Wondering about the best things to do in Santa Monica? Check out this extensive list of great activities you can enjoy at Santa Monica Pier, the beach, and downtown.
Santa Monica Pier
One of the most famous destinations of Santa Monica — and coupled with its beach likely the most iconic — Santa Monica Pier offers a unique set of experiences for locals and tourists alike. Families and those enjoying the sights solo will find a variety of great things to do here, including riding the ferris wheel and roller coaster, visiting the aquarium, enjoying the fairground, and experiencing the historic architecture of the Looff Hippodrome. You’ll also find a variety of outdoor films and musical events in addition to great restaurants.
Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica State Beach offers a relaxed vibe — assuming you stay clear of the hustle and bustle of the iconic pier. If you’re looking for a great festive setting complete with bathrooms, bike packs, and plenty of parking, Santa Monica State Beach offers a relaxing and enjoyable getaway for those folks just looking for a nice day at the beach. You also don’t want to miss the original muscle beach — a hangout for some of the buffest folks in Santa Monica. Don’t worry, though — these hunks contribute to the overall festive atmosphere on the beach!
Downtown Santa Monica
While most people think of the beach and the pier when they envision Santa Monica, the downtown area isn’t to be missed. With a variety of retail outlets, beauty parlors, arts experiences, and dining options, you’ll be hard-pressed to have a boring time in downtown Santa Monica. Some of the most incredible experiences to be had in downtown Santa Monica include shopping at the Third Street Promenade pedestrian shopping zone, visiting the Santa Monica Place shopping center, discovering the wonders at the Museum of Flying, and more.