Santa Monica is a beautiful beach town with the ideal atmosphere. Many attractions are walkable, and the city offers something for everyone. You could easily spend a month in Santa Monica without running out of new things to try, but here are a few crowd favorites you can add to the itinerary for your next trip. 

Santa Monica Beach

The Santa Monica Beach is the perfect place for swimming, surfing, paddle boarding or tanning on a towel. The 3.5-mile long beach receives a large number of visitors each year, but its large size helps it to feel less crowded. There are also paved bike paths nearby that are perfect for guests with an adventurous side. 

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is an icon of Santa Monica. Some guests go for the games and Pacific Park amusement park, while others prefer to relax and enjoy the view. For animal lovers, I’d recommend visiting the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which is part of a program aimed to educate and inspire visitors to be environmental advocates. The Pier also features 2-hour long trapeze classes presented by the Trapeze School of New York. 

Third Street Promenade

Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade is a paradise for anyone looking for some retail therapy. The stores are all located in a vehicle-free thoroughfare, making it an experience like no other. You may even be serenaded by aspiring musicians as you’re walking from shop to shop. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to head across the street and visit the Cayton Children’s Museum after you’re done shopping. 

26th Street Art Center

The 26th Street Art Center, also known as Bergamot Station, boasts an interesting history. From 1875 through 1953, it was a railroad station. It has also served as a water heater factory and warehouse complex. Now, it is home to one of Southern California’s best collection of galleries. It’s a beautiful site any day of the year, but they also hold events regularly that may interest those with a passion for art. Parking and admission are both free, and the building allows leashed dogs, as well. 

Broad Stage

The Broad Stage is Santa Monica’s largest and most advanced performing arts center. The theaters feature plays, dancers, music and more, ranging from classical to modern performances. Shore Hotel recently did a fun event with National Geograpic and Broad Stage. If you’re looking for something more casual, swap the Broad Stage for a visit to the Westside Comedy Theater, an improv, stand-up and variety club that has been gaining recognition since it opened a decade ago.