On October - 28 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Just 12 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, Santa Monica is a beautiful beach community rich in family fun, outdoor activities, and arts and culture. An eclectic mix of glitz and laid-back surf culture make Santa Monica a trendy, yet relaxing vacation destination. The area promotes health living, and welcomes visitors to enjoy its nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. Whether vacationing or living in the area, Santa Monica has lots of free things to do. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular hot spots for free activities and entertainment:

Free Santa Monica Malibu CA

Relax on Santa Monica Beach

What’s a beach vacation without a beach? Measuring 3.5 miles, Santa Monica Beach is a top spot for soaking up the sun, surfing, building sand castles, or simply reading a book while listening to the waves. The Santa Monica Pier – located in the middle of the beach – features an amusement park, aquarium, restaurants and shops. The pier is the oldest pier on the West Coast and open year-round.

Attend a Festival or Parade

Santa Monica host several free events throughout the year. Among them are the Santa Monica Festival in May, which honors the city’s history and environmental resources. Every Forth of July, watch the annual Parade on Main Street, which features bands, vintage cars and entertainers.

Free Third Street Promenade Santa Monica

Photo: Marika Bortolami

Stroll Third Street Promenade

Located in downtown Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade is a hot spot for dining, shopping and entertainment. The 30-block open-air, pedestrian-only area has tons to see and do. Take pictures of street performers, shop more than 200 retailers big and small, and find celebrity chefs cooking up delicious dishes. Don’t miss fresh food options at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Get Active

Picture-perfect weather enables visitors to explore Santa Monica through fitness activities as well. Whether you want to play Frisbee on the beach or bike one of many paths, the city welcomes you to get outside. Palisades Park is a favorite for hiking and sunset viewing, and there are free tennis courts available at Yahoo, Marine and Clover parks, to name a few. Learn more about Santa Monica’s parks.

Free Bergamot Art Station Santa Monica CA

Photo: Omar Bárcena

Celebrate Local Artists

Tour southern California’s largest art gallery complex at Bergamot Station. Located on 8 acres, guests can view more than 35 art galleries, studios and design firms. The facility is also home to The Santa Monica Museum of Art, a frame shop and cafe, with expansive outdoor dining options. Parking is also free.

Catch a Movie

Bring the chairs or blankets, and enjoy a movie night. Every summer, find weekly outdoor showings at Third Street Promenade. If you prefer to stay indoors, the Santa Monica Library hosts free feature films. The library is also a work of art itself, as it features eco-friendly technology and solar panels.

Find more attractions and accommodations in Santa Monica.

Categories: Things to Do

On October - 2 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The seaside city of Santa Monica, CA, attracts thousands of visitors year round. Serving as both an urban center and a coastal getaway, Santa Monica’s attractions keep both vacationers and locals busy and entertained. The city measures 8.3 square miles, and is highly walkable and bikeable, giving people up-close and green ways to explore. Read about some popular attractions in the area and things to do:

Santa Monica Pier Attractions

Photo: gustavo.tejal

Play at Santa Monica Pier

Free events, rides, ocean views and people watching rank among the favorite things to do at this historic landmark. With more than 100 years of history, this San Diego staple features a carousel, Playland Arcade, amusement rides at Pacific Park and even a trapeze school. Head under the carousel building to learn about sea life and more at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. The pier is usually pretty packed due to its popularity, and don’t forget to stop by the shops and restaurants as well.

Take a Ride

Located on the Santa Monica Pier, the Looff Hippodrome once housed the last carousel designed by Charles I. D. Looff in the early 1920s. It now features a Philadelphia Toboggan Company design that has been in the hippodrome since the 1950s. Hand-painted horses and more than 1,000 lights will delight children and take adults back to a simpler time. The hippodrome is a must for any visitor, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Downtown Santa Monica

Photo: Alexis Fam

Tour the Downtown District

Downtown buzzes with activities and attractions year round. Third Street Promenade is a popular shopping district where guests roam dozens of retailers, and street performers congregate to entertain crowds. Area events include the Santa Monica Film Festival, ICE (an outdoor ice skating rink), a weekly farmers market, and walking tours. Cinema on the Street is a favorite outdoor movie series in the summer.

