If you happen to be in Santa Monica, CA, there are several near-guarantees that you can trust will make your trip a great experience. The first is the promise of great weather. While the area isn’t immune to occasional rainfall, it’s generally associated largely with endless sunshine, clear blue skies, and a light oceanside breeze. And the next is the certainty that you’ll never be bored because the things to do in Santa Monica will keep you entertained for days. Here are five can’t-miss experiences in the beloved coastal city.
Santa Monica Pier
Since 1909, the Santa Monica Pier has been a major draw for tourists and locals alike. There are countless activities to explore, whether you’re a marine life enthusiast, a food lover (who isn’t?), or a theme park junkie. Among the most popular activities is the historic carousel, which is fun for people of all ages — and you can even snag a beverage from the retro-style soda fountain there.
The Santa Monica Pier Museum is a must to observe more than 100 provincial species and interact with hands-on exhibits with the kids. Of course, there’s no better place by the sea to dig into some fresh seafood either. There’s also always something going on here — you can ride the Ferris wheel, take a yoga class, or bring the kids to the playground.
Third Street Promenade
Shopping addicts know that there’s no better place to give their credit cards a workout than Third Street Promenade. But if you are completely new to the city, then it’s worth exploring for the very first time with an open mind. That’s because there’s so much going on that it can overwhelm the senses at first. Dozens of popular retailers mingle with lively restaurants to create an energetic, engaging spot where it’s totally normal to have a seat and watch passersby as you sip your iced mocha. While you’re there, you’re sure to spot some local talent performing for enthusiastic crowds. If somehow you find you have nothing to do when you’re in Santa Monica, don’t think twice — simply settle down for the day right here.
Museum of Flying
If you’re traveling with the family, then visiting the Museum of Flying is easily one of the top things to do in Santa Monica. It’s been an area mainstay since 1974 when it was known as the Douglas Museum and Library. Anyone fascinated by the history of transportation will be intrigued by the generous selection of vintage aircrafts on display, many of which served during World War II. Don’t miss the California Aviation Hall of Fame, which celebrates the luminaries in the industry who have contributed to advancements in the field. There are beautiful artifacts on display, and it’s awe-inspiring to be among many of the planes that contributed to the state’s impressive growth over the decades.
Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Outdoor enthusiasts have a lot of options in Santa Monica, too. You can always go for a stroll on the boardwalk or pad along the sand if you prefer a more relaxed experience — and don’t mind sharing the space with thousands of others, of course. But if you’re seeking a more meditative experience, head to the Marvin Braude Bike Trail. The continuous 22-mile path is heavenly — you’ll glide by the sand, gaze at palm trees on every side, glimpse beach volleyball players doing their thing, and navigate past some impressive boulders that separate the sand from the pathway. Prepare to ride for approximately 50 nonstop minutes and enjoy every moment of pure bliss.
No modern city is truly complete without a dedicated center that honors the best of the world of art. That’s the beauty of Bergamot Station, a former railroad station that was eventually procured by the city. Eventually, the five-acre arts facility was born — and the rest is creative history. It’s a beautiful, pet-friendly facility packed with different businesses and galleries that provide a wide range of culturally intriguing creations. Browse spectacular exhibits that range from old-world to contemporary, and stop by at the on-site café for a bite to eat before you continue your explorations. It’s worth the time to stop and delve deep — and humbling to be around such immense talent.
Book Your Bus Tickets Today
Booking a trip to Santa Monica is a great way to immerse yourself in some of the best that California has to offer. And with this list of the top things to do in Santa Monica, you can easily create an itinerary that works for you. If you’re ready to get started, book your bus getaway on BusTickets.com today.