Looking for the quintessential SoCal experience? Spend a single day in Santa Monica and you’ll get your wish! There is nothing quite like the feeling of sand between your toes and the smell of the ocean as it crashes to the shore. Santa Monica is located 15 miles west of Downtown LA and gives off a whole new vibe.
Of course, sitting on the beach is sometimes what vacation is all about, but Santa Monica is more than just a beach. It’s a bustling area where you’ll find all sorts of activities to partake in. The area surrounding the world famous Santa Monica Pier is filled with local musicians, artists, and food vendors, along with souvenir shops and the yummy smells of boardwalk hot dogs and funnel cakes.
The Santa Monica Pier is also home to Pacific Park, an amusement park. Nothing can cap off a day in the sand and sun like a ride on a roller coaster. The West Coaster is a small roller coaster that’s good for ages 9 to 99! If the roller coaster game isn’t for you, there are plenty of other carnival attractions. Truly, who can resist a sunset picture from the Ferris Wheel?
Boardwalks can provide entertainment far beyond the amusement rides though. Los Angeles is a city full of broke musicians who are trying to make a living. Living in the City of Angels isn’t cheap! Throughout the day or night, you’ll come across someone doing magic, dancing, or playing an instrument up and down the boardwalk.
The food on the pier is exactly what you find anywhere near a beach: SEAFOOD! Through the endless array of cotton candy, ice cream, and hamburgers, one of the pier’s best restaurants is Marisol’s. Known for their margaritas, it’s a family atmosphere with mariachi bands and delicious Mexican cuisine.
Parking on the actual pier is limited and sells out early, especially since almost every day in California is perfect weather. Ample parking is available in multiple lots around the main pier area, but be prepared to spend a decent amount of money. If hitting the beach isn’t your thing, there is also an aquarium nearby that will delight the old and the young.
One of the free things to do that is both scenic and fun in Santa Monica is to drive up Highway 1, better known as the Pacific Coast Highway. As you drive, you’ll be chasing the waves as this highway is directly next to all the beach cities in Los Angeles. The PCH can be a little congested at times, so plan to go smack in the middle of the day, when traffic will be less likely to be backed up.
As you make your way through the incredible sights and attractions of SoCal, we invite you to visit 365 Tickets USA, where you’ll find an abundance of greatly discounted attraction tickets! Save a bit of money while making lifelong memories!