Our favorite city in the world! Today we bring you our particular guide, with all the things to see and do in Santa Monica.
If you accompany us through social networks you will know that this is a very special city for us, our ♥ was born there in 2009 and whenever we return it makes us feel very good and vibrate very high!
Santa Monica is a city of forced passage if you do a route by the West Coast of the USA, if you finish the Route 66 or simply if you feel like spending a few days here.
Surely it will captivate you with its Californian atmosphere, its avenues with towering palm trees, its beautiful sunsets and its film pier. In the post of 65 things to see and do in Los Angeles you will also find more info!
We have also added some things to see and do in Venice Beach that we also like very much!
Here goes our little Santa Monica guide!
What to see and do in Santa Monica
Walk through the 3rd Promenade
The most atmospheric street of the city, you will find numerous shops of well-known brands and others not so much, cafeterias, bars and a lot of rollito. Street singers of soul, funk and some groups of young people dancing street dance, you won’t take two steps without coming across one.
Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica
Spend an afternoon in Venice Beach
Venice Beach is next to Santa Monica, you can get there on foot or by bike if you continue the Santa Monica Beach Walk.
Skaters, cyclists, people playing basketball, exercising, jogging, tatoos stores, cafeterias, markets, you have to be there to feel the atmosphere you breathe, something bohemian and 100% Californian!!!
A photo with the Venice poster is also essential
Here you’ll find our favourite street, Abbot Kinney, full of cool cafes and small shops with lots of rolls.
For us, this street has all the Californian atmosphere.
You can also enter through its narrow streets and discover the canals that surround this area, for a reason it is called Venice! 😉
The channels of Venice
Visit the famous pier de Santa Mónica
We’ve seen in so many movies! Dine at one of its restaurants, stroll, relax or watch a sunset to die of love …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. These are some of the things you can do at the Santa Monica pier.
Pier de Santa Monica
Climbing the Pacific Park Ferris wheel
This point could not be missing in our list of things to see and do in Santa Monica, if you have a bit of vertigo (like me) perhaps at first do not have a good time … but I assure you that the views from above are the best in the city.
Mini tip: Climb into the sunset to enjoy the sunset from above.
Pacific Park WaterwheelVistas desde la noria en el dock de Santa Mónica
Walk through Palisades Park and see a beautiful sunset
If from the Santa Monica pier the sunsets are beautiful from here, with the palm trees in the background, there is a postcard background.
In Santa Monica we have seen some of the best sunsets of our lives.
Sunset in Palisades Park
Take a picture of you with the “Beach Watchers” booth.
You can’t leave Santa Monica without this souvenir photo! It’s something you have to do yes or yes! Who doesn’t know this famous series? Well or so I believe, because years go by and younger people may not have a clue! 🙂
Booth of the beach guards, Santa Monica
Swim in the Pacific Ocean
Although it’s not the most pleasant water for bathing (the temperature is usually quite low), it’s not every day that you get the chance to swim in the Pacific Ocean!
And if you’re a surf lover, you’ll also enjoy these beaches a lot! It is not difficult to rent a board and even take surf lessons.
Surfing at Santa Monica Beach
Have a movie breakfast in a cafeteria
Not another thing, but in Santa Monica the roll healthy, eco, vegan, vegetarian… is the order of the day. You will find many cafeterias with freshly squeezed juices or 100% organic food.
In addition to yoga centers, pilates, meditation, personal trainers …
There is a cafeteria that we like very much and it has become a tradition to go to breakfast on the first day of our trip, it’s called The Butcher’s Daughter, it’s vegetarian, and they make great breakfasts!
You can’t stop going one day!
The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice BeachBreakfast in The Butcher’s Daughter
Where to eat in Santa Monica:
And continuing with the theme of food, these are some of the restaurants and cafeterias that we like best to eat in Santa Monica.
The Butcher’s Daughter
Great White Venice
The Trattoria furnace
Also try the cakes of Charles Bakery (the king of cakes) at the Third Street Promenade.
Accommodation in Santa Monica:
We have a special affection for the Ocean Park Hotel, we stayed here the first time we came in 2009 and we stayed many times afterwards!
It is one of the cheapest in Santa Monica, has free parking and a bus stop at the door.
But I warn you that it’s fair enough!
Santa Monica Accommodation
It has few rooms with private bathroom and can not be said to be very central, because it is in a residential area.
If you are looking for something better situated, our recommendations would be:
Other times (like this last one) we have stayed in Airbnb apartments. We give you 25€ discount for your first booking.
How to get to Santa Monica from the airport:
You will most likely land at the Los Angeles (Lax) airport, to get to Santa Monica you have several options.
The easiest is to rent a car, in the United States is quite affordable and you can move around the city at will, we do almost always in Auto Europe.
You can also take a city bus, in the Big Blue Bus website you can get more info about the routes. To get to the centre of Santa Monica you can take the nº3 or the nº3 which makes fewer stops.
Airport Bus C drops us off at the Big Blue Bus stop.
A taxi is always an easy and quick (not cheap) option. You’ll find many at the airport gate.
Where to park in Santa Monica:
If you go by car it is not too difficult to find parking.
Public car parks (listed on Google as Parking Structure) are all over the city and are quite cheap, most of the first ninety minutes are free and then about $2 an hour.
Mark on the ground at the Santa Monica pier
On the map below they are signposted.
Travel insurance for the United States:
Health care in the United States is one of the highest in the world and is not worth the risk! We always travel with insurance to be calm before any setback.
The best thing about Iati is the high coverage in medical assistance abroad (up to €500,000) and that you don’t have to advance a single euro from the first moment.
It does not suppose so much budget for the coverages that it offers, and thus we travel calmly.
We always recommend you to hire the Iati Estrella or Estrella Premium to travel to the USA.
We’ll leave 5% on your travel insurance to the United States.
Pacific Park, Santa Monica
Map of all things to see and do in Santa Monica and Venice Beach:
And so far our mini guide with all the things to see and do in Santa Monica!
We hope you enjoy the city as much as we do, and you will also be captivated by the Californian atmosphere!
It is said to be the beach of Hollywood, most times they need a beach for a production come here. So it’s possible that in the next few years while you’re watching a series or movie you’ll say that “I was there.”
Enjoy Santa Monica! 🙂
More info about Los Angeles:
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