"Santa Monica is Los Angeles' top beach destination. It is a beautiful place with sunny weather and a large beach. The city attracts more than 7 million people each year due to its central location, just 15 miles from Los Angeles."
Santa Monica is buzzing with excitement. It is fueled by the sound of the Pacific Coast Highway, its western border, and the excitement generated by the pedestrian-friendly downtown district. This energy continues well into the evening. Palisades Park is the best place to experience its nautical spirit. It’s perched on a coastal bluff with views of Santa Monica State Beach and the Pacific Coast Highway.
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Best time to visit Santa Monica
"The best time to visit Santa Monica is between September and November."
Places to visit in Santa Monica
These are the top things to do in Santa Monica, California.
#1 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is a landmark in the city. It also serves as the terminus for historic Route 66. It is surrounded by Santa Monica State Beach. This family-friendly pier has plenty to offer and lots of people to observe.
#2 Palisades Park
Palisades Park is a popular choice for residents and tourists. The 26-acre, coastal-bluff park at Ocean Avenue overlooks Santa Monica State Beach. It offers non-stop ocean views and is well-manicured.
There are many places to sit along the cement path that navigates this historic city space. Palisades Park also has unique amenities such as a camera obscura and petanque courts.
#3 3rd Street Promenade
"The 3rd Street Promenade is the heart of downtown Santa Monica. This pedestrian-only shopping area features lots of foot traffic and entertainment. Street musicians, talented shops, and restaurants line every street until the early hours of the morning when the area is lit up. This fashionable strip is sure to attract attention, day or night."
The promenade has beautiful landscaping as well as shopping and dining options. This district’s aesthetic is defined by photo booths and dinosaur hedge sculptures.
#4 Annenberg Community Beach House
This sprawling public beach facility is located north of Santa Monica Pier. It was built during the city’s Gold Coast era in the 1920s. The sprawling beach facility was once owned by Marion Davies, a private beachside home. This cultural center on the oceanfront is now managed by the state of California.
#5 Santa Monica Farmers Market
"Santa Monica hosts four farmers markets every week, rain or shine. Two markets are held on Saturdays and two on Wednesday and Sunday mornings."
Since 1979, these renowned farmers markets have been a beloved tradition in the city. The farmers markets offer more than just seasonal produce. They also feature special events such as street performers, live cooking demonstrations and hot-cooked fare that add a delicious aroma to the entire experience.
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#6 Tongva Park
This sprawling park, which covers six acres, is located south of Santa Monica Pier on Ocean Avenue. It’s surrounded by sculptures and gardens. This park is great for taking a moment to relax away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
The newly constructed Ken Genser square is located adjacent to Tongva Park. It offers an additional acre of natural space with a fountain, babbling stream, and more.
#7 Santa Monica Stairs
"The "Santa Monica Stairs" refer primarily to a pair of outdoor stairways in California descending to the northwest from Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica, to Santa Monica Canyon in Los Angeles."
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FAQ: Places to visit in Santa Monica
What is Santa Monica known for?
The blend of Santa Monica’s natural beauty, award winning dining, incomparable hotel collection and famed shopping options, all on one of California’s most iconic stretches of shoreline, creates a truly unforgettable seaside destination.
Is Santa Monica California a good place to live?
Santa Monica’s quality of life ranks high, making it one of Southern California’s most coveted places to live. People move to Santa Monica to be close to the beach, to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, and to take advantage of all its first-rate amenities.
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