15 Best Things to Do in Santa Monica &Venice Beach in a Weekend
You’ve most likely seen images the enjoyable ferris wheel on the pier and thought I can’t wait to go to Santa Monica in California! Or movies of muscle seaside and palm tree-lined walkways in Venice seaside and questioned in case you may perhaps go to each seaside cities on the identical weekend. Properly, you’re in luck as a result of these are the perfect issues to do in Santa Monica and Venice seaside over a weekend or higher but a Three-day weekend.
Each Santa Monica and Venice Seashore are west of downtown Los Angeles and simply north of Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, alongside the Pacific Ocean. If you’re driving from Northern California or San Diego County, they’re simply accessible by way of the 5 and 405. If you’re from out of state, you’re only a hop, skip, and a bounce from LAX.
As a result of we drove, we had a automobile at our disposal, however one will not be strictly mandatory. Every city will be explored on their very own by foot, and you may journey the four miles between the 2 by renting bikes (see under), strolling, or utilizing a taxi/Uber/Lyft. (Or in case you are a Zipcar member, there are a number of places within the space to choose up a automobile.)
These two quintessential SoCal coastal cities supply so many enjoyable issues to try this it may be troublesome to determine what it’s best to spend your money and time on. Which is why these are solely the perfect issues to do in Santa Monica and Venice Seashore.
We had been in a position to match all of those actions into three days. We stayed on the Marina del Rey Marriott in Venice Seashore and we solely used the automobile to drive to dinner at evening. We largely explored by foot or bike.
These are the highlights of our journey, what we noticed and skilled, and the place we spent our time. I hope this record helps you create your itinerary for if you go to these Southern California cities! Let’s get to the perfect issues to do in Santa Monica and Venice Seashore!
Oh, in case you are additionally packing up for this journey and wish some cute seaside outfit concepts, view 21 Cute Beach Outfits for Your Summer Outfit Inspiration!
The Greatest Enjoyable Issues to Do in Santa Monica
Santa Monica has that very cool vibe and posh really feel. Its mixture of high-end and California cool model has many vacationers from round California and the world calling this metropolis certainly one of their favourite seaside spots in California.
The Authentic Muscle Seashore in Santa Monica
That is the unique Muscle Seashore, begun in 1933 by gymnasts and acrobats to have a spot to coach. Quickly, athletes of every kind had been making their method to the oceanside venue and, within the 1950s, a weight pen was added and have become a haven for bodybuilders and health buffs. Fashionable lore holds Muscle Seashore because the “birthplace of the health increase.”
At present there’s nonetheless a weight pen, quite a few adult-sized train tools (rings, parallel bars, stability beams, climbing equipment, and so forth.), and a grassy space. You possibly can even take a look at your mettle on a rope climb or hone your swinging abilities. We had enjoyable simply hanging out, ingesting a smoothie and watching all of the actions (with a little bit of envy and awe). That is undoubtedly on the highest of issues to do in Santa Monica, even in case you’re only a spectator.
Stroll Santa Monica Pier and Take pleasure in Pacific Park
Inbuilt 1909, the pier was initially a promenade and fashionable fishing spot for locals. An amusement park was added in 1916 and lasted till the Nice Melancholy. It was resurrected on a small scale within the mid-1940s however by no means grew to become the vacation spot it as soon as was. In 1983 a full-scale renovation was begun that took nearly a decade to finish, yielding what we’ve got immediately: carnival rides, video games, meals, and a enjoyable place to assemble.
Whilst you can truly go to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier any time of day, nighttime is a really particular time. The park, lit in neon and brilliant lights, resembles one thing out of Willy Wonka. All of the rides, carnival video games, and meals distributors are on superb show and it’s a real feast for the eyes. The spotlight for us was driving the Pacific Ferris Wheel, which afforded us an evening view of each Santa Monica and Venice Seashore. That is undoubtedly a spot to deliver youngsters in case you’re touring with household. Peter and I introduced my little sister right here and he or she cherished it. It’s among the finest issues to do in Santa Monica for teenagers.
