Below is our list of best places to visit & things to do in Santa Monica, California
Annenberg Community Beach House
Take a look at this community beach house that was formerly reserved for the most affluent residents.
Built in the 1940s on the estate, the Sand & Sea Club is now known as the Annenberg Community Beach House.
This “Gold Coast” treasure has played home to a slew of well-known events. For Hollywood’s elite, it was a popular resort.
The state presently holds the Annenberg Community Beach House after undergoing repairs. It’s one of Santa Monica’s most popular attractions.
A beautiful oceanfront recreational facility is accessible to the public within the complex today.
Some amenities available at the Beach House are a museum of local art, a pool, a splash pad for youngsters, beach canopies, a volleyball court, and soccer fields.
As a cultural hub with a breathtaking ocean view, it’s a great weekend vacation location.
Address: 415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Bergamot Station Arts Center
Check out the world-renowned Bergamot Station Arts Center while you’re there.
An international art area known as Bergamot Station is home to more than twenty art galleries, including the newly built Santa Monica Museum of Art.
In 1994, the municipality of Santa Monica purchased the abandoned site and reopened the Bergamot Station Arts Center as a gallery building.
Until the 1960s, the gallery’s current purpose was as a trolley stop.
The museum rotates exhibits featuring the work of artists from all around the world, showcasing everything from classical to contemporary art.
Unique abstract sculptural art is constructed from instantly recognized objects presented in a dynamic gallery setting.
No matter your taste in art, you’re sure to find something to appreciate here.
The inside of the house is not as simple as the front.
Address: 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
California Heritage Museum
Let us stop to ponder on the richness of California’s cultural legacy. The California Heritage Museum is a must-see.
On Main Street, the California Heritage Museum is housed in a late 19th-century Victorian tower designed by architect Sumner P. Hunt.
If it weren’t for the posters, the people, and the few food trucks parked along the road, you’d never guess it was a museum.
You’ll discover various exhibits representing California’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and customs at the museum.
Victorian-era furniture fills the first level. At the same time, the upper floor of the museum is devoted to a rotating art exhibition.
The California Heritage Museum has a unique fusion of ancient and modern artefacts in its exhibits.
You’ll see everything, from Andy Warhol (a famous American artist) to antiquities and stunning tapestries in various styles and topics.
The food trucks outside are ready to serve you if you feel hungry.
Address: 2612 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Chomp Eatery and Juice Station
There’s nothing more Californian than cold-pressed juice made from locally grown, seasonal produce. Nothing at all.
If you’re looking for a tasty dinner without the guilt, stop by Chomp Cafe and Juice Station in the small retail center on Santa Monica Boulevard around the 17th, just next to DK’s Donuts (another must-see).
You may choose from an extensive range of gluten- and dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan options on the menu. Cold-pressed juices are created fresh and on-site in over 30 varieties.
There are a variety of fruit, green, root, and citrus juices to pick from.
Grass-fed beef and free-range fowl are also used to prepare their burgers.
Using these as an example, it’s clear that nutritious food doesn’t have to be boring or boring-tasting.
Get their burgers, sandwiches, and melts if you’re in the mood for something different.
Is this the type of cuisine that you’d cheerfully scarf down?
Address: 1612 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Heal the Bay Aquarium
Many attractions may be found on the Santa Monica Pier, including a Heal the Bay Aquarium!
Since its inception in 1984, Heal the Bay has been an outspoken advocate for protecting the Santa Monica Bay watershed.
They protect coasts, repair rivers, and enforce clean water regulations to preserve public health.
At the Santa Monica Pier underneath Heal the Bay Aquarium, visitors and residents alike may learn about the variety of marine life that inhabits Santa Monica Bay.
At this little aquarium, visitors may interact with more than 100 local species and participate in educational events, such as feeding the animals.
Getting up and close with marine life in their touch tanks is easy.