Palisades Park Santa Monica

Photo: Andrew Rollinger

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

If you like to explore natural areas, then check out Palisades Park, where you can sit on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean or take a stroll. The park showcases more than 26 acres of land, as well as a totem pole, camera obscura, artwork, picnic areas and a rose garden. This spot attracts couples looking for a little quiet time, too.

Locals and travelers love climbing the Santa Monica Stairs, which have three separate staircases, for exercise or just fun. Leaving from San Vincente down into the Santa Monica Canyon, the views are photo-worthy, and the workout challenges even the most fit. Fitness fans can also join the Santa Monica Rugby Club with both men’s and women’s championship-winning teams.

Read more to find places to stay, and learn more about the area.

Categories: Things to Do

On May - 4 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

santa monica 4th of julyCan you think of a better place to be for a National Holiday than the Los Angeles area with its beaches, fresh fruits and vegetables, and endless list of world famous attractions? We sure can’t! The Santa Monica 4th of July celebrations, and those taking place throughout LA County put this area on the top of the list for places to enjoy Independence Day. Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the famous Santa Monica Pier when it is decked out with patriots ready to laud their nation’s achievements over the last 239 years of its independence. Known for its party culture, the LA area is the perfect place to get down with America this year!

Here are some of the best Santa Monica 4th of July events to check out while in town.

  1. Santa Monica 4th of July Parade
    Drawing thousands of spectators each year to Main Street, Santa Monica, this parade has become famous throughout the area for its extravagant performers celebrating the United States of America’s rich history. Whether you’re traveling with little ones or not, this is a show worth catching and will take place in the morning on Saturday, July 4th.
  2. Jaws Outdoor Movie Event
    Eat|See|Hear is an outdoor movie series presented by SHOWTIME. Their 4th of July movie will be showing at Santa Monica High School, with a food truck park opening at 5:30 for the ultimate dinner and a movie event. Come grab some delicious grub, hear some live music, and settle in for a classic oceanside thriller. Tickets for the night out are $12 in advance, or $14 at the door.
  3. Santa Monica Farmers Market
    Serendipitously falling on one of the four days a week when you can find a farmers market in Santa Monica, swing by the Downtown market in the morning to pick up last minute provisions for your epic 4th of July grill feast!
  4. Fireworks!
    The Santa Monica Pier no longer hosts their own fireworks show, but there is one close by at Marina del Rey that can be seen from many points throughout Santa Monica. Whether you want to brave the crowds and get close, or find a neighbors rooftop or boat to watch from, this annual show over the water is always epic. Get all the parking and closure info here.
  5. Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach
    A typical Venice Beach event, this body building competition is another 4th of July tradition in the area and is held at this quintessential LA beach just south of Santa Monica. This is a great source of entertainment where you will witness a unique aspect to the area’s culture – big muscles!

If you’re planning a trip to celebrate a Santa Monica 4th of July, check out these vacation rentals in the area that will give you the freedom you would have if you were at home. Whether you’re in Malibu, Laguna Beach or some another coveted town in this gorgeous area, the events will be endless, and the party unending. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak up a Santa Monica 4th of July!

Categories: Sightseeing

On December - 17 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Looking for somewhere exciting and fun to be when the countdown begins and the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? Check out our recommendations for Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve, pick your favorite and book your vacation rental on iTrip.net today. Where you party is just half the fun. You’ll also want to have a great place to crash when the champagne bottle is empty and the band stops playing.

  1. If you’re celebrating the New Year with the whole family, Orlando is the place to be. Kids will love counting down the final seconds of 2012 to a giant orange drop, an Orlando tradition. Or join the crowds at Disney World, Universal Studios or SeaWorld and enjoy a day of thrills, shows, parades and amazing midnight light shows. Depending on the size of your crowd, book a comfortable Orlando condo rental with pool privileges or a Kissimmee golf course villa rental with its own pool so the kids can play while you relax.
  2. Spend the final hours of 2012 dancing the night away at hot Miami club or cruise the wild and colorful street scene in South Beach and join the mob dancing in the street. If Stay in a luxurious Miami condo rental with spa services where you can soothe your aching head and tired feet the next day.
  3. The best New Year’s Eve destination for swanky parties is Los Angeles. Book a Santa Monica or Malibu beach house rental so you can sit on the sand and sip Mimosas while you watch the sun rise on the first day of the New Year.

