enjoy VIP treatment with stunning ocean views.

Wander the Third Street Promenade

Experience the vibrant energy of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, a bustling pedestrian street lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Browse an eclectic mix of boutiques, brand-name retailers, and artisanal shops, where you can find everything from fashion and accessories to unique gifts and souvenirs. Catch a street performance or live music act, grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes or restaurants, or simply soak up the lively atmosphere as you wander the bustling promenade.

Visit the Santa Monica Farmers Market

Immerse yourself in the local culinary scene at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, held every Wednesday and Saturday in downtown Santa Monica. Browse an array of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, organic meats, and gourmet delicacies from local farmers and vendors. Sample seasonal fruits and vegetables, savor freshly baked bread and pastries, and chat with farmers and artisans about their products and practices. The market also features cooking demonstrations, live music, and other special events, making it a vibrant hub of community activity.

Explore the Santa Monica Mountains

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails at Topanga State Park or Will Rogers State Historic Park, where you can enjoy scenic hikes through rugged canyons, lush forests, and panoramic vistas. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and birds of prey, and take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding coastline. For a more leisurely outdoor experience, pack a picnic and enjoy a scenic drive along Mulholland Drive or the Pacific Coast Highway.

Discover the Annenberg Community Beach House

Step back in time and explore the historic Annenberg Community Beach House, a hidden gem nestled along the shores of Santa Monica Beach. Originally built as a private estate in the 1920s, the Beach House is now a public recreational facility offering a variety of amenities and activities for visitors to enjoy. Take a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool, relax in a beachside cabana, or play a game of beach volleyball on the sand courts. The Beach House also hosts a range of events and programs, including yoga classes, art workshops, and outdoor film screenings, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

Santa Monica boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with a diverse array of restaurants, cafes, and eateries serving up delicious cuisine from around the world. Sample fresh seafood at a waterfront bistro, dine al fresco at a trendy rooftop restaurant, or savor farm-to-table fare at a cozy neighborhood eatery. Be sure to try local specialties like California sushi rolls, fish tacos, and gourmet burgers, and save room for dessert at one of the city’s artisanal bakeries or ice cream parlors. With so many dining options to choose from, Santa Monica is a food lover’s paradise waiting to be explored.

Experience the Arts and Culture Scene

Immerse yourself in Santa Monica’s vibrant arts and culture scene by exploring its numerous galleries, museums, and cultural institutions. Visit the Santa Monica Museum of Art to view contemporary works by local and international artists, or explore the Annenberg Space for Photography, which showcases captivating photographic exhibitions and installations. Catch a live performance at the Broad Stage or the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, or stroll through the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a sprawling complex of galleries and studios featuring works in a variety of mediums. With its rich artistic heritage and creative spirit, Santa Monica offers a wealth of cultural experiences for art enthusiasts and aficionados alike.


From its iconic pier and picturesque beaches to its vibrant shopping districts and culinary delights, Santa Monica offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to explore. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, or simply relaxation by the sea, Santa Monica has something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover all that this charming coastal city has to offer.

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