Among the numerous kinds of marine life, you can see different types of sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays.
Visitors were happy with their experiences, despite the park’s small size. Even though there is a small entry fee, they felt it is worth it.
Address: 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401
No, the name is just fine. As it is, that’s exactly what you’ve spelt out.
The location to go if you’re intrigued by nature
Parke Meeke, the creator of jAdis, has a significant collection of scientific artefacts and is a designer and builder of some of the items.
Both a museum and a store are possibilities. As a whole, the location defies fitting neatly into any category.
While Meeke’s lifelong fascination with early computer technology can be seen throughout the gallery, jAdis is a welcoming haven for the curious.
Additionally, the museum has a collection of early optics, photography equipment, aeroplane and planetary models, and historical items.
If you are a collector or just a curious traveller, the things in their shop are perfect for you.
There are a few things you might recognize from television and film. There’s a good chance you’ll realize something.
Address: 2701 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Visit the famed companion of Santa Monica Pier.
The Looff Hippodrome is an architectural gem. It was completed a year after Looff Pleasure Pier (now known as the Santa Monica Pier).
The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome is not far from the Santa Monica Pier and the Newcomb Pier.
They were both built by a well-known German architect who designed them.
The hippodrome was Charles Looff’s final project as a master carousel builder and artisan.
Hippodromes (Greek open-air stadiums) were the typical venue for chariot racing, but Charles had other ideas.
The initial concept of his structure comprised a carousel, circular swings, a roller coaster, and a dance hall.
Many movies have been shot in the hippodrome, including The Sting, a 1973 Academy Award-winning film.
It was also honoured as a National Historic Landmark and a member of the Register of Historic Places.
A visit to Santa Monico would be incomplete without a stop at this location!
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Dinner at one of Santa Monica’s renowned restaurants sounds like a great idea.
Santa Monica’s Mercado dishes traditional and contemporary Mexican fare and an impressive collection of tequilas (over 60, *wink*).
At Mercado in Santa Monica, the authentic essence of New Mexican cuisine is expressed via the combination of food, environment, and tradition.
For an intimate, high-end dining experience that is both approachable and friendly, the main dining room’s distinctive combination of modern and traditional design elements is the right setting.
His and co-owner Jesse Gomez’s Mexican origin motivated Chef Jose Acevedo to adapt a family recipe for his menu.
The atmosphere is comfortable and refined, with an inviting blend of high-end design elements.
The food at Mercado is made from scratch, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the staff is kind and informed.
Due to high demand, we recommend making a reservation well in advance.
Address: 1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Museum of Flying
Aviation geeks, prepare yourself!
In terms of aviation and space museums, this is the largest non-profit museum in the world!
The Museum of Flying is a few kilometers from Santa Monica Airport.
Twenty-two thousand square feet of exhibits and displays enable visitors to learn about aviation technology and aircraft development.
In addition to a Boeing 727 nosepiece and a Wright Flyer replica, the museum holds more than two dozen aircraft.
Additionally, it is home to a slew of historic aviation artefacts, documents, and memorabilia.
Not to add, this is an excellent spot for families!
Interactive displays and a movie theater are available in the children’s area.
In addition to a plane display area outside, the facility offers guided tours and a flight simulator for visitors.
In this museum, you may relive your childhood fantasies of flying.
Address: 3100 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405
On the West Coast, Pacific Park is the only amusement park constructed on a pier!
The world’s first and only solar-powered Ferris Wheel may be seen in Pacific Park!
People are picked up every few minutes from the bottom of the 85-foot-long rotor, which rotates at a speed of 2.5 revolutions per minute.
It’s adorned with more than 174,000 LED lights.
If you don’t ride the Ferris Wheel, it’s still a beautiful sight! Computer-generated light shows may be viewed from kilometers away during the nighttime.
Passengers may see from Malibu to Palms Verdes from the observation deck’s vantage point.
