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Best things to do in Santa Monica Beach

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Shopping Plaza
“Outdoor shopping scene. It has everything. A nice walk, crowded on the weekends.”
797 locals recommend
Recreation Center
“This bustling wooden wharf is the place to be, with its eateries, shops, high-tech arcade, roller coaster, giant Ferris wheel and other rides, famous 1922 indoor merry-go-round and fantastic views of the bay and the mountains. This place is legendary , even in our so called winter this place is busy with people and musicians everywhere. There are beach tours, bike rentals, and electric scooters for cruising (lime and bird). Download the apps.”
750 locals recommend
Recreation Center
“Take a day trip to Santa Monica (10-15 miles away) to enjoy the beach, restaurants, and pier. The pier has games, performers, rides, and beautiful views. ”
304 locals recommend
Lounge
$$$
“Great spot to see and be seen. Indoor, outdoor. Be ready for expensive drinks and gorgeous people -- twentysomething and up. Ping pong, pool, twinkling lights above! Check out 800 degree pizza at the end of the night.”
252 locals recommend
Café
$$
“Great breakfast and lunch spot. Delicious baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches.”
153 locals recommend
Recreation Center
“Great entertainment for couples and solo travelers. Walk barefoot by the shore to feel the warm California sand. Spend a full day here to see all the extravaganza's it has to offer. ”
65 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$
“Wait times can be long. So head down to the area early and put your name down. There is limited outdoor seating but it’s good for people watching. Be wary of their upstairs seating as some of the two tops are crammed into a corner. ”
96 locals recommend
Farmers Market
$
“Best Farmers Market - Something for everyone. Great produce, meats, live music, flowers, plants and jewelry. Yummy food and drinks. ”
116 locals recommend
Deli / Bodega
$$
“Super popular for their sandwiches and deli! Gets crowded. Great for grabbing and taking to the beach. Closed Mondays.”
91 locals recommend
Beach
“This popular beach is a favorite among television and movie producers. Activities for older children, Activities for young children. ”
63 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
$$$
“Some of the best sushi in Los Angeles. They don't take reservations but they're only 1 block away. Stop by 1-2 hours in advance to put your name down.”
46 locals recommend
Scenic Viewpoint
“Lots to see and do. Visit the arcade, go on amusement park rides or eat ice cream. Lunch and dinner options are plentiful in the surround area.”
21 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Sundays on Main Street in Santa Monica are always fun. There's a farmers market, lots of restaurants and shops, dog rescues holding pop up adoptions, and it's a close walk to the beach!”
80 locals recommend
Resort
“The Shutters is one of only two 5-star hotels in Santa Monica (the other is its sister hotel across the street) and the Lobby Bar is ultra-luxurious and features comfortable overstuffed sofas to lounge on, a piano player, fireplace, beautiful but laid back and relaxed decor, indoor/outdoor seating, an amazing assortment of wine and beverages, wonderful appetizers and vegan options, and ocean views located on the beach.”
64 locals recommend
Hotel
“Overlooking Santa Monica and everything else. Great drinks ontop of a beautifully lit rooftop accompanied by not so beautiful people... on the inside.”
59 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Great place for shopping, eating, and movies! Very close to the Santa Monica Pier which is a fun place to take kids, also close to Tongva Park- another kid pleaser. You'll find super high-end shops in Santa Monica Place and less expensive shops just across the street in the equally wonderful Third Street Promenade.”
69 locals recommend