TRAVEL TIP: If you’re right here throughout the summer season on a Thursday evening, you may take pleasure in certainly one of their free twilight live shows (7-10 pm).
Third Road Promenade In Santa Monica
What’s a trip and not using a little procuring, proper? I discovered the proper venue in Santa Monica to be the Third Road Promenade. This upscale procuring and eating space is a far cry from the trinkets and fried meals you’ll discover alongside the seaside or on the pier.
You possibly can wander down the pedestrian mall and discover high-end items from Armani, clothes retailers corresponding to Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie, Fred Segal, and J. Crew, in addition to small boutiques, bookstores, jewelers, and residential items. You may get a spa remedy, step right into a nail salon for a fast mani or pedi, or make the most of one of many many hair salons. Oh…and there’s a Tesla dealership! When you can’t discover it on the Third Road Promenade, they most likely don’t make it. You received’t discover a scarcity of issues to do right here!
You even have the chance to soak up a film at certainly one of three theaters, catch a live performance within the night, or watch an entertaining road performer. That is additionally the place the Saturday Natural Farmer’s Market is held.
TRAVEL TIP: In Santa Monica, use one of many downtown parking buildings for tremendous reasonably priced charges. We paid $zero on our first go to and solely $1 on our second!
Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
California, the land of milk and honey and plentiful produce. There’s no higher place to witness the bounty of this West Coast state than on the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. You possibly can select from the Saturday downtown location (that includes primarily natural fare) or Sunday’s Major Road/Heritage Sq. location. Each supply every part from soup to nuts…actually.
You’ve got produce, meat/poultry/fish/seafood, flowers, baked items, in addition to meals distributors that supply loads of choices for breakfast and/or lunch. You could find Asian greens and Mexican cactus, delicious cinnamon rolls or French macarons, herbs and spices, in addition to recent eggs. The Sunday market additionally has music, arts and crafts, and actions for youngsters, corresponding to face portray and pony rides.
We went to the Sunday Farmers Market in Santa Monica and cherished it. We had been shocked by the variety of breakfast choices they’d.
Chill out on the Seashore & Go For An Ocean Swim
Final, however not least, don’t overlook to dip your toes within the Pacific Ocean! The new solar and hotter temperatures throughout the summer season make a fast stroll alongside the ocean’s edge a really nice expertise. The water itself is fairly chilly, so full immersion is just for the courageous (even the heartiest of surfers put on wetsuits year-round).
Sunday Brunch at One Pico
Situated inside Shutters on the Beach (lodge), One Pico is the proper place to have brunch. This upscale restaurant gives a seaside view of Santa Monica you can take pleasure in whereas having a pleasant mimosa or gin fizz and eating from their seasonal market menu. I cherished their lemon ricotta pancakes, and their Eggs Benedict was executed to perfection. Linger some time and benefit from the view!
TRAVEL TIP: When you’d like one thing extra informal, attempt their downstairs restaurant, Coast Seashore Café, and Bar.
Bike from Santa Monica to Venice Seashore (Or Vice Versa)
A crossover exercise, I recommend that you just lease bikes at Venice Seashore and bike your method to Santa Monica (or vice versa). Bikes are simply rented at a number of venues at each seashores; ours value $7/hour per bike. When you’re mounted up, take the Marvin Braude Bike Path (aka The Strand), a paved path that meanders alongside the coast.
The trail itself is 22 miles lengthy and runs from Will Rogers State Seashore within the Pacific Palisades south to Torrance, however the VB-SM route is about four miles a method (20 minutes in case you don’t linger at any of the seashores!). It’s an effective way to benefit from the ocean and get a little bit train on the identical time.
Issues to do in Venice Seashore
When you’ve biked your method from Santa Monica to Venice seaside it’s time to take pleasure in all of the craziness that Venice Seashore has to supply. It’s a distinctive place, to say the least, however its uniqueness is a part of the attraction. I might say that the vibe from Santa Monica may be very completely different from Venice Seashore. Venice Seashore has a grungier model and careless perspective. If in Santa Monica you get a brand new purse in Venice Seashore you get a tattoo.