You won’t even realize you’re in the air when you see the vista from 85 feet.
In addition to this mainstay, Pacific Park’s amusement park offers eleven more attractions.
When you’re hungry after shouting your lungs out, head to their food plaza above the water for some genuine California cuisine.
Address: 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Not on your list of things to do. Palisades Park is a must-see as one of Santa Monica’s most popular tourist attractions.
Some of the most stunning coast views can be seen at this bluff-top park between Ocean Avenue and the beach.
See the clusters of roses, palm palms, and huge ocean vistas combined to make one of the most attractive outdoor areas in the city.
It covers an area of 26 acres and is a popular destination for visitors and residents alike.
Having been created in 1892, the park was later modified to include walking landscaping with various flora.
When the city cut down trees in 1913, they left behind eucalyptus wood scraps used to build a historic fence.
The historical park is a popular destination for tourists enjoying the stunning environment.
Address: Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
If you haven’t included it yet, make sure you do!
Pono Burger is a burger establishment on the West Coast that isn’t your average burger joint.
Pono’s classic American burger is made with organic, grass-fed beef and locally sourced ingredients.
Chef Makani maintains her Hawaiian roots while preparing traditional American fare with a twist.
Each item on the shop’s menu has the same purpose: to provide the community with well-balanced, nutritious meals.
To create the Piku “Fig” Burger, which has a house-made caramelized fig jam with a hidden ingredient (alcohol), trustworthy local farmers provide the organic beef patties and the secret ingredient (alcohol).
The ambience, described as “simple and contemporary,” is reminiscent of an old farmhouse and makes for a great eating experience.
Come to this restaurant if you’re sick and tired of eating fatty, oily (but strangely still dry) hamburgers.
Address: 829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Route 66 End of the Trail Sign
It is the most well-known road in the world.
Despite the Interstate Highway System’s impact, 85 percent of this East-to-West migratory route survived and is still in use today.
Santa Monica Pier is where the Route 66 End of the Trail Sign is located—taking in the view of the Pacific.
The original Highway 66 sign’s whereabouts have been the subject of several speculations, some of which hold that it is only a cinematic prop.
Route 66 End of the Trail Marker in Santa Monica is a popular tourist destination despite its unofficial status as a non-official highway sign.
Many believe the rumours and theories enhance the whole experience.
Look for the sign and take a picture to show your pals if you’re already at Santa Monica Pier.
Address: 330 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Santa Monica Camera Obscura
An antique pinhole camera in Santa Monica still captures real-time photos of Santa Monica Beach through a century-old lens 123 years after it was installed.
Camera Obscura was invented by the mayor of Santa Monica in 1898 to attract tourists to the area.
Ten cents was charged to everyone who wanted to view what he had to offer. People from all around the world flocked to Santa Monica to catch a glimpse of Jones’ camera.
Los Angeles lent a copy for a time since it proved so popular.
It is currently headquartered in a parking facility where lessons and events are held and serve as an art and culture center.
A hidden chamber with an enormous white circle in the middle will be your destination, where you may control the camera’s focus by twisting a wheel.
Nearby Palisades Park, Santa Monica Camera Obscura may be found. Please stop by if you’re in the neighbourhood.
Address: 1450 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
In the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, there are more than 20 parks to choose from and other recreational opportunities.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is home to Malibu’s beaches, trails, and cultural landmarks, all of which may be found close to one another.
One of the most significant preserved Mediterranean-type habitats may be found in these mountains.
As a result, a landscape rich in natural resources may be found in the Santa Monica Mountains and Mediterranean climate.
SMMNRA is home to around 1,000 plant species and over 500 different animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
These mountains are home to some of the best-preserved archaeological sites on the planet.
It is the nation’s largest urban national park and part of California’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
Archaeological sites dating back over 10,000 years may be found throughout the park.
They give a unique appeal to an already major part in the history and cultural significance of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Address: 26876 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302
Santa Monica Pier
Check out Santa Monica’s most iconic landmark!
