An up-market city home to surfers, students, and celebrities, this is where to enjoy one of the famous beaches, a historic pier and great nightlife of the Los Angeles area.
Santa Monica has been one of LA’s most fashionable beach cities for decades. It’s easy to see why with its famous beaches, historic pier, balmy year-round weather and a trendy crowd that frequents the many cafés, boutiques and bars.
Grab a towel and head to the well-maintained beach, which stretches for 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers). The sand is raked daily and is shared by volleyball players, swimmers and sunbathers throughout the year.
For a bit of fun, check out the historic Santa Monica Pier where all the family will enjoy the Pacific Park amusement center. There’s also a small aquarium, shops and arcade.
Wander between the cafés, bookstores, and cinemas of the Third Street Promenade. Check out Main Street for more shops, or go celebrity watching on Montana Avenue. Admire quality top-notch art, visit the Bergamot Station Arts Center. You’ll find the Santa Monica Museum of Art as well as several other smaller galleries. In the evening, drop by the Santa Monica Playhouse for a show, then head out to choose from dozens of bars and restaurants.
From Third St Promenade head to Palisades Park. It stretches for 25 acres (10 hectares), and its treelined paths give a great view of the ocean. There are plenty of spots to picnic, read and watch the world go by.
If you feel like picking up the pace, rent a bike and go for a ride along the 22-mile (35-kilometer) Marvin Braude Bike Trail. This trail passes beneath the Santa Monica Pier and runs mostly along the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Monica is home to a sophisticated and fun crowd. You can hit the beach, party, go celebrity watching, or check out the well-developed art scene and eclectic shops.