There’s always something new to do in Los Angeles – to the point that people who have lived in the area for years are always finding new things to do! As such, the best way to take on this exciting, diverse city is to dive into one neighborhood at a time.

Many locals and tourists alike will agree there’s no better place to start than Santa Monica. Whether you just moved to L.A. or you’re in town for the weekend, this is a neighborhood worth getting to know.

If you’re at a loss for what to do in Santa Monica this weekend, consider the following things.

Hit the Beach and Go to the Pier

Some people end up in Santa Monica just because they want to go to the beach. The California coastline is famous for a reason, and just outside the main city of L.A., you can find many surfers, skaters, and even weightlifters enjoying the sun and ocean breeze.

But, there is so much more the shore has to offer! As you’re scanning the horizon and people watching everyone on the beach, the famous pier is sure to catch your eye. This is home to fun rides, classic carnival foods, and some of the best photo-ops in town.

Check out all the things to do at the Santa Monica pier to indulge your inner child and get the perfect Instagram vacation photo.

Find the Best Food

Once the excitement settles in a bit and you’ve done all there is to do on the beach, you’re going to get hungry. For the best food in Santa Monica, head straight to Big Dean’s.

This is a cafe right on the ocean front where you can still enjoy all the sights as you chow down on some amazing food. Big Dean’s is the place to bite down on a big juicy burger or order a basket of fries for the table and some tacos for yourself. Get into your full weekend mode with their selection of beers on tap, or kick back and take it easy.

Then, maybe head back to the pier for a sweet treat! Or, walk off your meal as you explore the boardwalk’s shops and stop to watch some local performers.

Support Local Art

Art is everywhere in Santa Monica. In addition to the break dancers, jugglers, and the occasional mime you’ll see on the boardwalk, there are many more sights waiting to amaze you.

There’s a beautiful mural around every corner and plenty of handmade goods to buy and bring back with you after your vacation. Or, see if you can find anything to decorate your new L.A. home with!

Whether you spend all your cash on souvenirs or drop some spare change into a performer’s bucket, there’s no denying all the great art around you. Plan to spend a good amount of time taking it all in, rather than filling your Santa Monica Saturday and Sunday schedule bouncing from place to place. You’re on weekend time, after all.

What to Do in Santa Monica: Have Fun!

No matter what you do in Santa Monica this weekend or all the weekends that follow, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself.

The Santa Monica community is incredibly welcoming and fun-loving. Let the local bars and shops take you in during your short stay or find your favorite places to make your go-to spots for what to do in Santa Monica every weekend.

Either way, adventure is always available. For more Santa Monica insights and fun facts, click here.