Venice Seashore Boardwalk
I by no means get uninterested in visiting boardwalks—Atlantic Metropolis, Coney Island, Santa Cruz—and the Venice Seashore Boardwalk isn’t any completely different. A bit extra bohemian, and undoubtedly with a laidback California vibe, however all the same old suspects will be discovered right here. Road distributors, fortune tellers, chalk artists, eating places, and meals carts line the 1.5-mile Ocean Entrance Stroll. You may get pierced or tattooed, get a wholesome acai bowl or a greasy corndog, watch jugglers and skate boarders, there’s something for everybody.
TRAVEL TIP: Most of the performers alongside the Venice Seashore Boardwalk are nothing in need of wonderful and entertaining, so be sure you deliver a couple of greenback payments to reward their efforts.
Muscle Seashore Venice
Alongside the Venice Seashore Boardwalk is Muscle Seashore Venice (to not be confused with the unique in Santa Monica). Search for the gated space with all of the weightlifting tools and ready to be in awe of a number of the our bodies and feats they carry out right here. There are even bleachers, so you may park your self and get an eyeful!
This muscle seaside undoubtedly has a harder vibe than the one at Santa Monica.
Venice Seashore State Park
When you’d prefer to witness another athletic endeavors, head over to the Venice Seashore Skate Park. We frolicked across the perimeter of this mammoth man-made course that was full of skate boarders of all ages. We witnessed them performing tips, driving rails, maneuvering stairs, and doing a little scary aerial stunts.
Venice Seashore Canals
Go to the Venice Canal Historic District. This space, situated inland a couple of blocks between Muscle Seashore and Venice fishing pier. It was in-built 1905 in homage to the city in Italy of the identical title. Fairly fashionable when constructed, the canals fell into disrepair mid-century and a few had been stuffed in. A renovation undertaking passed off in 1992-93 making the neighborhood fascinating once more.
At present it’s a quiet, beautiful neighborhood with strolling paths and bridges that allowed us to wander to our coronary heart’s delight. We solely want we may have borrowed one of many home-owner’s boats and brought a experience via them the canals!
TRAVEL TIP: Verify the native tide charts, because the canals look swampy and have little or no water throughout low tide. You undoubtedly need to go after they’re full!
Lunch at Simmzy’s
We cherished this native pub. It has a terrific collection of craft beers on faucet, starting from four.6% to 10% alcohol by quantity, with some enjoyable names like Smog Metropolis Hoptonic, Three Weavers Kill the Lights Darkish Lager, Noble Man’s Milk (stout), and Nice Divide Espresso Yeti Imperial Stout. In addition they function some domestically made wines.
The meals was great, with most dishes tending towards American, Mexican or Asian flavors. We cherished the grilled candy corn, had a tasty shrimp, citrus & avocado salad, and devoured the Tuna Banh Mi.
TRAVEL TIP: This joint will get fairly busy, so go early for lunch or between meals after the frenzy.
Take pleasure in Drinks at Sundown at Resort Erwin Rooftop Bar
The Resort Erwin, situated a block from the Venice Seashore Boardwalk, has the one rooftop bar in Venice Beach, appropriately named Excessive Lounge. From this vantage level, you may see out to the Pacific Ocean, which made it the proper place to loosen up and have a drink at sundown. We frolicked on comfortable, padded lounge chairs and sipped cocktails whereas we watched the solar decrease itself into the horizon, producing colours extra lovely than these of our drinks! Extremely advisable sundown exercise!
I’d additionally prefer to recommend that you just make a brief foray north to Palisades Park. This 26-acre park sits above the ocean on sandstone bluffs and affords a number of the most beautiful picture ops we had our entire journey. Wander via the rose gardens, try the Digital camera Obscura, and head to the overlooks for a view of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean. We promise you received’t be disenchanted!
PS: When you love the seaside be sure that to view 117 of the Best Beach Quotes for Instagram Captions.