Mark’s Top Eleven Things to do In Santa Monica with Out of Town Guests

I am ecstatic to say that I’ve been a full time resident of Santa Monica, California for over six years.  Over the last 30 years, I have been one of Santa Monica’s biggest fans, spending most of my time here even before my full time residency.

This enchanting village by the sea, known as Silicone Beach, offers unparalleled opportunities for diversion, many of then free to the public.  I have chosen the following adventures to showcase for you today…


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1.  World Famous Santa Monica Pier : With a myriad of things to do, highlights include an Historic Carousel and Vintage Soda Shop, Pacific Park Amusement Park boasting a 9-story ferris wheel that rises above the ocean, The New York Trapeze School where you can enjoy flying like a bird above the pier, Free Historical Walking Tours provide colorful tales of the pier’s 100-year history, Pier Shop & Visitor Center, to find curated beach memorabilia such as the Endless Summer, Dogtown Muscle Beach and lifeguard legends, Blazing Saddles Beach Rentals, for bikes, chairs, boogie boards, umbrellas and more Oatman Rock Shop, has shells, crystals, souvenirs and 60’s merchandise, Fishing takes place off the pier’s end with Bait & Tackle shop right there, Playland Arcade, is nostalgic and classic, appealing to all ages, Restaurants like Bubba Gump, Pier Burger and Rusty’s, which has live music and dancing, Twilight Concert Series during the Summer, featuring notable musical performers, Movie Night under the stars, in the month of October, plus the End of Iconic Route 66, commemorated by a small shop with goods made in America.


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2.  Santa Monica State Beach : Breathtaking, pristine, extra wide beach sizzles with crystal white sand and deep blue ocean vistas, enjoyable surf and plenty of year round sun.

3.  Santa Monica Pier Aquarium : Fun filled Marine education center displays over 100 species of animals and plants found in the Santa Monica Bay.  Free to children under 12.

4.  The Strand : Thrilling paved boardwalk stretches 22 miles along the coastline from Will Rogers State Park in the North, to Torrance State Beach in the South.  Bristling with activity from skating to cycling to running and walking, with volleyball opportunities along the way.  Equipment rental available.

5.  Bergamot Station Arts Complex : For the contemporary art enthusiast, browse through this upscale center, feasting your eyes on multiple art galleries, in an old warehouse space.

6.  Farmers Markets : Four times a week you can pamper yourself with some of the freshest produce in the world, alongside celebrated chefs and other renowned celebrities.  These bustling outdoor venues can be found at Arizona Avenue between 4th and Ocean on Wednesdays 8:30-1:30 and Saturdays 8-1, 2200 Virginia Avenue on Saturdays 8-1, and at 2640 Main Street on Sundays 8:30-1:30, where you can enjoy live entertainment with music bands and interactive family oriented activities.


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7.  Surfing : Designated surfing areas are located between lifeguard towers 10 and 20, Pico Boulevard and Bay Street, and between lifeguard towers 28 and 29, Ashland Avenue and Pier Street.  Surf Schools and private lessons abound, while perfect waves beckon you.

8.  3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place : Multi-media outdoor dining and shopping extravaganzas await you including unique rooftop food venues, high end stores such as Tiffany, Bloomingdales, Louis Vuitton and many more, while creative street performers treat you to entertainment along the way.

9.  Annenberg Community Beach House : This 100-room mansion was originally built in the 1920s, as a residence for screen actress Marion Davies, by William Randolph Hearst.  It was transformed over the years and reopened in 2009, its historic pool and guesthouse fully restored.  Enjoy volleyball, tennis, soccer and stand up paddle boarding, with rentals available.  There is also an art gallery and popular writer/artist in residence programs.

10. Broad Stage : Located at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, there are two stages, the main Broad Stage and the more intimate Edye.  Each theatre provides you with performances, both cutting edge and classical, by local and worldly talents.

11. Museum of Flying : On the grounds of the Santa Monica Airport, you will find this collection of historic planes, replicas and models, including the Douglas DC-3, Spirit of Santa Monica, as well as other exhibits pertaining to the Douglas Aircraft Company.

Though it’s tempting to go on, there are simply too many interesting things to share for just one session.  Check back for future blogs about enticing activities you won’t want to miss, right here, every day in breathtaking Santa Monica , California.

Call Mark at 310-857-4956 for a quick chat or consult.