If you’re looking for a family getaway that’s got a little something for everyone, Santa Monica is the place to go. One of the most popular tourist spots in Los Angeles, Santa Monica will leave you screaming for more. Exploring the attractions could take an entire week, so make sure you hit some of these highlights during your trip.
First, the obvious thing to see in California is always the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Santa Monica beach attracts more tourists than any other beach in LA. Of course this means that it’s also extremely crowded during the peak traveling months of the summer, but that also means endless opportunities for people watching. The swimming is great in the cool waters of the Pacific, and there are also plenty of water sports available.
If you prefer a peaceful getaway, the sound of the waves, and early morning walks with the sand between your toes, you may want to go during the winter months when the wave of tourists is nowhere to be found.
Santa Monica Pier is a California beach icon. No matter what you are looking for, the carnival-like feel of the pier is sure to deliver. It has an amusement park, an arcade, a carousel, a trapeze school (yes, an actual school to learn trapeze), and the world’s first solar powered Ferris wheel. Standing 130 feet high, a ride on the Ferris wheel will give you a fantastic view of the entire coast.
For education and entertainment, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, or SMPA for short, is the place to go. It offers the chance for an up close look at some of the ocean creatures and the opportunity to even touch some of them. Sharks and rays are the most popular attractions and children love that they get to touch a sea cucumber. To make a day of it, there is a children’s center that offers art and other activities.
For something a little different, be sure to stop by the outdoor farmers markets. The absolute best place to get fresh cut flowers and mouth watering produce from local organic farmers as well as an afternoon of entertainment. There is definitely a reason why Santa Monica is flooded with tourists year after year, so add it to your list of places to see and experience every aspect of it for yourself.