One of my favorite things about being back in my home state of California is going back to the places I used to visit when I used to live here. With its beautiful coastline, plenty of places to shop and dine and great entertainment, the beachfront city of Santa Monica is always a favorite to see. The weather is beautiful year-round, and the views of the Pacific Ocean are hard to beat.
SHOP AND DINE
If you are looking to get some holiday shopping done or grab a bite to eat, the Third Street Promenade is where you need to be. It’s full of stylish shops, and several restaurants to satisfy any appetite. My friend Lynda and I stopped at the Promenade for lunch and ate at Trastevere, a cute Italian restaurant with an affordable menu and an outdoor seating area.
My favorite part of the meal was listening to the street performer singing outside. That’s the thing about this area; it’s lively and colorful with people singing, dancing or playing instruments every day.
Parking is free for the first 90 minutes in the parking structures. No validation is required.
SANTA MONICA BEACH
While you are in Santa Monica, don’t go home without a visit to the beach so you can soak up that warm California sunshine. Us Cali girls love the ocean! If the water temperature is too cold for you, enjoy a nice walk, or ride your bike on the bike path. Dreamy views guaranteed!
The Santa Monica Pier is home to Pacific Park, an amusement park with the only over-water Ferris wheel in California. It’s free to get into the park, but you have to pay for the rides. We drove onto the pier and rode the five-story West Coaster roller coaster twice, and also got on the Ferris wheel. I had the best time and was smiling so much my mouth hurt! Come here with your family, friends or bring a date.
Tickets for each ride cost $8.50, but you can also get an unlimited pass.
Parking on the pier is $2 an hour.
380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401 Phone: 310-260-8744
Watch the video of the roller coaster ride here:
What is your favorite thing to do in Santa Monica? What’s on your must do list when you visit California? When was the last time you were on a Ferris Wheel?
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