From its mountains to its beaches, Santa Monica boasts picture-perfect settings complemented by a myriad of attractions. This stunning city is located on Santa Monica Bay and is just fifteen miles from Los Angeles. Unlike LA’s bustle, Santa Monica is more laid back in spite of the millions of travelers who visit each year. The city features amenities and attractions that are suitable for any age and taste.


01Santa Monica Pier

touring santa monica

As the focal point of the city, the Santa Monica Pier boasts throngs of attractions. More than 100 years old, this celebrated landmark is home to an amusement park that’s popular with locals and visitors alike. The pier boasts a carousel hippodrome, a video arcade, restaurants, pubs, and shops. Be sure to visit to enjoy these attractions as well as the astounding Pacific views.

espiegle / Getty Images


02Santa Monica Beach

visiting santa monica

The Santa Monica Beach is 3.5 miles long and boasts a postcard-worthy setting. There is plenty of sand to accommodate the summer crowds. There are also paved walkways for visitors to enjoy strolling or biking. Beachgoers enjoy swimming and water sports under the watchful eyes of lifeguards on patrol. The beach area also features throngs of shops and eateries, making this one of the most vibrant parts of the city.

CasarsaGuru / Getty Images


03Santa Monica Aquarium

things to do in santa monica

Located at the Santa Monica Pier, the city’s beloved aquarium is an exciting destination that features exciting marine exhibits and interactive touch tanks. The aquarium specializes in conservation and showcasing the creatures of South California waters. Visit to meet with its resident seahorses, jellyfish, and other marine life. When visiting, don’t forget to check its website as the aquarium features daily activities for visitors to enjoy.

Adam_Lazar / Getty Images


04Third Street Promenade

places to visit in santa monica

Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is home to shops, bistros, and other eateries. As you explore the promenade, you’ll find opportunities for street-side dining in a picturesque setting. The area is well known for its nightlife and everyday beauty. During the year, visitors will find that the promenade features a myriad of special events. If you enjoy shopping, don’t miss out on this area.

ViewApart / Getty Images


05Santa Monica Mountains

santa monica locals

The Santa Monica Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for the city. There are roughly twenty parks throughout the mountains where visitors can explore. Visitors can enjoy mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking along the many trails. There are even campsites if you want to spend an evening outdoors. As one of the city’s best-known natural attractions, the mountains are not to be missed.

Ed-Ni-Photo / Getty Images


06Museum of Flying

museums in santa monica

The Santa Monica Museum of Flying is a popular attraction for flight enthusiasts. The museum features 22,000 square feet of display space. With exhibits devoted to showcasing the history of flight, the museum delights young and old alike. Within its space, there are roughly 24 aircraft to witness. When visiting, you’ll also want to check out its aviation art and artifacts relating to flight.


07Santa Monica Airport Outdoor Antique and Collectibles Market

tourists santa monica

Head to the Santa Monica Airport for its celebrated Antique & Collectibles Market. Whether you’re hunting for a piece of vintage art or a one-of-a-kind collectible, you’ll find a slew of items to peruse at this well-known market. Held on the first and fourth Sunday of each month, the market attracts throngs of visitors who enjoy shopping for unique items.

ilbusca / Getty Images


08Palisades Park

santa monica sights

Located on Ocean Avenue, Palisades Park features 26 acres of green space that includes spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The park features a popular rose garden that is a delight to explore. There are picnic areas and benches where you can sit and enjoy the sunny weather. Be sure to keep a look out for the various plants that grow in the park like fig trees and eucalyptus that enhance the park’s natural beauty.

Lori Milazzo / Getty Images


09Broad Stage

santa monica places

When visiting Santa Monica, be sure to see what shows are offered at Broad Stage. The venue is Santa Monica College’s Performing Arts Center. The center features everything from classical to cutting-edge performances. Throughout the year, the center features plays, dance recitals, music, and more. The venues are technologically advanced and boast ultra-comfortable interiors to enhance your viewing pleasure.

FatCamera / Getty Images


10Santa Monica Farmers' Market

shopping in santa monica

Santa Monica features various farmers’ markets, but the most popular one is held on Wednesdays on Arizona Avenue. The produce is some of the best you’ll find, which is why so many restauranteurs shop the market for their ingredients. In the market, you’re sure to enjoy perusing the stalls for various foods, ingredients, handicrafts, and more. The market also frequently features live music too.

nortonrsx / Getty Images