12 Things You Must Do in Santa Monica

Located a short distance away from San Diego is laid-back Santa Monica, which offers everything from beautiful beaches to incredible nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a pamper-filled vacation or a cultural trip, you should make your way to this beautiful California city. Here are 12 things you must do in Santa Monica.

Have Fun at Santa Monica Pier

Top of your to-do list must be Santa Monica Pier, which is home to Pacific Park, which offers a rollercoaster, small rides, and amusements. You will also be spoilt for options at the large food court, and you can even view various sea-life at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. There’s plenty to see and do for both young and old.

Surf or Sunbathe at Santa Monica Beach

One of the most popular beaches in the LA vicinity is Santa Monica Beach, which is the perfect place to catch some sun rays, surf the waves, or to play on the sand. There’s even a beach butler service that offers chairs, umbrellas, towels, refreshments, and float toys. You also won’t be short of fun activities to try on the beach or in the water, as you can go on a Segway tour or can rent a bicycle, pedal surrey, or pedal kart.

Explore Third Street Promenade

If there is one thing Santa Monica isn’t short on it is shopping and entertainment. The best place to visit in the city is Third Street Promenade, which offers many unique stores, food stalls, restaurants, and street performers. The pedestrian zone stretches three blocks wide from Wilshire Blvd to Broadway. It’s no wonder more people are choosing to move to the city, and you can read more here about how to find the best rental option.

Cycle or Skate Through the Strand

The Marvin Braude Beach Trail, locally known as The Strand, offers a 22-mile paved trail, which runs from Will Rogers State beach, situated north of Santa Monica, all the way to Torrance Beach, which is located south of the city. If you don’t own a bike or skates, you’ll be happy to learn there are many rental places, so you can spend the day cycling or skating your way across the trail. It’s a fun and active way to explore the very best of Santa Monica.

Shop and Dine at Santa Monica Place

Whether you want to shop until you drop or are looking for exceptional culinary experiences, you’ll want to make your way to Santa Monica Place. It’s home to some of the most popular retail stores in America, such as Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, which each offer beautiful clothing and accessories from local designers. Visitors can also view more than 100 pieces of original artwork on display at Bloomingdales. Of course, if you’re a foodie, you’re bound to be blown away by the many rooftop dining experiences at Santa Monica Place.

Visit Bergamot Station Arts Complex

If you appreciate both arts and culture, you must pay a visit to Bergamot Station, which offers a unique complex of art galleries located in a former warehouse space. While it’s a little bit off the beaten path, it’s a must-visit for lovers of contemporary art. You can visit the hard-to-find complex at 2525 Michigan Avenue.

See Historical Planes at the Museum of Flying

Flying into Santa Monica? You will not want to miss the Museum of Flying, which is located on the Santa Monica Airport grounds. The museum was founded by Donald Douglas Jr in 1976, who served as the President of the Douglas Aircraft Company. It now features exhibits not only connected to the aircraft company, but many historic planes, models, and replicas. Visitors can also stand inside a FedEx plane’s cockpit, which is a fun and unique experience. If you have a little bit of extra cash to spare on the trip, the Maxflight Simulator is worth the fee, as it can simulate what it’s like to fly in various planes – and it will even pitch and roll you 360 degrees, so you’ll be turned upside down inside the simulator.

Relax at the Annenberg Community Beach House

The Annenberg Community Beach House is the ultimate place to relax, unwind and have a little fun in Santa Monica. It serves as a public swimming pool, gallery, and community center, and it also offers various event and recreation spaces. For example, you can play beach volleyball, soccer, or tennis, which are available on a first come first served basis. It’s located on the north-end of Santa Monica Beach.

Laugh Aloud at Westside Comedy Theater

If you are looking for a destination to tickle your funny bone in Santa Monica, make Westside Comedy Theater your first port of call in the city. You are sure to laugh aloud as you watch talented improv, stand-up and variety performances at this popular theater, which is popular with both residents and tourists.

Watch Family-Friendly Entertainment at Broad Stage

If family-friendly entertainment is what you’re looking for, there will be a show for you at the 538 seat Broad Stage venue within Santa Monica College’s Performing Arts Center. You can book tickets to a variety of exceptional performances, which can range from contemporary to traditional shows from around the world.

Be Amazed by Magicopolis

You will certainly be amazed if you book tickets to Magicopolis, which is a unique magic show that’s hosted by magician Steve Spill and his wife, Bozena Wrobel. They will wow you as they perform big illusions that will leave you scratching your head, and their magic act will be complemented with both music and comedy performances. It’s not to be missed when in the city.

Take a Stroll Through Palisades Park

If you want to take a picture-perfect photograph of a Californian coastline, you must visit Palisades Park, which is located on the northern coast and offers breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the ocean. It’s the perfect way to unwind, relax and spend a leisurely day in the city.