Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica, CA: A Guide to Enjoying the Best of the West Coast

Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica, CA: A Guide to Enjoying the Best of the West Coast


Explore the Iconic Santa Monica Pier

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Santa Monica is its historic pier. Stretching out into the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Pier offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From amusement park rides and arcade games to street performers and live music, there’s always something exciting happening on the pier. Don’t forget to grab a classic funnel cake or indulge in fresh seafood while enjoying stunning views of the coastline.

Stroll Along Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica State Beach is a quintessential Southern California destination, known for its pristine sands and inviting waters. Take a leisurely stroll along the expansive shoreline, soak up the sun, or try your hand at beach volleyball. With amenities like bike rentals and beachfront cafes, you can easily spend a relaxing day enjoying the coastal ambiance.

Shop and Dine on Third Street Promenade

For those in search of retail therapy and culinary delights, Third Street Promenade is the place to be. This bustling pedestrian-only thoroughfare is lined with an array of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, unique souvenirs, or delicious cuisine from around the world, you’ll find it all here. Plus, the street performers and entertainers add to the vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a hidden gem showcasing the rich marine life of the Pacific Ocean. From colorful fish and mesmerizing jellyfish to playful sea otters, the aquarium offers an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Explore interactive exhibits, participate in educational programs, and gain a deeper appreciation for the ocean and its inhabitants.

Bike or Skate Along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail

The Marvin Braude Bike Trail, also known as The Strand, is a scenic pathway that runs along the coast of Santa Monica. Rent a bike or grab your skateboard and cruise along this picturesque route, taking in panoramic views of the ocean and passing by iconic landmarks. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, the bike trail offers a refreshing way to explore the beauty of Santa Monica.

Discover Art and Culture at the Bergamot Station Arts Center

Art enthusiasts won’t want to miss a visit to the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a dynamic hub for contemporary art in Santa Monica. Housed in a former railway station, this sprawling complex is home to numerous galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. Explore diverse exhibitions, attend gallery openings and artist talks, and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Santa Monica.

Experience Thrills at Pacific Park

Situated on the Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park is an iconic amusement park offering fun-filled attractions for the whole family. From classic rides like the Ferris wheel and roller coaster to carnival games and delicious treats, there’s no shortage of entertainment here. Take a spin on the Pacific Wheel for breathtaking views of the coastline or challenge your friends to a game of bumper cars. With its lively atmosphere and waterfront location, Pacific Park is a must-visit destination in Santa Monica.

Relax in Palisades Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in the tranquil oasis of Palisades Park. Perched atop the bluffs overlooking the ocean, this scenic park offers sweeping views of the coastline and Santa Monica Pier. Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways, enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawns, or simply sit back and savor the serenity. With its lush landscaping and panoramic vistas, Palisades Park provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Indulge in Culinary Delights at the Santa Monica Farmers Market

For a taste of the local flavor, head to the Santa Monica Farmers Market, where you’ll find an abundance of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and gourmet treats. Held multiple times a week, this bustling market showcases the best of California’s bounty, from organic fruits and vegetables to handcrafted cheeses and artisanal breads. Sample seasonal delights, chat with local farmers and artisans, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culinary scene of Santa Monica.

Catch a Show at the Santa Monica Playhouse

Experience the magic of live theater at the Santa Monica Playhouse, a beloved cultural institution in the heart of the city. From classic plays and musicals to original productions and children’s theater, there’s always something captivating on stage. Enjoy a night of entertainment with family and friends, support local talent, and be transported to new worlds through the power of storytelling.


Santa Monica, with its unique blend of sun, sand, and sophistication, offers endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, cultural enrichment, or simply a relaxing day by the beach, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant coastal city. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to experience the best of the West Coast in Santa Monica, California.

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