Things to Do in Santa Monica

From wide beaches to the famous Santa Monica Pier, uncover the allure of the most authentic things to do in Santa Monica and discover a relaxed rhythm near LA when you stay at Viceroy Santa Monica.

Local Attractions

Art & Culture

Discover Richard Meer’s cutting-edge architecture at the Getty Center, plus works by Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. Perched high above Los Angeles, it’s one of the world’s largest arts organizations. Take in the splendor of the seasonally changing gardens and, on clear days, breathtaking views of the Los Angeles and Pacific Ocean. Among the best museums in Los Angeles, don’t miss the Hammer Museum’s edgy contemporary art. Round off any trip to Santa Monica with a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the largest art museum in the west where you can explore cultures from ancient times to the present.


Famous Route 66 leads directly to the Santa Monica Pier, one of the city’s most celebrated activities since 1908. It’s impossible to miss the iconic Ferris wheel, vintage carousel, and roller coaster. Don’t miss the free concerts and outdoor movies in the summertime. Along Ocean Avenue, alfresco dining spots and the palm-lined Palisades Park provide enviable beachfront hangouts. And no visit to Santa Monica is complete without a trip to a local farmer’s market. Join more than 900,000 shoppers to enjoy the city’s selection of fresh, seasonal produce year-round.

Recreation & Adventure

There’s no better way to enjoy southern California than at the beach. Get refreshed and relaxed at Santa Monica Beach where year-round sunbathing and swimming are a given. Or escape the beach for the Pacific Palisades at Temescal Gateway Park, one of the most popular in the Santa Monica mountains. More than 140 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, views, and more await adventurous travelers seeking the “Big Wild” – complete with 20,000 acres of nature trails to explore. At the Self-Realization Center, you can switch off the outside world for a quiet oasis with yoga and meditation.


Carefree and car-free, the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica has the best shopping in town. Grab a bite to eat, explore one of the city’s farmers' markets, or shop for new clothes. Experience the laid-back vibe of nearby Venice on the mile-long Abbot Kinney Boulevard, full of upscale boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. And no trip to LA would be complete without a visit to famous Rodeo Drive, the three-block stretch in Beverly Hills where well-heeled locals shop for Gucci and Dior.

Santa Monica Activities