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Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Santa Monica

Santa Monica

3.9
Piers & Boardwalks · Beaches · Shopping
Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land
A famed resort town since the early 20th century, Santa Monica sits on the picturesque Santa Monica Bay, bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles. Home to a mixture of Hollywood celebrities, surfers, and students, Santa Monica is a prosperous city, its real estate values among the priciest in the world. Located just 24 km (15 mi) west of downtown Los Angeles, "SaMo," as the locals call it, provides those on vacation with a convenient base for excursions into the surrounding area, including the local landmark pier. The city offers not only hundreds of hotel, restaurant, and entertainment options, but also easy accessibility for trips to other popular communities along the coast, including Malibu and Beverly Hills, where the list of things to do is endless. To personalize your trip to Santa Monica, create itinerary details specific to you using our United States trip itinerary planner.
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Popular things to do in Santa Monica

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Pier / Boardwalk
Santa Monica Pier
4.1
Duration: 1 hour
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Beach
Santa Monica State Beach
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Beach
Santa Monica Bay
4.1
Duration: 2 hours
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Shopping
Third Street Promenade
4.2
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Santa Monica

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Theme Park
Six Flags Magic Mountain Santa Clarita
4.0
Duration: 8 hours
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Wine Tour / Tasting
Wine Tours & Tastings Santa Barbara
4.9
Duration: 5h 30 min
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Neighborhood
Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills
3.5
Duration: 1h 30 min
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Specialty Museum
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum Simi Valley
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Hidden gems in Santa Monica

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Neighborhood
Montana Avenue
4.2
Duration: 2 hours
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Mountain
Santa Monica Mountains
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Historic Walking Area
Ocean Avenue
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Theme Park
Pacific Park
4.0
Duration: 2h 30 min

Museums in Santa Monica

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Art Museum
Santa Monica Museum of Art
2.8
Duration: 2 hours
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Art Gallery
Annenberg Community Beach House
4.7
Duration: 4 hours
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History Museum
Santa Monica History Museum
4.4
Duration: 1h 30 min
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Specialty Museum
Angel's Attic
4.3
Duration: 2 hours

Parks in Santa Monica

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Park
Palisades Park
4.3
Duration: 2 hours
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Park
Tongva Park
4.3
Duration: 2 hours
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Playground
South Beach Park
4.1
Duration: 2h 30 min
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Park
Mary Hotchkiss Park
4.1
Duration: 2 hours

Kid-friendly things to do in Santa Monica

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Aquarium
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
3.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Children’s Museum
Museum of Flying
4.2
Duration: 2 hours
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Theater
Santa Monica Playhouse
4.4
Duration: 2 hours
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Historic Site
Old Mission Santa Barbara Santa Barbara
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Specialty Museum
The Getty Villa Malibu
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
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Architectural Building
Santa Barbara County Courthouse Santa Barbara
4.7
Duration: 2 hours

Where to stay in Santa Monica

Santa Monica's hotels range from luxury to boutique, offering more than 3,500 rooms located at or near the waterfront. Staying at a beachfront resort can cost a bundle, so if you have a limited budget in mind, consider accommodations away from the water. Hotels just a few blocks from the ocean offer comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV at a fraction of the cost charged by their beachfront equivalents. For an even more affordable stay, consider one of the city's inns or motels.
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Places to visit with Santa Monica

San Francisco Trip planner BEST FOR: Island, Bridge, Pier / Boardwalk Los Angeles Trip planner BEST FOR: Theme Park, Specialty Museum, Historic Walking Area San Diego Trip planner BEST FOR: Specialty Museum, Zoo, Beach Yosemite National Park Trip planner BEST FOR: World heritage site, Geologic Formation, Hiking Trail Anaheim Trip planner BEST FOR: Disney Park / Activity, Ride / Activity, Room Escape Game

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