Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica: A Coastal Paradise

Interesting Things to Do in Santa Monica: A Coastal Paradise

Nestled along the sun-kissed shores of Southern California, Santa Monica beckons visitors with its vibrant atmosphere, stunning beaches, and endless array of activities. From leisurely strolls along the iconic Santa Monica Pier to exploring the bustling Third Street Promenade, this coastal gem offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture buff, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, Santa Monica promises an unforgettable experience. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the most interesting things to do in this captivating seaside city.

Explore the Iconic Santa Monica Pier

No visit to Santa Monica is complete without a trip to its famous pier. Stretching out into the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Pier is an iconic landmark that exudes charm and nostalgia. Take a leisurely stroll along the wooden planks, soak in the breathtaking ocean views, and embrace the lively atmosphere. Thrill-seekers can satisfy their adrenaline cravings at Pacific Park, an amusement park located on the pier, featuring a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and other exhilarating rides. For a taste of nostalgia, visit the historic carousel, which has been delighting visitors since 1922. With its myriad of shops, restaurants, and street performers, the Santa Monica Pier offers endless entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Bask in the Sun at Santa Monica State Beach

With its pristine golden sands and crystal-clear waters, Santa Monica State Beach is a paradise for beach lovers. Stretching for 3.5 miles along the coastline, this picturesque beach offers ample opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Grab a beach towel, lather on some sunscreen, and spend the day soaking up the California sunshine. Adventurous souls can try their hand at surfing, paddleboarding, or beach volleyball, while those seeking relaxation can simply unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. With its stunning sunsets and panoramic ocean views, Santa Monica State Beach is the perfect spot to rejuvenate and unwind.

Wander Through the Santa Monica Farmers Market

For a taste of local flavor and culinary delights, head to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Held multiple times a week, this bustling market showcases the bounty of California’s agricultural abundance. Stroll through the vibrant stalls and sample an array of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and gourmet delicacies. Engage with local farmers and artisans, and learn about the region’s rich agricultural heritage. From juicy heirloom tomatoes to fragrant herbs and exotic fruits, the Santa Monica Farmers Market offers a feast for the senses. Don’t forget to pick up some artisanal goodies to enjoy a picnic in one of Santa Monica’s scenic parks or beaches.

Cycle Along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail

For outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Santa Monica’s scenic beauty, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail offers the perfect opportunity. Stretching for 22 miles along the coastline, this picturesque bike path winds its way from Pacific Palisades to Torrance, offering stunning ocean views and fresh sea breezes along the way. Rent a bike from one of the many rental shops in Santa Monica and embark on a leisurely ride along the trail. Explore charming beach communities, stop for a refreshing dip in the ocean, and soak in the coastal scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail is a must-do experience for anyone visiting Santa Monica.

Indulge in Shopping and Dining at Third Street Promenade

For a dose of retail therapy and culinary delights, head to the Third Street Promenade. This vibrant pedestrian mall is a shopper’s paradise, boasting an eclectic mix of boutiques, department stores, and specialty shops. From high-end fashion brands to unique artisanal gifts, you’ll find something to suit every taste and budget. After a day of shopping, tantalize your taste buds at one of the area’s many restaurants, cafes, and eateries. Whether you’re craving gourmet cuisine, international flavors, or classic comfort food, Third Street Promenade offers a diverse culinary scene to satisfy every palate. With its lively atmosphere, street performers, and vibrant energy, Third Street Promenade is a must-visit destination for shopping and dining enthusiasts alike.

Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture at the Bergamot Station Arts Center

Art aficionados will delight in exploring the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a vibrant hub of creativity and culture. Located in a former railroad station, this sprawling complex is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and exhibition spaces, showcasing the work of local and international artists. Wander through the galleries and immerse yourself in a diverse array of artistic styles and mediums, from contemporary paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media installations. Attend gallery openings, artist talks, and special events to engage with the local art community and gain insight into the creative process. With its dynamic atmosphere and ever-changing exhibitions, Bergamot Station Arts Center offers a stimulating cultural experience for art lovers of all ages.


Santa Monica is a treasure trove of attractions and activities, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches, exploring its vibrant shopping and dining scene, or immersing yourself in its rich cultural heritage, Santa Monica promises an unforgettable experience. From iconic landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier to hidden gems like the Bergamot Station Arts Center, this coastal paradise invites visitors to explore, discover, and indulge in all it has to offer. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an adventure to Santa Monica – where endless excitement and relaxation await.

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