Area Attractions

Key Attractions in Santa Monica

If you can resist the allure of the water for an afternoon or two, we suggest taking time to visit some of our area’s other great attractions. The iconic Santa Monica Pier is only two blocks from our seaside property. This is the place to ride a lovely vintage carousel and play in the arcade. Or, head a little further afield to take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s OK, we like to think there’s a kid in all of us. So, don’t miss your chance to visit Disneyland or Universal Studios. Or check out the Grammy Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art with its more than 5,000 works. No matter what interests you, there are plenty of options nearby.

Local Attractions

Santa Monica Pier

The iconic, 100-year-old wooden pier and amusement park juts out 1,600 feet into the Pacific Ocean just two blocks from our front doors. Take in a dazzling array of entertainment, dining and shopping options. Ride a historic carousel and exciting Pacific Park thrill rides or play in the arcade.
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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is Heal the Bay’s public marine-education center—located beach-level, just below the carousel at the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. You and your family will be treated to a unique view into the ocean world just steps from our doors. The family-friendly facility is home to more than 100 species of marine animals and plants – all found in the Santa Monica Bay.
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Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets

The outdoor farmers’ markets are the place to find fresh, beautiful produce and cut flowers from local, organic California farmers. Not to mention live music, chef exhibitions, artisanal cheeses and gourmet items. In fact, many top Southern California chefs and restaurateurs are regulars at the markets. Can you spot them?
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Santa Monica’s Muscle Beach

The original Santa Monica Muscle Beach—an outdoor, beachside facility with a range of workout equipment—was made famous by Jack LaLanne, the godfather of physical fitness. Enjoy fabulous sightseeing at this iconic Santa Monica travel attraction.
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Los Angeles Area Attractions

Santa Monica’s proximity to greater Los Angeles and Southern California is another reason that Santa Monica has so many repeat visitors—nearby options range from Hollywood to Beverly Hills, Disneyland to the Universal Studios, all within an hour’s drive.

  • Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive
  • Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Sign
  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • L.A. Live
  • Malibu Beach
  • Malibu Paragliding
  • Sunset Boulevard Strip
  • The O.C.
  • Venice Beach Boardwalk

L.A.’s museum scene is as dynamic as ever. Be sure to visit the Arts & Culture page for information on the some of the area’s greatest attractions, including the Getty Center, Grammy Museum, plus the Natural History Museum and more.


California Science Center

700 State Drive

Downtown Los Angeles


Interactive exhibits for budding scientists. Free admission, parking $10. Open Daily: 10 AM–5 PM.

Getty Center

1200 Getty Center Drive

Los Angeles


With beautiful hilltop views of the city, this museum houses an astonishing collection of paintings, drawings, antiquities and photographs. There is also a fabulous central garden. Free admission, parking $15. Closed Mondays and holidays.

Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway



Getty Center's coastal counterpart features Roman and Greek antiquities. Free admission (advance timed tickets required), parking $15. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Grammy Museum

800 West Olympic Boulevard

Los Angeles


This museum explores music across genres, as well as the creative and recording processes and Grammy Award history. Free admission for children under 6 years old. Open Daily: 10 AM–6 PM.

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

1151 Oxford Road

San Marino


Visit one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the Unites States in its field of specialization. Includes rare books and manuscripts of British and American literature, 15th-century European books and many more. The library is also home to a botanical garden and three galleries showcasing paintings, sculptures and decorative art. Free admission for children under 5 years old. Closed Tuesdays.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

5905 Wilshire Boulevard


Diverse premier collections; Broad Contemporary Art Museum and LACMA West nearby. Free admission for children under 18 years old. Closed Wednesdays.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

250 South Grand Avenue

Downtown Los Angeles


The MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles focusing on contemporary art from as far back as the 1940s. With over 5,000 works, MOCA is committed to the presentation, preservation and interpretation of works in all forms of media housed in three different facilities: MOCA Grand Avenue, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and MOCA Pacific Design Center. Free admission. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Natural History Museum

900 Exposition Boulevard

Downtown Los Angeles


Thirty-three million objects from dinosaur fossils to fish. Inspires wonder, discovery and responsibility for our natural world. Children under 5 years old enjoy free admission. Open Daily: 9:30 AM–5 PM.

Norton Simon Museum

411 West Colorado Boulevard



Stellar collection of Renaissance to 20th-century masterworks and sculpture garden. Free admission for children under 18 years old. Closed Tuesdays.

Page Museum at The La Brea Tar Pits

5801 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles


Located at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of Los Angeles, this is one of the world’s most famous fossil localities. The museum is recognized for having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world. Learn about Los Angeles as it was 10,000 to 40,000 years ago, when animals such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths roamed the Los Angeles Basin. Free admission for children under 5 years old. Open Daily: 9:30 AM–5 PM.

Santa Monica Museum of Art in the Bergamot Station

SMMoA devotes its exhibition spaces—the main gallery and two project rooms—to presenting and advancing the work of contemporary local, national and international artists whose work merits sustained inquiry and recognition. Unique to the Westside of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Museum of Art is a risk-taking, non-collecting museum, whose exhibitions and programs reveal the vibrant, untold stories and pivotal moments in the history of contemporary art and culture.


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