May 26, 2022 3:15 PM
by Abby Butikofer
It’s officially summer in Santa Monica! With Memorial Day weekend upon us and warm weather and rays here to stay, Santa Monica will begin to buzz with more visitors. Whether you’re a local, coming in for the day from LA, or a first-time visitor, welcome to Santa Monica!
While enjoying our beautiful beaches, warm weather, and unique attractions this summer, here is a round-up of helpful tips while in town:
Ways to Get Around Town
Go With the Flow & Public Transportation
Summer is peak tourism season in Santa Monica, with a high volume of people traveling into Downtown during weekends and holidays. “Go with the Flow” is a summer traffic management program that aims to keep cars moving, streets safer and parking easier to find.
Looking to avoid driving on busy roads this summer? Santa Monica has one of the most extensive transit networks among cities of its size. Learn about your public transit options — including the Metro Expo Line, an L.A. Metro Bus or Big Blue Bus, the Santa Monica Free Ride, shared rides, bikes and e-scooters, and walking.
Here are some other useful resources to get around Santa Monica:
- Big Blue Bus: Starting June 22, cash will be an accepted fare on BBB.
- GoSaMo Center
- Scooter safety
- Follow CalTrans on Twitter for highway traffic updates
Where to Park
Santa Monica is a walkable city, so once you arrive you'll want to ditch the wheels and take to the sidewalk. The following are quick links on parking locations and information:
- Santa Monica Pier, Downtown Santa Monica, and beach parking
- Parking lots
- Holiday parking and other enforcement rules
Call or Text 911
Text-to-911 service allows the public to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency. If you are in an emergency and you are unable to call 9-1-1 or communicate verbally, please text! The public is still encouraged to call 9-1-1 when possible.
Santa Monica follows the Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s COVID guidelines. There are currently no travel restrictions or requirements in Los Angeles County. If you need a COVID test during your visit, make an appointment at Santa Monica’s COVID-19 testing site at Clover Park (2600 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405).
Fun at the Beach & Pier
Pack it In, Pack it Out
Santa Monica is fortunate to have one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. To keep our beaches beautiful and our ocean healthy, don't leave anything behind – including your trash. Whatever you bring to the beach, make sure you bring it home or throw it away. Please recycle items such as paper, plastics, and glass when you can.
Dogs on the Beach
We love our furry friends, and we love the beach. To keep both healthy and safe, please follow these dos and don’ts:
- Keep your dog leashed
- Pick up after your dog
- Play with your dog in one of the City’s dog parks
- Allow your dog on paved pedestrian walking paths
- Allow your dog (except legal service animals) on the beach itself
- Allow your dog in bike paths
Annenberg Community Beach House
The Annenberg Community Beach House (ACBH) at Santa Monica State Beach is a public beach facility, open to all. Spend the day lounging on the marble pool deck, playing in the splash pad, or participating in one of the many events, classes, and activities that the ACBH offers.
There is plenty to do at Santa Monica’s beaches even for those too young for the water or looking for a break to dry off! Santa Monica offers more than fifty acres of beachside parks and playgrounds to diversify your day at the beach.
The Santa Monica Pier is an iconic and picturesque landmark in Santa Monica! There’s so much to do on the Pier: stroll the boardwalk, grab some food, ride the Ferris wheel, and much more.
We support and appreciate our local vendors. When out and about on the Pier, please make sure to be a conscientious consumer.
Where to Shop & Eat
Support Santa Monica’s Local Business
Looking to shop or eat in Santa Monica? Show your love and help rebuild our economy by supporting our local businesses! When you Buy Local, $7 out of every $10 stays in the community. You can find a number of delicious places to eat and shop at one of Santa Monica’s four business districts:
- Downtown Santa Monica Inc.
- Main Street Business Improvement Association
- Montana Avenue Business Improvement District
- Pico Improvement District
Get your fresh fruit and vegetable fix at one of Santa Monica’s bustling farmers markets:
- Downtown Farmers Market: Wednesdays & Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Main Street Farmers Market: Sundays, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Pico Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Santa Monica’s Facilities & Services
Santa Monica Public Libraries
There’s nothing better than catching up on a good book while catching some rays. Be sure to stop by one of Santa Monica’s local libraries for a good book to read either poolside or on the sand. California residents are eligible for a Santa Monica Public Library card and can learn about the application process here.
Community Recreation Classes & Camps
Enjoy the great weather by participating in one of Santa Monica’s recreation classes held at City parks. Classes and camps are available for all ages, interests, and skills.