Should You Visit Santa Monica?

Is Santa Monica worth visiting?

Yes, Santa Monica offers many reasons for a visit. It's a town everyone should explore, and our experience here was wonderful. We didn't want to leave. We first visited in 2008 and have returned several times. During our time here, we fell in love with eclectic energy and fun quirkiness.

Whether you're a traveling as a family, a couple, or a backpacker, this town has a lot to offer. Any local will tell you what makes it special is the amazing beaches and fantastic food.

Santa Monica is a famous beach town near Los Angeles. The beach is a lively place with bike trails, parks, and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. There's also the famous "Muscle Beach" which is an outdoor gym, and the amusement park on the iconic pier.

Santa Monica, California Santa Monica, California

5 Reasons to Visit Santa Monica

1. Beaches

Santa Monica Beach is large and lined with bike trails. It's also filled with activity and you'll find many water sports, beach volleyball, and surfing in the area. There's also the famous Santa Monica Pier, which has an amusement park aquarium, Ferris wheal, dining, and shopping.

2. Food

You'll find a diversity of restaurants in the area, many of which make use of the town's many farmer's markets. The restaurant scene has a beachy vibe with a lot of outdoor dining opportunities. There are also a range of cuisines to choose from such as Mexican, Italian, casual, and upscale.

3. Nightlife

There's a relaxed and laid back vibe to the nightlife scene. Many venues offer outdoor seating and live music in a casual setting. You can hang out on a patio and enjoy the California climate while you sip cold drinks and the beach town atmosphere.

4. Shopping

It's easy to pass the time shopping in Santa Monica. There are independent vendors, fashion boutiques, and art galleries. Head to Montana Avenue or Main Street for some of the best shopping.

5. Museums

There's a thriving arts scene and a number of museums around town. Check out the Museum of Flying, the California Heritage Museum, or the Santa Monica History Museum.




Is Santa Monica worth visiting in the Summer?

The warm weather in summer is one of the reasons people visit at this time of year. Temperatures average around 21°C (70°F) with daily high temperatures often more than 24°C (76°F).

The peak season for travel is summer in Santa Monica, so expect to see more tourists than usual. This destination is very popular with tourists, and in the high season it's even busier than usual as this is when most people like to visit. Expect tourist crowds to be very large, and prices to be higher than normal. However, there's plenty to do here this time of year, too.

With the warmer weather this time of year, the beach is the main attraction. Spend time enjoying the waves and sand during your trip. You'll also find it quite easy to get around on foot, because this is a very walkable town, especially in the nice weather. This is a great time of year to relax at the beach, wander through the museums, and enjoy an evening out.


Summer Weather in Santa Monica
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
July 21°C (70°F) 0 mm (0 in)
August 22°C (71°F) 0 mm (0 in)
September 21°C (70°F) 1 mm (0 in)

Is Santa Monica worth visiting in the Autumn?

Autumn is the shoulder season for travel in Santa Monica. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the shoulder season you'll still see plenty of other tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found on hotels and tours.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during autumn with average temperatures around 20°C (67°F).

You'll find plenty to do during autumn, as you'll be able to browse through museums.


Autumn Weather in Santa Monica
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
October 20°C (67°F) 6 mm (0.2 in)
November 17°C (62°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
December 14°C (58°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)

Is Santa Monica worth visiting in the Winter?

This is the low season for travel in Santa Monica. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the low season you'll still see plenty of other travelers when you visit, but less than other times of the year. Good deals are to be found on hotels and tours because it's not the best time of year to visit.

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during winter with average temperatures around 14°C (57°F).

During this season it's fun to experience the famous sights and museums, the cuisine, and the nightlife scene.


Winter Weather in Santa Monica
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
January 14°C (57°F) 17 mm (0.7 in)
February 15°C (58°F) 24 mm (0.9 in)
March 15°C (58°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)

Is Santa Monica worth visiting in the Spring?

You'll find the weather to be very nice here during spring with average temperatures around 16°C (61°F).

Spring is the shoulder season for travel in Santa Monica, which means slightly less visitors than in the peak season. This is an extremely touristy destination, so in the shoulder season you'll still see plenty of other tourists when you visit. However, good prices and deals are to be found on hotels and tours.

This is a great time of year to browse the shops, browse the museums, and enjoy the evening activities.


Spring Weather in Santa Monica
Avg Temp
(°C/°F)
Avg Rain
(mm/inches)
April 16°C (61°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
May 17°C (63°F) 1 mm (0 in)
June 19°C (66°F) 0 mm (0 in)

Things to Consider Before Visiting Santa Monica

Lots of Tourists
Santa Monica sees a high number of visitors every year, which means you might have to wait in line and deal with large crowds during your visit.

The Cost
Depending on your budget, schedule, and travel style, Santa Monica might be an expensive destination for you. You can find out the travel costs for Santa Monica here or see if Santa Monica is expensive here.

Related

What is Santa Monica most famous for?

Santa Monica is most famous for its active lifestyle and fun-filled activities. The town is very popular for its beaches. It's also known for food, nightlife, and shopping. And many travelers come for the museums, as well. It is often described as active, lively, funfilled, and energetic.


What is the most famous sight in Santa Monica?

The most popular sight in Santa Monica is the Santa Monica Pier. You can see prices and costs for this and other sights in Santa Monica on our travel costs page.

Or, see tickets, activities, and tours for the Santa Monica Pier and other attractions here.

How touristy is Santa Monica? Is it a popular town to visit?

Santa Monica is a very touristy town that attracts travelers from around the globe. Here are some of the most popular activities and tours. (Prices in US Dollars)


    • Private Rickshaw Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beach: $120
    • City Tour of Los Angeles from Torrance and El Segundo: $122
    • Santa Monica and Venice Beach Electric Bike Tour: $94
    • Dolphin Sighting Sunset Tour: $90
    • Explore Malibu's Coast: PCH & Beyond - Self Guided Audio Tour: $30
    • Onewheel Board Experience: $60
    • 5.5-Hour Exclusive Malibu Stars Homes & Beautiful Beach Tour: $89
    • Private Luxury E-Boat Cruise with Wine, Charcuterie & Sea Lions Spotting: $275

    How long should I spend in Santa Monica?

    The ideal length of time for a trip to Santa Monica is one to three days. Since Santa Monica has a variety of activities such as beaches, most people need this much time to see and do everything here.

    If you have a specific amount of time for your trip, see our advice about how much time to spend here: Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Santa Monica?, Should I spend 3, 4, or 5 days in Santa Monica?, and Should I spend 1 or 2 weeks in Santa Monica?.