Ahh… beautiful Santa Monica! One of our favorite places to hang out in Los Angeles. A beach town in a big city, Santa Monica is the perfect destination for relaxation and play. You might not have heard much about Santa Monica, but we bet you’d recognize it form some of your favorite movies – Rocky III, Forrest Gump, The Sting, just to name a few. And, of course TV shows such as “Private Practice”, “Three’s Company”, “Pacific Blue”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” were all filmed in Santa Monica. Sean Penn, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr. , Anjelica Houston, Emilio Estevez and many other famous actors and producers have all called Santa Monica home as well. Whether cruising its beaches along Pacific Coast Highway, riding the carousel on The Santa Monica Pier or stepping into the shops on Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica offers something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite things about Santa Monica:
Santa Monica Beach is 3 miles long, covering 245 acres of sand along the Santa Monica Bay. Whether you want to stick your toes in the warm sand, or build sand castles by the shore, Santa Monica’s beaches are the place to be. While it is wonderful to laze the day away on a beach chair and listen to the surf, there is also so much to do while at the beach. On any given day, you can catch a volleyball game, take some surf lessons or hang out at the famous Muscle Beach and get a work out in! Additionally, with so many great amenities nearby, you can go from sand to city life in minutes.
The Santa Monica Pier
While the pier was originally built to cover up a pipeline into the ocean in 1909, this 100 year old landmark has become a main attraction for fun and entertainment. Take a spin on the solar powered Ferris Wheel at Pacific Amusement Park or enjoy an ice cream after riding the carousel originally built in the 1920’s. There are also some fun restaurants along the pier, including Bubba Gump Shrimp – which is owned by some of the producers of the Academy Award Winning Movie “Forrest Gump”, in which the pier was also shot at! In fact, you might recognize the pier from many popular TV shows and movies. Who knows what TV shows or movies might be filming there if you decide to take a visit?
Third Street Promenade
Third Street Promenade is a famous outdoor dining and shopping area located in Downtown Santa Monica. Within walking distance to the beach and Santa Monica Pier, Third Street offers a great variety of stores and wonderful restaurants. One of the perks of this fantastic outdoor arena is the variety of musicians and performers that you will find along its path. You can stop and watch a mime perform or listen to the songs from a one man band or enjoy the dancers. Date night, anyone? This truly is a one of a kind experience.
The Strand along Santa Monica Beach
Looking for something a little more active than shopping or roller coasters? Why not rent a bike or some skates and ride along The Strand at the beach. This amazing bike path stretches 5.2 miles from Will Rogers State Beach to Venice Beach. Since this concrete path is directly on the beach you have an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and the wonderful feel of a breeze on your face. You can also take a break from your exercise and just enjoy the beach life as you can exit this ride anytime you like!
Main Street Santa Monica
If you want to get away from the crowds, but still experience Santa Monica at its best, you might want to take a stroll down Main Street. About a mile long, Main Street houses a diverse collection of restaurants, shops and museums. You won’t find any chain restaurants or stores along Main Street. Its goal is to provide a unique experience for each visitor. This is a great place to support local businesses, buy fresh food at their farmers market and visit some wonderful galleries and, if you go far enough, you will be able to see the famous “Binocular building”.
As you can see, Santa Monica offers so much to anyone who visits. Let LA Insider Tours take you there and show you our favorite spots in one of our favorite places, Santa Monica!
- “Don’t Hesitate….Just Do It!!”
The tour was a lot of fun and he even took us to less well known spots for some great photo ops! Definitely recommend doing and would absolutely do another tour with these guys when next back in LA!
~ Kelly T
- “Perfect fit for our family!”
Our tour was AMAZING. This is one of the most professional companies I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.
~ Michele G, El Segundo, California
- “LOOK NO FURTHER”
I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.
~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia
- “Worth the Splurge”
Eight hours seems like a lot of time, but the day just flew by. It was so fun and interesting. I would do this again with no regrets.
The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada
- “Great family day”
A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!