Whatever your idea of a great New Year’s Eve is, you’ll find the perfect vacation rentals on iTrip.net. Book yours today!

Categories: Events

On December - 3 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Just in time for holiday shopping, Forbes.com has released its list of 25 Best Shopping destinations in the U.S. Stretching up the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco, four California cities made the list. California’s mild winter weather, fabulous beaches and sunny skies make it the perfect spot to mix a little holiday shopping with some relaxing beach time before the holidays get underway.

Its central location and busy airports make Los Angeles a favorite shopping destination. The city boasts 15 shopping centers and more than 40,000 retail stores! But Rodeo Drive is the city’s most magnificent shopping gem. Located in the posh, star-studded Beverly Hills neighborhood, Rodeo Drive is three-blocks of pure shopping bliss. Only the world’s most exclusive boutiques rate an address on this world-renowned street of glitz and glamour. Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior and Versace are among the iconic fashion lines that draw devotees from around the globe to this storied shopping mecca. A day on Rodeo Drive will make your plastic smolder so come prepared; but window shopping doesn’t cost a cent!

After a day of holiday shopping, return to your beautiful Santa Monica beach vacation rental to relax on the beach and soothe your tired feet in the refreshing waves that roll in from the Pacific Ocean. A little beach time is the perfect way to recharge before you hit the stores again.

If shopping is only part of your vacation agenda, consider staying at a lovely vacation home or vacation condo in Malibu or Marina del Ray where you’ll be a little farther from the hubbub of the city, but still close enough for convenient day trips to L.A.’s prime shopping districts.

Whatever your holiday shopping plans, your iTrip.net vacation rental will give you plenty of space to stow your gifts and relax before your next charge to the stores!

Next time: More California shopping destinations

Categories: Events

On August - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Santa Monica, California, a popular seaside city in Southern California, has great beaches, fantastic restaurants, excellent art galleries and on average 340 days of sunshine a year. Enjoy fishing, swimming, surfing and playing volleyball on the beach. Santa Monica vacations are popular with people from all over the nation.

Image of Santa Monica Beaches

Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach is a longtime landmark in the world of bodybuilding. The fully restored Muscle Beach is popular with acrobats, gymnasts and others. Take some time to check out the action. Muscle Beach also has a jungle gym for kids

Palisades Park, an excellent place for a picnic, provides a great view of the beautiful ocean. Relax under the tall palm trees and enjoy the views. The Santa Monica Visitors Information Center is located in the park.

The International Chess Park features permanent chess tables and a huge chessboard. Spectators are welcome. Watch intense rivalries among some of the master-level players or play a game of chess at one of the chess tables. It’s within easy reach of Santa Monica vacation rentals.

Santa Monica Pier has a variety of fun activities for families. The Playland Arcade has more than 200 games and attractions. The Pacific Park, situated on the pier, has rides and attractions for kids and adults, including the Pacific Plunge tower ride, a West Coaster roller coaster and the Pacific-Wheel Ferris wheel. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium features a variety of interactive exhibits. The Santa Monica Pier easily enhances Santa Monica vacations.

Browse our Santa Monica vacation rentals and begin planning your Santa Monica vacation.

Categories: Things to Do

On May - 31 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

When people plan a Santa Monica vacation, Santa Monica Pier, where iconic Route 66 meets the Pacific Ocean, and Muscle Beach, where body builders tone chiseled physiques, head the list of “must-see” attractions. But a few blocks away from one of California’s most fabled beaches, vacationers will discover a treasure trove of hidden gems.
Image of Santa Monica Beaches

Less well-known than Santa Monica’s historic pier, the delightful Third Street Promenade offers all the fun of the pier in a more comfortable, upscale setting. Blocked to car traffic, the broad, three-block promenade features charming street performers, an eclectic mix of specialty shops and boutiques, marvelous restaurants, movie theaters, and plenty of people watching. Live music, singers and dancers turn the promenade into an impromptu street party every Saturday.

