What To Do & See When Exploring Downtown Santa Monica

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Downtown Santa Monica is a vibrant hub for tons of different activities, events, shops, restaurants, and more. Whether you’re shopping for a great outfit for a date, exploring the Santa Monica art scene, or browsing through all of the great local businesses, there is so much to see and do in downtown Santa Monica.


Art is flourishing in downtown Santa Monica, everywhere you go. You can browse accomplished art galleries from local artists, stop by the local comedy and cinema houses, visit a live theater, catch a movie, and enjoy unique craft businesses. Whatever art you’re into, downtown Santa Monica can accommodate. 


Third Street Promenade is your destination for shopping. Its three-block car-free location is home to shops of all shapes and sizes. Visit Santa Monica Place for upscale retail stores, enjoy local boutique shops, and beyond. Whether you’re looking for candles, jewelry, children’s clothes, pet goods, books, or apparel, you’ll find it at the Third Street Promenade. Check out the business directory to see the full list of businesses that you can visit.

Health & Fitness

If you love a good workout, downtown Santa Monica has a place for you. Whether you like to dance, cycle, do martial arts, practice yoga, or hit the gym, you’ll find it downtown. After your workout, there are many options for treating yourself with spa services, including unique massages, saunas, reflexology, and beyond. If you need to get your hair, nails, or skin rejuvenated, there’s a great spot to hit. 


Downtown Santa Monica is a top destination for events all year long. The Downtown Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is a popular choice, happening on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. It takes up four city blocks, and you can expect to find the highest quality and largest selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Southern California, as well as artisan cheeses, fresh baked goods, local seafood, and meat.

In the winter, you’ll want to be sure to check out the light shows, tree lighting ceremony, events with Santa, ice skating, and plaza film nights. 

Getting Around

Downtown Santa Monica is meant to be explored by foot, but you can also jump on the Expo light-rail line or ride a bike through the city-wide bike share program. The Big Blue Bus, the L.A. County Metro, and the train are all available to bring you in and out of downtown Santa Monica, as well. Download a Walking Map to make sure you know where you’re going at all times.

Enjoy A Meal On The Boardwalk At Big Dean’s

When you’ve seen all that you want to see downtown for the day, come by Big Dean’s for a great meal, drinks, and an invigorating atmosphere on the boardwalk by the Santa Monica Pier. There is something for everyone to enjoy on the menu.

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