Bucket List: Top 10 Best things to see and do in Santa Monica, California
Known for its summery vibes throughout the town, Santa Monica is certainly a beautiful destination, combining the natural environment and world-class hotels. Also, there are lots of best things to do in Santa Monica, California, from beach bumming or exploring natural recreation sites.
So to know more about Silicon Beach and other tourist attractions, here are the 10 best things to do in Santa Monica, California.
1. Santa Monica State Beach & Pier
Ranking first on the list and the top must-see if you’re hitting LA is visiting the iconic landmark the Santa Monica State Beach and Pier. The site features small amusement parks, viewing decks, a fishing area, a carousel, entertainers, shops, restaurants, pubs, and video arcades. Also, visitors can enjoy swimming at the beach and have fun with families or friends at the pier.
2. 3rd Street Promenade
The 3rd Street Promenade located at the center of Downtown Santa Monica is an ideal spot for socializing, dining, and shopping. The outdoor shopping district is filled with the most famous brands, like Nike and The Cheesecake Factory restaurant. There are also some talented musicians performing along the block that will make your day lively.
3. Kick Back Beachside
Apart from the famous Santa Monica Beach, there are many beaches in town, such as the Kick Back Beachside. The area is also a well-known summer spot where crowds flock during sunny days, featuring picnic tables, wooden pathways, bathrooms, playgrounds, and lifeguards.
4. Palisades Park
On the other hand, if you’re trying to avoid beach crowds, you can still enjoy the ocean view at the Palisaded Park. The 26.4 acres park sits on top of the bluffs of Santa Monica, filled with iconic palms blowing in the ocean breeze and offering picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean.
5. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Los Angeles is one of only two megacities in the world (the other is Mumbai) that have big cats living within the city limits. For an adventurous and nature-tripping explore the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area offers exciting activities. Visitors can experience hiking 500 miles of trails, visit historical and cultural areas, or enjoy the beautiful beaches of Malibu. Also, visiting the site is truly a wild outdoor experience where you can enjoy the urban jungle, watch historical films, and encounter wildlife inhabitants.
6. Sweet Rose Creamery
Beating Los Angeles summer heat is best done while indulging with local ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery. The ice cream parlor serves homemade sweet treats made from organic ingredients and several toppings options. They also have seasonal flavors such as Mexican Chocolate, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and so much more.
7. Annenberg Community Beach House
Another must-visit in town is the historic and beautiful Annenberg Community Beach House. The public beach facility stands on the former demolished 110-room mansion of Marion Davies, now featuring playgrounds, pools, beach courts, and hosts community and cultural events. It is also an ideal place for gathering or celebrating events with family or friends.
8. South Bay Bicycle Trail
The South Bay Bicycle Trail is ideal for bikers and fitness enthusiasts; the South Bay Bicycle Trail is a 22 miles biking path along the beach, with bike rentals in the area. The bicycle trail starts from Will Rogers State Beach and ends on Torrance State Beach and is best for enjoying the morning sun.
9. Tongva Park
Tongva Park is another relaxing and entertaining place ideal for families with kids. The site’s name was from the Tongva indigenous people that inhabited LA for thousands of years. It has playground, amphitheater, picnic grounds, fountains, and overlooking views of Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean.
10. Broad Stage
If you’re into theaters, catching a show at The Broad Stage is the best way to experience and enjoy different art performances. The facility is the biggest venue in town with 500 seating capacity, featuring dance, musical, orchestra, and play all year round.
- 15 Best Things to Do in Santa Monica (CA), The Crazy Tourist
- Lane, (2019), 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Santa Monica, CA, Planetware
Our Top Hotel Picks for Santa Monica, CA
- Ocean Park Hotel Santa Monica [Check rates and availability] – Across the road from the Santa Monica Municipal Airport, this basic hotel is served by a Big Blue Bus stop, which travels 3.4 miles to Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade pedestrian entertainment area.
- Ocean View Hotel [Check rates and availability] – This casual hotel opposite Palisades Park is a 7-minute walk from both the shopping and amusements at the Santa Monica Pier and the upscale shopping and dining options on the 3rd Street Promenade.
- Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites [Check rates and availability] – Set a 12-minute walk from Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean; this polished hotel off I-10 is 15 minutes’ walk from Santa Monica State Beach and 40 miles from Disneyland Resort.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Santa Monica, CA, and nearby cities? Check out our list of cheap Santa Monica, CA hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.
Santa Monica CA Travel and Tour Packages
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