Santa Monica’s beach was once voted amongst the best globally by National Geographic. In addition, the city boasts over 400 restaurants and an overwhelming number of bars on the night scene, making it one of the significant holiday stopovers in California.
Santa Monica is a beehive for family holiday fun activities like soaking up the sun at the beach, swimming, setting up picnics, enjoying a meal at family-friendly restaurants, and learning new things. Here are the top activities you can do in Santa Monica during the holidays.
Top Things to Do in Santa Monica
Go to Santa Monica State Beach
In 3.5 miles of shoreline, you get to enjoy a fun holiday enjoying the countless fun activities Santa Monica State Beach has to offer for the family. One of the top activities to do in Santa Monica is going to the State Beach with family and spending the day enjoying water sports, strolling around the beach, building sandcastles, and relaxing in the sun.
Find some unique amenities like the Original Muscle Beach, a beach park with old-fashioned gym equipment from the early 20th century.
Ride a Bike on the Marvin Braude Beach Trail
Santa Monica’s sunny weather and wealth of trails make it an all-year-round dream destination for cycling enthusiasts. Discover the Marvin Braude Trail, also known as “The Strand,” amongst the locals at the heart of Santa Monica and enjoy a bike ride through the city’s picturesque streets.
Some of the streets you might encounter include Main Street and San Vincente Boulevard.
Visit the Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is the city’s most famous landmark. If you are moved with the children, the Pier is one of the destinations we recommend. The Pier offers a wide range of fun activities to do with families, like enjoying a ride at the roller coaster, perhaps the Ferris wheel in Pacific park, exciting games, shopping, street music, and bike riding.
Pick up a souvenir for each family at one of the beach shops or souvenir shops to have something to remind you of your fun experiences at this destination. The Pier also has a rich history that you can learn about and a world-famous boardwalk where you can all enjoy a walk with the family and do some people-watching.
Visit the Pacific Park and the Heal the Bay Aquarium
Take the kids to the Pacific Park and enjoy the different rides, including the roller coaster and the colorful Ferris wheel. Pacific Park is an amusement park fronting the ocean.
Circle around the Pier on the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world, play one of the classic games like Whac-A-Mole and enjoy the day. Learn about the aquatic life in Santa Monica Bay at Heal the Bay Aquarium and see exhibits of over 100 local species. In addition, their aquarium offers daily educational programs like discussions with aquarium scientists and animal feedings.
Shop at Third Street Promenade
Take a stroll downtown with family and have fun shopping at this uniquely California shopping hub in a traffic-free part of the city. The Third Street Promenade is an open-air shopping, dining, and doing some urban sightseeing space. It offers three blocks of shops, eateries, and stores where you will encounter familiar retail outlets, chain restaurants, and local businesses in an outdoorsy shopping space.