Santa Monica Free Things to Do in Sunny California

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 nearly 300 days of sunshine per year. However, having fun shouldn’t cost a small fortune. So here are the top Santa Monica free things to do.

Santa Monica Free Fun: Top Things to Do

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 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 Fourth of July, watch the annual Parade on Main Street, which features bands, vintage cars and entertainers.

Santa Monica Free Third Street Promenade

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 Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Get Active

Picture-perfect weather enables visitors to explore Santa Monica through fitness activities as well. Whether playing Frisbee on the beach or riding one of many paths, the city welcomes everyone to go outside. Palisades Park ranks as a favorite for hiking and sunset viewing. Additionally, there are free tennis courts available at Yahoo, Marine and Clover parks, to name a few.

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 also houses 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 the group prefers to stay indoors, 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.

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