The seaside city of Santa Monica is quintessential California, and Santa Monica Beach remains its most iconic attraction. Its 3.5 miles of sandy shoreline sits just a stone’s throw from downtown L.A., but it feels worlds apart. Kick back and relax in the sweet summer sun or have some fun on the Santa Monica Pier.
The pier is as famous as the beach itself thanks to its amusement park, which plays host to a movie-ready Ferris wheel and rollercoasters. But did you know there’s also an aquarium? Or shops and restaurants? And just steps beyond the pier you’ll find even more dining and entertainment. Head north to check out the Annenberg Community Beach House or the North Beach Playground. Turn south to see the Carousel Park or the legendary Hotel Casa Del Mar. With so many options nearby for retail therapy or happy hour after your day on the sand, there’s plenty to do at Santa Monica beach even after the sun begins to set and the waves begin to slowly recede into the distance.