Best Free Things to Do in Santa Monica

You are currently viewing Best Free Things to Do in Santa Monica

Because the best things in life – especially in Santa Monica – are free!


Ah, Santa Monica – that iconic slice of California sunshine. With its palm-lined streets, the world-renowned Santa Monica Pier, and miles of golden coastline, it’s no wonder visitors flock here from all over the world. But hey, a trip to this oceanfront gem doesn’t need to break the bank! So, for all you savvy travelers, I’ve compiled a list of the absolute must-do FREE activities in Santa Monica. Let’s dive in!

1. Stroll the Santa Monica Pier

santa monica pier aerial image

The historical heart of the city, the Santa Monica Pier is an experience in itself. And guess what? Walking it doesn’t cost a dime. Enjoy the musicians, admire the Pacific Ocean views, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a playful dolphin!

2. Beach Day on Santa Monica Beach

santa monica sunrise-sunset


Bring your sun hat, slap on some sunscreen, and get ready for some quality beach time. Whether you’re sunbathing, playing beach volleyball, or just building a sandcastle – Santa Monica Beach is the place to be.

3. Third Street Promenade Entertainment

3rd street promenade entertainment

This bustling pedestrian street is a hub of activity. Apart from window shopping, the Promenade is known for its eclectic street performers – from magicians to musicians and everything in between.

4. Palisades Park Scenic Walk

palisades park, santa monica

Offering panoramic views of the Pacific, this park is a local favorite. Great for picnics, jogging, or simply soaking in the view. If you’re into photography, the sunsets here? Absolutely legendary.

5. Santa Monica Art Walks

Throughout the year, Santa Monica hosts various art walks and open studios, showcasing the rich artistic community here. Keep an eye out for dates and join in the creative fun!

6. Santa Monica Farmers Market

Okay, so maybe buying fresh California produce might cost you, but the experience of walking through this vibrant market, sampling fresh fruits, and chatting with local farmers? Priceless.

7. Free Fitness at the Original Muscle Beach

muscle beach at Long Beach

Before Venice’s Muscle Beach, there was Santa Monica’s. And it’s still there! From rings to parallel bars, get in a workout or simply enjoy watching others show off their skills.

8. Twilight on the Pier Concerts

Held during the summer months, these concerts bring a lively vibe to the pier. Bring a blanket, grab a spot, and enjoy some of the best music under the Californian sky.


9. Santa Monica Bike Path Adventure

Santa Monica pier bike trail
While renting might cost, if you’ve got your own wheels, the picturesque 22-mile bike path awaits. It’s a fabulous way to see the coastline, from Malibu to Torrance.

Final Thoughts


Life in Santa Monica is all about the sun, the sand, and those iconic Cali vibes. The best part? You don’t have to splash the cash to enjoy its splendors. Embrace the free spirit of this coastal city, and dive into these memorable, wallet-friendly experiences. Until next time, happy travels! ✌🏼🌴

If you enjoyed this article, don’t miss out on this specially curated list that I created for readers just like you!


Best Hikes in Santa Monica: A Hikers Dream Destination

How to Pack for Santa Monica

California’s 15 Most Visited Cities