When you need a break from the beach, take a stroll through beautiful Palisades Park. Accessible from both the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Beach, the park is a lush, green oasis of peaceful beauty perched along the top of a cliff that offers breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Southern California coastline.

For a unique Santa Monica dining experience, head for Swingers on Broadway. The chic family-friendly diner features dancing waiters, Andy Warhol cows, rock music, and is known for its all-night breakfast. From vegan and veggie to all-American chow, the menu offers something for every taste, organic and freshly prepared. Fun and friendly, the diner draws a diverse crowd, including Malibu stars Janet Jackson and Tom Hanks.

Our exquisite Santorini Malibu vacation rental lets you live like the stars during your Santa Monica vacation. Book it today on iTrip.net.

Categories: Things to Do

On April - 4 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

People on Santa Monica vacations have plenty of things to do. The popular Santa Monica has 3.5 miles of great beach locations. Santa Monica has on average 340 days of sunshine a year and a nearly constant gentle ocean breeze. Beach activities include swimming, fishing, surfing, biking and volleyball.

Image of Santa Monica beach

Santa Monica Pier provides a wide array of fun activities for families. The Pacific Park, located on the pier, offers attractions and rides for kids and adults, including a five-story West Coaster roller coaster, the nine-story Pacific Plunge tower ride and the nine-story Pacific-Wheel Ferris wheel. The Trapeze School of New York provides a fun-filled experience on the pier. The Playland Arcade is packed with more than 200 games and attractions. Have a great time at the pier while staying at one of the superb Santa Monica vacation rentals.

Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach known as the Birthplace of the “Physical Fitness Boom of the Twentieth Century” is a longtime landmark in the world of bodybuilding. Acrobats, gymnasts and others use the fully restored Muscle Beach. Check out the action.  It also has a small jungle gym for kids. It’s within easy reach of Santa Monica vacation rentals.

Chess enthusiasts gather at the International Chess Park. The park features permanent chess tables as well as a huge chessboard. Spectators are welcome. Test your skills at one of the chess tables or watch intense rivalries among some of the master-level players.

Santa Monica vacations are popular with people from all over the nation.

Categories: Things to Do

On January - 18 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

California’s favorite playground, Santa Monica is an exciting, crazy mix of breathtaking scenery, amusement park fun, boutique chic, beach vacation and moveable feast! During a Santa Monica vacation, you can toast in the sun and splash in the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean on Santa Monica Beach. Rent bikes or skates and cruise the boardwalk down to Muscle Beach to watch the body builders work out. Watch the surfers ride the waves while you build sand castles on Venice Beach. Poke through the cute shops and charming boutiques or catch a movie at the Third Street Promenade. Take a day trip into the magnificent Santa Monica Mountains to enjoy the breathtaking views. Watch the ocean while you bike or walk through lushly-landscaped Palisades Park. Keep an eye out for celebrities while you catch a bite to eat in one of the charming cafes and restaurants that line Montana Avenue. Tour the art galleries at Begamot Station. Cuddle close while you watch a spectacular sunset from the deck of your charming Santa Monica Beach house rental. And everywhere you go you can indulge in everyone’s favorite Santa Monica pastime – people watching!

There is so much to do in Santa Monica you’ll find it hard to pick and choose, but the one place you MUST go during your Santa Monica vacation is Santa Monica Pier. More than 100 years old, Santa Monica Pier is a California icon. Street performers roam the pier entertaining visitors. Food vendors and cafes offer everything from fish tacos to fresh Mahi Mahi steaks. Shops and street vendors line the pier offering a dazzling selection of Santa Monica vacation souvenirs. Santa Monica Pier is also home to several major attractions. You won’t want to miss:

  • Pacific Park family amusement park
  • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
  • Cirque du Soleil OVO!
  • Trapeze School

Categories: Things to Do