Santa Monica is a perfect getaway if you are an LA citizen and dislike going to far vacation destinations. Being situated between mountains and the ocean, this incredible city has much more to offer besides fantastic ever-summer weather and a non-stop beach. Here you will find numerous open-air stores, restaurants, farmers’ markets, over 20 various parks, prolonged bike lanes and surfing activities for all skill levels.

Whether you strive for lazy weekends swimming and sunbathing on the seaside or plan to paint the town red by attending beach clubs, bikini shopping or surfing, this beachfront California city satisfies all your needs and gift you unforgettable holidays. So, let’s review the list of the hottest Santa Monica spots and things to do here.

1. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

The SM Pier should be doubtless the first place to stopover. It is the city’s business card ending with the legendary Route 66. Placed in the heart of State Beach, the Pier is full of attractions for both friends and family holidays. Pacific Park attracts people with its astonishing Ferries wheel that is yet more eye-catching at nighttime with from-distance illuminating. If you are an extreme fan, the roller coaster is at your disposal in the Playland Arcade.

Moreover, apart from other waterfront attractions like bike rentals and souvenir stores, the underground Heal the Bay Aquarium will enhance you at first glance with a variety of local fish species. Speaking about Pier events, one of the largest music festivals occurs here. So visiting Santa Monica, you may immerse into the awesome music atmosphere of the Twilight on the Pier while enjoying breathtaking ocean views and sunsets.

2. Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach

This beach is a highly pop spot due to its 15-mile location from Hollywood. So beachside attractions, as well as amazing pics on well-known hills, are guaranteed. Reaching the beachfront is available from north and south, and surfing, jet skiing, paddleboarding and other entertainment appear on two sides.

In case you can’t live without physical activity, even on vacation, the Original Muscle Beach featuring up-to-date sports equipment is just the thing. In addition, a swimming pool and volleyball courts are there for you to diversify your leisure time.

Another great time-spending belongs to bikini shopping. Bikini shops in Santa Monica are adored by LA people as well as tourists around the globe. Waterfront stores will please the pickiest shopper yet with the vast bikini collections for every taste and purse. That way, if you forget to bring your swimsuit, no worries, you will certainly find your cup of tea.

3. Palisades Park

Palisades Park Temple Crag Santa Monica

If you are a nature connoisseur and promenade lover, then Palisades Park can’t leave you indifferent. The coastal park of 26-acre will fascinate everyone with a well-maintained area and never-ending ocean views. You may have a romantic date or get-togethers with friends among the varied flora, including rose bushes and palm trees. By following pedestrian bridges, your calm walk may turn into stunning sunset viewing by the ocean. What’s more, the Park often hosts different art installations, so cultural enrichment is accessible for tourists too.

4. Marvin Braude Bike Trail

More known as The Strand, this bike trail occupies the whole Santa Monica coastline. Thus, biking on this 22-mile road will be a memorable experience. Bicycling, running, walking, and rollerblading – this path suits everything. Due to its length, this route joins every beach of SM Bay and presents a wide range of ocean activities to choose from. No matter if you are searching for ultimate solitude, noise parties by the fire or sports under the sun, you will meet everything along The Strand.

5. 3rd Street

3rd Street is definitely what tourists like the most. Being the SM downtown, this enormous shopping area will ensure you a great pastime. Fancy restaurants, luxury hotels, fashionable boutiques, cute small shops and street performers are there to make your vacation diversified and remembered. The significant benefit is that this space never sleeps and you may select the activity for the soul at any time of day. Besides visiting the Augmented Reality Museum or cinema theater, this street is known for its astonishing landscapes. Appealing hedge sculptures and photo-booth at every turn form the overall space aesthetics.

6. Farmers Market

Regardless of rain or shine, SM will delight you with farmers’ markets all week round. The market has been one of the priceless local traditions since the previous century. In addition to the typical local food diversity, farmers’ markets involve events like live cooking shows, street artists and hot, just-cooked dishes. So attending the market, you may not only buy delicacies but get lifetime memories.

7. The Getty Villa

Getty Villa Santa Monica
Photo by Mattias Russo-Larsson on Unsplash

You just can’t skip dropping in a magnificent ancient Roman estate rebuilding aimed at saving the world’s artistic legacy. With its perplexed gardens and infinite pool, the Villa Gella doesn’t just stand as an architectural masterpiece but as a famous photoshoot location too. Building’s inside is as well spectacular as the outside area. Multiple displays of superior collections from around the globe regularly take place there. Ancient mummies, Roman coins and marble statues are waiting for you to touch the past and broaden your cultural outlook to a great extent.

8. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Photo by ronatory on Unsplash

From any Santa Monica spot, you may enjoy mountainous landscapes. So heading for the LA destination, you have the unique opportunity to revel simultaneously in mountain and sea vacation. Since tourists more and more select mountains for holidays, state parks like Leo Carrillo and Malibu Greek are again at their peak of popularity. If you visit these recreation areas, pristine nature and ocean panorama from a bird’s eye view will replenish your best memories collection for sure.

9. Annenberg Community Beach House

The given state-of-the-art beach club was previously the waterfront estate of a famed Hollywood actress. Nowadays, it is a famous seaside place to recharge the batteries. Owing to the large area, this entertainment facility will ensure all age visitors with the best-fitting activity. Kids may play in the recreation room for games while adults swim in the spacious pool, enjoy drinks in the open-space cafe or try paddleboarding.

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