Whether you’re coming to Santa Monica on a work trip, a planned vacation, or on a day trip, there is so much to do and see in this great city. It’s hard to decide what to do.
While it will be hard to figure out which one to go to first, there are three main areas that are your must-see destinations: the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Beach, and the Third Street Promenade. Here’s what you should check out at each of them.
Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is one of the top tourist destinations on the west coast for a good reason – beautiful views, unique local businesses, great events, and top attractions for everyone to enjoy. There are so many must-see sights that you probably can’t enjoy them all in one day.
Pacific Park is one of the top attractions on the Santa Monica Pier that is not to be missed. It is home to twelve rides that the whole family can enjoy, including the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel, Pacific Wheel. You’ll also want to make sure to check out the historic Looff Hippodrome Carousel, Playland Arcade, and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
Beyond these top destinations on the Pier, there are a ton of unique local businesses, activities, and events that you need to check out. It’s even great for just a stroll at night after a long day on the beach. And don’t forget to be there for the sunset.
Santa Monica Beach
If you’re coming to Santa Monica, you’re going to want to come to Santa Monica Beach to relax under the sun, enjoy the waves, and perhaps even partake in surfing or paddleboarding. Santa Monica Beach is also home to tons of public beach volleyball courts and the Annenberg Community Beach House.
There are all sorts of unique play areas for everyone on Santa Monica Beach, such as the North Beach Playground, Chess Park, and the original Muscle Beach. The original Muscle Beach is a workout area that features gymnastics equipment, and at Chess Park, you can play a game of chess on one of the many tables and chess boards.
Third Street Promenade
Beyond visiting all of the amazing spots on the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach, you’re going to want to check out the Third Street Promenade. It’s your Santa Monica shopping hub that is in the middle of all of the action. Cars aren’t even allowed in this three-block epicenter.
Visit the Third Street Promenade for the farmers market, upscale shopping, local artists, small craft businesses, and more, in the midst of street performers and locals of all shapes and sizes. You’ll love walking around the Third Street Promenade at any time of day.
Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café
After a long day of exploring Santa Monica’s top destinations, stop by the Santa Monica original, Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café, on the boardwalk for a satisfying meal and drinks in an open-air dining atmosphere. Big Dean’s has something on the menu for everyone.