Santa Monica is the beautiful beach town in Los Angeles, completely laidback with that beachy vibe. To visit Santa Monica is an entirely different experience than that of downtown L.A. so be sure to make time for both! (More on L.A. here!) Enjoy all of the relaxation, sun, and fun of this town with these 10 best things to do in Santa Monica:
Best Things To Do in Santa Monica
- Santa Monica Pier
Naturally, you can’t visit Santa Monica without going out to the pier! Come try your luck with the boardwalk games, taste the dippin dots ice cream (personal fave!), and take a ride on the solar powered ferris wheel!
- Shop on the 3rd Street Promenade
Who doesn’t love a pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants? Get your shopping fix here on the 3rd Street Promenade, where you’ll find major brands and local brands alike.
- Eat at Del Frisco’s
The classic choice for a seaside dinner is Del Frisco’s. It’s right near the entrance to the pier and is the absolute perfect spot to enjoy dinner on the patio during sunset!
- Go on a bike ride
There are bike rental shops all over Santa Monica, and it’s the perfect way to get around. I definitely recommend staying somewhere close to the pier so that most everything you want to do is within walking distance. But a bike rental is perfect for exploring a bit further!
- Try an acai bowl
L.A. is the leader of the latest health food trends. As of this writing, green juice and acai bowls are king. Get your fix while you’re here (promise you’ll want it more than once!). I liked the acai banana berry bowl at Nekter on 2nd Street!
- Santa Monica Beach
The waters are usually pretty cold, so if you don’t want to brave a jump into the ocean, just lay out and get a tan on this huge stretch of beach!
- Laugh it up at a free comedy show
Every Thursday and Saturday at 8:30pm, the jokes start rolling at the improv comedy show called “Comedy in English.” It’s at the HI Hostel on 2nd street, don’t miss it!
- Relax in Palisades Park
This park sits between the pier and 3rd street, offering palm trees and sweeping views over the beach. Take a walk here and enjoy a snack from the food trucks that line the street next to the park.
- Try a waffle sandwich
This is just too cool to not try it! At Bruxie on 3rd, try a waffle sandwich. They come in all sorts of sweet and savory varieties, but the constant is a substitute of waffles for bread. And it’s goooood!!
- Ditch the crowds and have a beer!
Secret’s out, everyone knows that Santa Monica is awesome. So at the end of the day, when you’re done battling the crowds at the pier and the beach and the promenade, duck under the pier for a pint at Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café. It’s a no-frills beach bar and it’s the perfect way to end the day in this little slice of L.A. paradise!
I hope you have fun with these top 10 things to do in Santa Monica! I love it here, it’s all sun and sand (and NO stress!). I’m sure you’ll love it too! Have you been to Santa Monica before? What did you enjoy here? What would you add to my top 10 things to do in Santa Monica?
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