People walking and taking a photo at the end of Santa Monica Pier; End of pier overlooking ocean and hills in the distance

Travel Responsibly

Santa Monica will always shine for you and welcome guests with open arms, and we want you to make the most of your beachside vacation. We encourage you to plan ahead, get tested, travel responsibly, set expectations and take appropriate precautions as you explore Santa Monica and beyond. Before visiting Santa Monica, review local COVID-19 updates and how to travel responsibly.

View Santa Monica safety information.

COVID-19 Updates

Know When to Mask Up

The Los Angeles County Health Officer has updated their suggestions for masking. As of November 18, 2022 you must wear a mask in healthcare setting, if you have had COVID-19 in the last 10 days, have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 or if there has been a recent outbreak where you live or work. It is strongly recommended to wear a mask on all forms of public transit, in transportation hubs, in all indoor public settings or if you at risk for severe illness.

Please see below for masking updates in various public settings:

  • Transportation in the USA: Effective April 18, 2022, the TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendments requiring mask usage on public transit and transportation hubs across the United States. At this time, the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transit settings.
    • Transportation in Los Angeles County: Effective September 23, 2022, Los Angeles strongly recommends, but no longer requires, masking for all persons using public transit or at indoor transportation hubs. Transit agencies may elect to continue requiring masking.
    • Events: Effective April 1, 2022, the requirement for pre-entry vaccine verification or proof of recent negative test results for attendees of indoor mega events will be lifted and moved to a strong recommendation.
    • Public Spaces in Los Angeles County: As of March 12, 2022, masks are strongly recommended, but not required, for everyone 2 years and older at: indoor public settings, such as retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, card rooms, meetings, state and local government offices that serve the public. Masks are strongly recommended indoors or in crowded outdoor settings for people at high risk of severe illness, or who live with someone who is at high risk.
      • While the Los Angeles County Health Office has lifted indoor mask requirements, some businesses may require a mask to be worn in their establishment.

    The best tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to move forward with economic and social recovery is to get vaccinated. The free, effective, and safe vaccine is readily available in Santa Monica and throughout LA County. To receive your COVID-19 vaccine, visit

    Get Tested

    Santa Monica Travel & Tourism urges residents and visitors to travel safely and responsibly. Part of protecting yourself and others during this ever-changing pandemic is getting tested if you are experiencing symptoms, if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, or if you are traveling to stay compliant with current travel requirements. Below are some resources to access COVID-19 testing. Please review each site’s specifics for test type, pricing for expedited results, and turnaround time. Some sites may require advance booking while others accept walk-ins.

    Entry into the USA

    As of January 5, 2023, the CDC requires a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery for air passengers boarding flights to the United States originating from China. The CDC does not require air passengers arriving from other foreign countries to provide a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

    If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country.

    Travel Responsibly in Santa Monica

    Plan Ahead

    Research a business or activity you’re interested in doing before you go. Call the business directly or check their websites and social media channels to find out if their operations are different.

    If you want to go to a certain restaurant or museum, try making a reservation ahead of time or going during off-peak times. If you want to avoid crowds, try visiting one of Santa Monica’s eight neighborhoods, which provide a variety of dining and retail options to both visitors and locals.

    If you still have questions please call our Visitor Center at 310-319-6263 or text 424-443-8830 seven days a week from 9am – 5pm, or stop in at 2427 Main Street, open Monday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am to 5pm. We’re happy to help answer any questions you have about visiting Santa Monica right now.

    Set Expectations for Your Visit

    As businesses catch up with hiring staff and changing operations, we ask that you be patient and allow for some flexibility in your travel and activity plans. The Santa Monica community welcomes visitors with kindness and appreciates it when visitors return the favor. Show generosity to local businesses and do your part to preserve the long-term prosperity of the locations you visit.

    While the beach and pier are must-visits on your vacation, there are many other unique neighborhoods in Santa Monica to explore which may be less crowded. Check out the numerous street art murals on Pico Boulevard with a self-guided walking tour, splurge at the boutique shops and cafes on Montana Avenue, dine alfresco at one of the many restaurants on Main Street, stop by a gallery or two in Mid-City’s thriving arts district, buy fresh seasonal produce at one of Downtown Santa Monica’s farmers markets or shop for treasures in the Ocean Park Boulevard/Santa Monica Airport Area.

    Go Car-Free

    Going car-free is easy within Santa Monica’s 8.3 square miles which offer pedestrian friendly sidewalks, miles and miles of bike lanes, a light rail connecting Santa Monica to downtown L.A., rideshare services, plus electric scooters. View all of Santa Monica’s public transportation options and review safety information for getting around the city.

    If you must bring a vehicle, please read our parking page for more information.

    Help Keep Santa Monica Clean

    Maintain the highest respect for everyone and everything you meet while in Santa Monica. This includes the environment in which we live. To keep our beachside city shining, please pick up after yourself and dispose of any trash in designated receptacles available along the beach and throughout the city.

    Support Local Businesses

    Attending local events, dining at local restaurants, and shopping at local stores all contribute to the local community’s well-being and economy. Immersion in the many local cultures of Santa Monica contributes to the city’s growth as a distinct beachside destination for future generations to visit and enjoy.

    Did you know that for every $10 spent at a Santa Monica business, as much as $7 stays in the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures? With each purchase made in Santa Monica during your visit close you make an investment in our local economy, save time and reduce your carbon footprint.

    If you want to continue your journey after visiting Santa Monica, please review Visit California’s Travel Responsibly Code.


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