What to See and Do in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles and its easy to see why with its miles of gorgeous beaches and a hip center. It's a community that manages to balance a beach vibe with a cosmopolitan flair, providing locals and visitors alike with a diverse place to explore. On top of its enviable geographic location – and sometimes because of it – Santa Monica has a bevy of incredible attractions. Several of these attractions have to do with the landscape: beaches with soft sand and picture worthy blue lifeguard towers plus a gorgeous beach walk area running parallel to the beach with green foliage and palm trees. Add into that the glimmering water of the Pacific Ocean as the sun (which appears bright and yellow nearly every day) hits it and you have a recipe for outdoor bliss. Santa Monica also has a variety of museums featuring items ranging from historical artifacts to modern art. In addition, shopaholics will enjoy the shopping that can be found in Santa Monica, particularly along Third Street Promenade, the most famous street in Santa Monica. And then...there's the pier, Santa Monica's most prominent landmark and an impossible to miss attraction. From nature to amusement parks, Santa Monica has an attraction to delight a wide range of interests. 

Camera Obscura
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki


Turn into a spy at Santa Monica's Camera Obscura as you learn more about how cameras work. Camera Obscura is an interesting little attraction that houses a camera obscura, which is an optical device that lets you project images far in the...  Read More

Main Street
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki


Main Street is a historic street in Santa Monica that is home to some of the beach community's hippest restaurants, bars and shops. Another great thing about Main Street is that it's located just a block from the beach, making for an easy escape...  Read More

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki


The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is located at the beginning of the Santa Monica Pier on the lower level and is one of the top things to do while exploring the pier. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium strives to educate visitors on marine life and...  Read More



Palisades Park is a gorgeous park in Santa Monica that is right next to the coastline and encompasses over 25 acres. It's beach front location provides visitors to the park with views of the ocean. Watch the sunset, observe some surfers or...  Read More

California Heritage Museum
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki


The California Heritage Museum is located in the Roy Jones house, a stately green house built in 1984 for Roy Jones, who had strong roots in Santa Monica as his father, Senator John Percival Jones, was the founder of the beach adjacent...  Read More

Ocean Front Walk
Photo courtesy of Gina Douglas Tarnacki


Like most famous beach towns, Santa Monica has a long boardwalk-style path to bike, skate, jog or simply walk down. However, what makes the Santa Monica boardwalk (referred to as the Ocean Front Walk) special is that it's more like a hiking...  Read More

Santa Monica State Beach


Santa Monica State Beach looks like the opening credits for the 90's television show, Baywatch, as it has a large expanse of golden sand, blue lifeguard towers and wave after wave of salty seawater gently crashing to shore. Santa Monica State...  Read More



Third Street Promenade is the most famous street in Santa Monica. It's a busy and vibrant wide street, which is lined on both sides with excellent shopping opportunities and dining experiences. There are also a few movie theaters located on...  Read More

Bergamot Station Arts Center


Hip Santa Monica wouldn't be complete without a good art museum, which can be found at Bergamot Station. If you love art then you definitely can't pass up Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica, which consists of multiple art collections...  Read More



The Santa Monica Pier is the pinnacle of the LA neighborhood of Santa Monica. It's the image that first comes to most people's mind when they think of Santa Monica: a long, wide pier that is packed with fun. A roller coaster, Ferris wheel and...  Read More


Meet Gina Douglas Tarnacki

Gina Tarnacki is a freelance writer and marketer and an avid traveler. When she's not busy finding a creative way to squeeze in a few more vacation days so she and her family can explore the...  More About Gina