It’s impossible not to notice the world-famous Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Beach Pier as soon as you arrive in Santa Monica, California.
Located on Santa Monica’s westernmost tip, the Santa Monica Pier serves as an iconic landmark of this beautiful seaside community.
Indeed, this is one of Santa Monica’s most famous and well-known locales.
Many films and music videos have used it as a backdrop.
It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ocean sounds as you wander down the pier.
Enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Santa Monica Pier by savouring a few moments of peace.
Family-friendly activities and entertaining street entertainers abound. One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the public pier offers stunning vistas and an intriguing past.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Santa Monica Stairs
Check out these gyms in the area if you want a workout. Consider the Santa Monica Stairs as an alternative.
It can be the wrong choice for someone with asthma.
Many health-conscious people are flocking to these steps, despite how strange it may sound.
If you don’t know where to look, it’s hard to see amid the natural landscape of Santa Monica.
With three landings between each stride, it shoots straight and wide across.
To put it another way, it’s equivalent to climbing an eight-story building. This one, on the other hand, has a stunning outlook. In addition, you’ll be surrounded by both residents and visitors.
On your approach to concluding your workout, you’ll be surrounded by Santa Monica natives and other health freaks.
Look around and admire how far you’ve come, even when you’re exhausted and sweating buckets.
Address: 699 Adelaide Dr, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Sweet Rose Creamery
Anyone who says ice cream is exclusively for exceptional occasions is wrong. Sweet Rose Creamery has a sundae bar for every day of the week!
Local fruit is used by Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California, to manufacture its ice cream.
It was formed by Shiho Yoshikawa and business partners Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb in 2010 in Brentwood Country Mart, which is located in Brentwood.
There are currently five sites of the ice cream parlour, all of which continue to employ locally sourced and organic ingredients to produce high-quality frozen treats.
Classics like mint chocolate chip and salted caramel are well-executed in-house concoctions.
They also create their waffle cones, which are crisp and fresh!
Try the Olive Oil with Lemon Wafer and other more creative tastes.
A dipped candied cherry.
You may also order DIY Sundae Packages to have them delivered to your hotel room if that’s more your style.
This sweet and creamy dessert is popular among adults as well as children.
Address: 225 26th St #51, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Third Street Promenade
Even if you love the outdoors, you can’t resist the allure of the city’s skylines and malls.
Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian mall with a mix of retail and food establishments and various entertainment options.
Along the palm tree-lined promenade of Santa Monica’s most popular tourist attraction, there are several alternatives for shopping and dining.
Because no automobiles are permitted in the region, the streets are pretty safe for people to walk around. Three blocks of the traffic-free zone are occupied by it.
Because of its vibrant nightlife and plenty of upscale shopping, the area is popular all year round.
Local cafés, elegant restaurants, and eating places abound along the Promenade. Tables and food carts abound on the city’s pavements, serving up a variety of street cuisine.
Many street musicians perform for the amusement of the spectators, showcasing their skills to the enjoyment of those in attendance.
After a day of seeing the area’s many sights and sounds, come here to unwind in the evening.
Address: 1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tongva Park is located near the southern end of the Santa Monica Pier, just off Ocean Avenue.
It’s where cutting-edge design and lush landscaping come together in harmony.
Tongva Park was just another parking lot at one point with no shade or lovely vista. However, things have changed.
It has been transformed into a 6-acre urban oasis where locals and visitors alike can unwind and breathe fresh air.
The variety of activities to do and sights to see in this urban park ensures that an evening spent there will be both exciting and relaxing.
Tongva is home to more than 170 types of plants and 21 varieties of trees, all of which are produced in seven separate nurseries strewn over the state.
The most famous is perhaps a steel pavilion built like a cocoon or shell overlooking the coast.
The free Wi-Fi and proximity to public transportation also helped.
Address: 1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401