Two Day Itinerary in Santa Monica
Santa Monica has an extraordinary number of things to see, do, and experience for beach lovers, foodies and everything in between. If you are visiting for 48 hours, here is a two-day itinerary of Santa Monica experiences that includes the key attractions to visit and a glimpse of living like a local. We hope you come back again for a longer, overnight stay to explore even more!
Day One: Morning
Santa Monica’s 3.5 miles of stunning coastline offers the perfect setting for sightseeing and exercise. To see the best of Los Angeles’ beach city, rent bikes from the Santa Monica Bike Center and hit the Strand. Formerly named the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, this beautiful oceanside path stretches for 22 miles and connects Santa Monica with Torrance County Beach. Pedal as far as you’d like as you snap photos in our scenic neighbors of Venice, Hermosa and Redondo Beach.
Back in Santa Monica, return your bike and grab a smoothie, coffee or light bite at Perry’s. Then head to the historic Santa Monica Pier, offering more than 100 years of history. The most Instagrammed location in all of LA, the Pier offers amazing views of the sea and is packed full of family-friendly attractions, shops and restaurants.
Hit the park
Start your visit to the Santa Monica Pier at Pacific Park, a family place to play with attractions, midway games, food and seaside shopping.
Spin and splash
Stop in at the 1922 Looff Hippodrome Carousel for a spin before you discover the vast marine species that call the Santa Monica Bay home at the Heal the Bay Aquarium.
Snap a selfie
Don’t leave without your very own selfie at “the End of the Road” Route 66 sign that marks the western terminus of this historic roadway.
Santa Monica Pier Eateries
The Santa Monica Pier offers a plethora of eating options, just in time for lunch. For some of the freshest seafood on the California Coast head to The Albright. This family-run seafood mainstay offers a locally sourced menu, craft beer, California wine list and a relaxed, welcoming vibe.
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Day One: Afternoon
After lunch, it’s time to leave the beach and explore Main Street, just two blocks up from the ocean. This beloved neighborhood is home to a variety of fashionable clothing stores, unique art galleries and good eats.
Visiting on Sunday? Don’t miss the weekly Farmers Market near the California Heritage Museum. Stop in at the Santa Monica Visitor Information Center, where the helpful staff is always happy to point you in the right direction.
Continue your shopping spree along the world-famous Third Street Promenade, just a 20-minute walk from Main Street. This iconic pedestrian-only street is a shopper’s paradise complete with outdoor entertainment and live music.
Day One: Evening
As magic hour approaches, head for cocktails with a view at Elephante Beach House. The buzzing rooftop bar and eatery from seasoned designer and restaurateur Nicholas Mathers transports guests to the Southern Mediterranean in the heart of Santa Monica.
End your evening with a nightcap at The Misfit Restaurant + Bar. Reprising a “back to the bar” ideal of casual destination dining, they serve signature cocktails and accessible comfort food.
Day Two: Morning
Do like the locals on Day Two: hit the beach for a relaxing morning. Whether you want to take a dip in the incredible outdoor pool, try a yoga class, or enjoy a game of beach volleyball there’s something for everyone at Annenberg Community Beach House. After working up an appetite, there’s no need to leave your perfect seaside spot thanks to onsite eatery Back on the Beach Cafe. With delicious brunch staples, kick back at one of its umbrella-covered tables right on the sand.
Day Two: Afternoon
Spend the afternoon shopping on Montana Avenue. Stretching for 10 blocks, this tree-lined district is filled with popular eateries, juice bars, more than 150 boutiques and the historic Aero Theatre.
Finally, no trip to Santa Monica is complete without a visit to Bergamot Station; Southern California’s largest art gallery complex spanning a staggering eight acres. Browse indie galleries for unique souvenirs. (Advance booking for galleries may be required.)
Get a different perspective of Santa Monica’s famous sunsets with a walk in Palisades Park. Running the full length of Downtown Santa Monica, this beautiful 26-acre space boasts more than a mile of cliff-level ocean views, as well as some awesome public art sculptures.
Pizza & peeps
On Montana Avenue, head to casual neighborhood joint Spumoni Trattoria & Pizzeria. Just off the beaten track, this friendly Italian is renowned for its authentic handmade pasta, specialty Spumoni ice cream and excellent house red. Dine on the patio for a side of celeb-spotting.
In the mood to party? End your final day in town at The Bungalow, on the grounds of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, for great music and a fun atmosphere that lasts well into the night.
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