One of Southern California’s most loved beachside neighbourhoods, Santa Monica offers a sun-drenched lifestyle overlooking the Pacific Ocean. First developed as a seaside retreat, it now boasts an iconic pier, lively beach and artistic culture.
Things to do in Santa Monica
You won’t want to miss visiting Santa Monica Pier, with its historic amusement park, including a solar-powered Ferris wheel, roller coasters and arcade games. It offers fantastic views across Santa Monica State Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe and socialise.
“The Strand” pathway connects Santa Monica to colourful Venice Beach and the upmarket dwellings of Pacific Palisades. It’s a popular spot for working out, whether you want to walk, cycle, jog or rollerblade.
Third Street Promenade is the commercial heart of Santa Monica with its pedestrian-only strip lined with fashion retailers, cafes and pop-up farmers markets. If you’re looking for designer goods, head to Montana Avenue, considered a more relaxed version of Rodeo Drive.
Santa Monica is renowned for its arts scene, with various galleries and studios to discover, together with public sculptures, installations and street art. Visit the former railroad hub of Bergamot Station, which includes exhibition spaces for some of Southern California’s up-and-coming contemporary artists.
Getting around Santa Monica
Santa Monica is situated around 25 minutes’drive north of Los Angeles International Airport and connected to Downtown Los Angeles by light rail and the iconic “Big Blue Bus”. Santa Monica is best explored by bicycle or on foot.