The charming beachside city of Santa Monica depicts the essence of Southern California. It is a great place to enjoy a lively beach scene and the urban atmosphere at the same time. Take your family to one of the best beach cities in the world.
PLACES TO VISIT
Santa Monica Pier is the central point of Santa Monica Beach. Pacific Park, a traditional fair with a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and different games, is just one of the numerous attractions. You can also visit the Aquarium and the historic Looff Hippodrome. Outdoor music and film events take place at the Pier. On Wednesdays in August and September, there are free concerts. You can also enjoy the Pier-wide festival with art, food and different activities.
Third Street Promenade stretches across a four-block pedestrianized area. You can dine, go shopping or find entertainment there. It is a premier shopping, and dining area and many people from the Great L.A. Area come here.
Every Wednesday or Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM, you can visit the Farmer's Market on Arizona Avenue. It is a place with the highest quality and largest selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Southern California. Home cooks and award-winning chefs buy fruit and vegetables here, often from certified organic farms.
Enjoy walking along the Beachfront Pathway, the paved beachfront pathway. If you prefer riding, you can rent a bike.
BEST PLACES FOR FAMILIES WITH KIDS
Santa Monica and the whole area offer many entertaining things to see and do with your kids. To retreat from the city hustle and bustle, you can go to Palisades Park. You will enjoy the stunning views of the ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains or take part in different activities with your kids. The buff-top park overlooking the Pacific is a great place for walkers and bikers.
The huge Santa Monica State Beach stretches along the Pacific. It is always packed with people. Its main attraction is the famous Pier, always over-crowded. However, if you stroll further from it, you can find quieter patches and have a great time with your kids.
Cayton Children's Museum at Santa Monica Place Mall with the Animal Hospital and many other interactive exhibits is another great place to take your kids.
Tongva Park is a great oceanside oasis of green space. It is a well-designed place with a playground, walking paths, meadows, waterfalls and look out to the pacific.
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
Santa Monica's arts and cultural scene are diverse and vibrant with countless galleries, museums, theaters, performing arts, and concerts.
Bergamot Station Arts Center houses more than 30 art galleries featuring some interesting contemporary art. Some of the most visited galleries are the Lois Lambert Gallery, the LA Art Exchange, the Kevin Barry Fine Art Associates, the Ten Women Gallery on Montana, the Jeanie Madsen Gallery and others.
The most significant museums are the Santa Monica History Museum, the Museum of Flying, and the Santa Monica Pier Museum.
Talking about the art of architecture, Santa Monica is a good place to see an interesting mix of styles like Art Deco, Deconstructivism and others.
International Chess Park at the Santa Monica Pier is the place where you can play chess or watch other people playing at several chessboards.
The Muscle Beach dating back to the 1930s is a place where gymnasts, stunt people, wrestlers, acrobats, and circus performers spend a lot of time. You might want to join them.
The Singing Beach Chairs are on Santa Monica Beach between Pico Boulevard and the Pier. They are steel and aluminum sculptures that produce oboe-like tones when the wind blows through them. Two people can sit on each chair. You can have rest and enjoy the music.
The Annenberg Community Beach House on the beachfront offers swim, yoga and dance classes, pool hours, volleyball camp, chamber music, and much more. You may like to take up some of these activities.
Santa Monica is the right place if you're looking for the ideal family-friendly vacation. It offers a wide variety of family activities for both children and adults. There is a variety of places to stay there – family hotels with family rooms or suites, featuring pools, babysitting and childcare services, and different activities like board games and puzzles. If you want to stay in a hotel on the beach, look southeast of the Pear. Many other hotels close to the beach have a busy highway in between, with just a couple of places to reach the beach.
You can also try Santa Monica Vacation Rentals and Airbnb.
WHAT TO EAT
There are countless places to eat in Santa Monica. You can choose among restaurants with contemporary American dishes and various national menus, like Italian, Asian, French, Japanese, Mexican, Hawaiian, and many others.
Santa Monica's food trucks will satisfy everyone's taste with tacos, burritos, hamburgers and French fries and other tasty food.
You can refresh at a fruit bar choosing among various fruit salads. If you want something sweet, you can have Churros, ice cream, cheesecake, cheese tart, and many other desserts.
There are some great places for shopping in Santa Monica. Third Street Promenade is a popular pedestrian-only shopping area, but if you want something more interesting and unique, go to Montana Avenue. Santa Monica Place is an open-air shopping mall that includes Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom.
For most curious visitors, Santa Monica Airport Flea Market, with its wide variety of items, is the right place to do some shopping.
TIME TO VISIT
Summer is the most popular time to visit Santa Monica. However, beaches are often overcrowded, especially on weekends. May and June are often foggy. The best Santa Monica's weather is in spring and fall. Winter weather can be pleasant if it isn't raining.
Your walking shoes are the best transportation you need in Santa Monica. One of the most popular walking paths is Venice Boardwalk, with odd shops and street vendors that sell art, homemade jewelry, and clothing. If you are not fond of walking, you can hop on the Big Blue Bus or use Santa Monica's Breeze Bike Share program services and rent a bike.
Santa Monica, with its wide beaches and the Pier is an adorable place for families with kids. Nobody can be indifferent to such a mixture of beach activities, great food, art, and culture.
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