1. Santa Monica Pier
As an iconic symbol and the near end of the historic Route 66, Santa Monica Pier hardly needs an introduction. It has been recognized as one of the most Instagrammed landmarks in Los Angeles. The Pier has games, food, attractions and is an amazing spot to snap a picture that combines a beach view and endless fun. Bring the whole family and have fun at Pacific Park with the first and only solar-powered Pacific Wheel and the renowned West Coaster.
Stay at one of Santa Monica’s 38 hotels during the region’s 300 days of sunshine and enjoy the various amenities and specials provide year-round. Every hotel offers something different from a chic retreat or a family vacation to unique value-adds like free bikes to use or complimentary fitness classes for guests. Come experience something new in Santa Monica with mouth-watering menus, some of the best pool bars, and excellent vacation packages.
Ocean View Hotel
As a premier shopping destination, Santa Monica features a diverse mix of shops where visitors can purchase everything from surfboards to designer clothing all in one day! Strolling down Montana Avenue is perfect for finding upscale, chic items. Main Street offers eclectic and beachy boutiques that are ideal for the cool hipster or a trendsetter. Downtown Santa Monica and Santa Monica Place offer every brand imaginable and is home to the indistinguishable Third Street Promenade.
4. Restaurant Scene
Santa Monica has over 400 restaurants that can accommodate any budget. Recognized as a birthplace for “California” and “fusion” food, the cuisine is created from organic and locally sustainable ingredients from the farmers markets. Look no further for world-class cuisine where in some instances, diners can enjoy a side of coastal views and an ocean breeze.
5. Farmers Market
Santa Monica’s four weekly farmers markets have impacted the dining scene throughout Los Angeles and have inspired farm-to-table menus. The fours farmers markets occur weekly and are: Main Street on Sundays in Heritage Square, Virginia Avenue Park on Saturdays and Downtown Santa Monica on Wednesdays and Saturdays on Arizona Avenue and Second Street. Over the years, the Santa Monica Farmers Market has been named one of the best markets by both Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler.
When the sun goes down, Santa Monica’s eclectic nightlife spots come to life. There is something for everyone whether it is grabbing a drink along the trendy Main Street bars, sipping on innovative cocktails at stylish lounges or relaxing at a neighborhood gastropub. Santa Monica hotels also feature some of the most exciting and elegant bars in the city.
7. Arts & Culture
With a mixture of urban and beach culture, Santa Monica is home to over 120 museums and art galleries, nearly 40 of which reside at Bergamot Station. Become in tune with local artists and their cutting edge artwork or take in a powerful performance at one of the astounding theater locations. The artistic culture can be felt while walking along the streets with colorful murals and historic architecture that gives the city life.
8. Beachside Activities
Wellness is an essential to daily lifestyle for the Santa Monica local. Enjoy Santa Monica’s near 300 days of sunshine with some beachfront yoga classes, or cycling down the 22-mile South Bay Bicycle Trail that stretches along the Pacific coastline. This beachfront city is also home to a host of fitness trends from aerial silks to competitive spinning and HIIT classes that are coveted by celebrities and locals and can be tried in studios across town.
The laidback beach vibes of the city are here for a reason. That’s because Santa Monica has a surf culture that stems from the beginning of the 20th century. Local surfers can be spotted all around town, not just on the beach. Try a class, watch the surfers or head to a board shop to experience a part of the surf life in Santa Monica.
Santa Monica has a reputation for producing some of the most gorgeous beach sunsets. Who doesn’t love seeing the sun move down a blushing skyline and disappearing along the glowing horizon while hearing the sound of ocean waves crash along the beach? If you experience a worthy sunset use #SantaMonicaSunset for a chance to be featured as our sunset of the week!
The Top 5 Fun Things to Do at the Santa Monica Pier!
If you find yourself staying in
hotels near Santa Monica Pier
this summer, get ready for a good time, as there is always something to do! There are many opportunities for shopping and dining, however, be sure to go to the Santa Monica Pier where fun times are waiting for you, your family, and friends.
If you love music, then be sure to check out the
Twilight Concert Series
at the pier. All through the summer, various artists from a wide range of genres will come to the pier and give audiences a FREE concert! That’s right, every Thursday night from 7–10pm, there will be a FREE concert at the pier! Some of the genres include beach rock, alternative rock, reggae, soul, Latin, and even Arabic electro! Make a day of it, go to the beach, and stake your spot before the concert begins.
While you’re at the pier, be sure to visit Pacific Park – the amusement park right on the beach – and get on all the rides to get your adrenaline up and going! There are all the classics such as a Ferris wheel, a Scrambler, bumper cars, and the West Coaster roller coaster ride. You can purchase an unlimited ride wristband for $24.95 or $16.95 for children 7 years of age and younger. If you do not want a wristband, you can buy single tickets that are either $6 or $4, depending on the ride. Throughout the summer, the park is usually opened from 11am – 11pm.
If you’re looking to educate family and friends while having fun, visit the Santa Monica Aquarium ! Located just below the Carousel at the Pier, come by to the marine-education center and see over 100 species of marine plants and animals that are found at Santa Monica. You can even get the chance to watch a shark feeding! The aquarium is open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 2–6pm and Saturday through Sunday from 12:30–6pm.
All the fun and excitement might get you hungry, but don’t worry, there’s always someplace great to eat on the pier. Bubba Gump’s is a local favorite where you can go for all your shrimp and seafoodneeds! If you love shrimp, this is definitely the place to go. If you’re looking for something else, try out Mariasol Mexican restaurant, also at the pier. Known for their mega grande margaritas, the restaurant also serves authentic Mexican food and outdoor dining, so you can enjoy the view of the beach while you eat.
Enjoy the Sights and Sounds of the U.R. Art Festival
Do you love summer music festivals, House music, and having a good time with friends? If so, the U.R. Art Music Festival is just for you! The Festival was formed by three DJs (Rob Garza, Philipp Jung, and John Vander) who just wanted to offer Los Angeles a great festival to spread positivity and good times all around. Focused on House and Techno music, the festival also offers an opportunity for good vibes, dancing, music, food, and art. The U.R. Art Festival will take place on July 20th at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. Tickets available now! While staying in Santa Monica, people of all ages are encouraged to attend this unique and exciting festival!
The event will begin at 12pm and the music, dancing, and fun will continue all throughout the day! Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean that the fun has to, because the festival will continue all through the night until 11pm. Aside from the great music that you’ll be able to listen to at the festival, you will also be able to see fashion, participate in interactive art projects, and choose from a variety of delectable foods. If you have children, feel free to bring them along, as U.R. Art is dedicated to everyone having a good time. In fact, there will even be activities offered to children 4 years and older. When the sun is still up, there will even be a designated area for kids to play in!
Headlining the U.R. Art Festival on July 20th is Guillaume Coutu-Dumont hailing from Montreal. Known for his music that manages to subtly cross genres, he somehow flawlessly ties together the sultry feel of Jazz, the propulsion of techno, and the awesome groove of house. He is an artist you will surely not want to miss. Other artists in attendance will be soulful funk artist Asadinho, as well as Sean Patrick, Eduardo Castillo, John Wander, and Solar.