7 Fun Things to Do in Santa Monica If You’re a First Timer

Some people mistake Santa Monica for being a neighborhood in LA, but it is its own city. It is best known for its pier and beach but also has eight different neighborhoods. 

Downtown / Third Street Promenade has two of the largest shopping areas in Santa Monica with a high concentration of shops, restaurants, and hotels. The farmers market is on Wednesday and Saturday.

Main Street is the artsy side of Santa Monica with surfer vibes. Main St has galleries, boutique shops, and the highest concentration of coffee shops in the city. There’s also a weekly farmers market on Sunday.

Mid-City: The furthest inland neighborhood is an arts and entertainment hub. You’ll find contemporary art collections here as well.

Montana Ave: High-end and local boutique shops. You’ll find 150+ boutique shops and restaurants.

Ocean Park Boulevard / Santa Monica Airport Area: Independent coffee shops, boutique stores, and art galleries. The airport is for private jet owners and the Museum of Flying.

Pico Boulevard: The most ethnically diverse neighborhood and home to Santa Monica College. Small local farmers market on Saturday.

Santa Monica Pier / Ocean Avenue: The most popular area with the famous pier and beach and open-air restaurants and bars.

Wilshire Boulevard: Where Douglas Park is located with playing fields and reflecting pools. A bunch of food options including a concentration of Mexican restaurants.

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