Things to do in Santa Monica

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Santa Monica Pier At Night

Santa Monica Pier At Night

Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is one of California's more dynamic beach cities. This city provides a host of activities that will satisfy both the young and young at heart. The beach and beachfront areas of Santa Monica are the city's main attractions. Here you will find sunbathers, bikers and even body builders training at a section called Muscle Beach. It's a fun place to get some sun and to do some people watching.

Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is home to Pacific Park which is the only amusement park in the West Coast located on a pier. It is perfect for families, especially those with young children. It has carnival rides and games as well as a variety of snack stands and souvenir shops. They are open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Along the pier itself are a variety of artists and street performers to entertain the crowds passing by.

UCLA Discovery Center
This place is another great attraction for families and is located underneath the pier. The exhibits here focus on the sea-life of the Pacific Ocean. Admission is $3 for adults; children under 2 are free. Schedules vary depending on the time of year so be sure to call ahead for more information. Their phone number is (310) 393-6149.

Bergamot Station
For the art lovers, Bergamot Station is the place to visit. It used to be a trolley station but has been converted to a series of art galleries and a cultural center. The art displays vary from classic to contemporary and are changing exhibits. Most galleries are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. The galleries are free of charge but certain events during the year may require paid admission.

California Heritage Museum
This museum hosts various exhibitions highlighting California's rich cultural history and diversity. Its permanent exhibit includes decorative arts and Monterey furniture. The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission $5, seniors and students $3 and children under 12 are free.

Third Street Promenade
3rd street, as the locals call it, is about a 10 minute walk from the beach and presents a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Street performers ranging from vocalists to magicians grace the sidewalks of 3rd street, attracting people of all ages. This place becomes more alive at night as beach-goers flock over for a good meal, shopping and evening entertainment. Movie-going is very popular in this area as it has 3 different movie theatres. Spending a few hours in the evening at Third Street Promenade is a great way to end a day in Santa Monica.
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