This ultimate one day itinerary from Venice Beach to Santa Monica covers everything you need to know from places to eat, best things to do, and helpful tips!
There are so many fun things to explore on a one day trip from Venice Beach to Santa Monica. Whether this is your first time in the city or you are a seasoned local, you may be surprised to find places you have never heard of on this list! Keep reading to find hidden gems in both cities with this ultimate one day itinerary.
One Day Itinerary from Venice Beach to Santa Monica
Venice Beach Canals
Start at Pacific Avenue & 25th Street to access the Venice Canals. There are many points of entry, so I recommend finding one and start weaving your way through the historic waterways! Use the bridges to find different paths to admire all the beautiful homes and scenery.
There is free parking available in the surrounding neighborhoods, just watch out for any restrictions and street signs!
You could probably spend a whole day on the boardwalk alone since there is so much to see! As you’re walking take in all the cute shops and consider picking up a souvenir.
Take a stop at Muscle Beach, a free outdoor gym, where you will see people getting their workout on.
Then check out the Venice Beach Skate Park, a public skating rink located at 1800 Ocean Front Walk Venice, 90291.
Lastly, you certainly can’t miss seeing the famous Rainbow Lifeguard Tower located at 998 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291.
Venice Beach Sign
This iconic sign is a must-see on your Venice Beach to Santa Monica trip. Located at Pacific Avenue & Windward Avenue. Be sure to safely snap a picture while you are there!
Looking for more iconic insta-worthy Venice Beach spots? Check out my guide here!
Mosaic Tile House
This hidden gem is such an amazing place to visit and so unique too! House owners and artists Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran have transformed their home into a masterpiece through their creations. You must have a reservation to visit the Mosaic Tile House via their email email@example.com. Visiting hours are 12 pm-3 pm only. Admission prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65+, children 12 and under are free. They even have a gift shop!
Abbot Kinney Boulevard
This landmark street in Venice Beach has no shortage of bars, boutique shops, and restaurants located along the boulevard. Known for being a central spot in Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney is the place to be and really has it all.
There are plenty of murals to stop and take pictures at, like the one above! Check out The Butcher’s Daughter if you want a yummy and chic spot to eat at. Located at 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. In true California fashion, I recommend ordering their avocado toast!
Looking for the perfect rooftop spot to enjoy the sunset and have a bit to eat? Hotel Erwin’s High Rooftop Lounge is located right off the Venice Beach boardwalk. This location has amazing vibes and is the best spot for people watching! I recommend making a reservation since weekends are popular!
Rent A Bike/ Scooter
A fun way to travel from Venice Beach to Santa Monica is to rent a bike, scooter, or even a Segway! You can rent a bike from Jay’s Rentals or take a scooter – I recommend Bird or Lime. You will need to download their apps to locate and use the scooters. Once you have found a mode of transportation, start at the Venice Beach boardwalk and take the bike path a quick 2 miles which will bring you to the Santa Monica Pier!
This 6.2-acre park located at 1615 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401 can be found adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier and hosts some really cool sculptures. Stop by Tongva Park to snap a photo and rest your feet on a park bench.
3rd Street Promenade
Dining, shopping, and entertainment – all in one place. 3rd Street Promenade stretches 3 blocks and allows visitors to walk through the streets in downtown Santa Monica. Located at 1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Whether you are headed on a girl’s night out or on a first date, this place is the perfect spot to make some memories!
Santa Monica Pier
This ultimate one day itinerary isn’t complete without a visit to the pier! It is free to visit and just requires a bit of walking to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Ocean.
As you walk along you will find restaurants and the pier’s very own amusement park called Pacific Park. Here you can ride a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, bumper cars, and many more carnival rides. Tickets are needed to ride and can be purchased on-site.
Kayak or Surf
Have a taste for adventure? Try a kayaking or paddle boarding tour where you have the chance to see dolphins and sea lions! Or get the true California experience and join a 2-hour group surfing lesson in Venice Beach. Experiencing an adventure on the water is a great way to get active and see a different side of the city.
How to Get There
If you are flying into LA, then LAX is the easiest airport to travel through and is located 17 minutes from Venice Beach. You can rent a car to travel through Venice Beach and Santa Monica, or if you are staying locally you can easily walk to many places. If you are not renting a car, grabbing a Lyft or Uber is a great way to get around the city. Another fun way to see the city is on a Los Angeles Big Bus Hop-on-Hop-off Sightseeing Tour to go find all the iconic Santa Monica Spots in style!
Where to Stay
Where to Eat
- The Butcher’s Daughter – Vegetarian offering vegan options in a chic and relaxed space. I highly recommend the “Classic Avocado Toast” for an iconic SoCal dish!
- De Buena Planta – Known for their margaritas, gluten-free, and plant-based Mexican food, this restaurant is outdoor-only and has a fun tropical vibe.
- Elephante – This Italian restaurant is sure to have your mouth watering with their delectable pasta and pizza. Elephante is more upscale and a bit of a splurge!
- The Waterfront Venice – Right off the boardwalk and with views of the ocean you will find delicious American eats, beer & wine!
Where to Park in Santa Monica and Venice Beach?
Use the SpotAngels app to find free parking in the area. There is plenty of metered parking and paid lots where you can safely leave your car. The city of Santa Monica has a great website that breaks down parking location and cost. Free parking can also be found in the nearby neighborhood, remember to be respectful to the residents and be aware of street signs and permits!!
Best Time to Visit
California is perfect to visit any time of year. Tourist season hits its peak May through September. I recommend coming in April or October for cool weather and less tourist traffic!
What to Wear
Not sure what to pack for your ultimate one-day itinerary? Check out my Los Angeles packing list for every “season.”
Tank Top – During the warm spring and summer, be sure to wear clothes that can keep you cooler and prevent overheating.
Biker Shorts – These shorts are fashion-forward and comfortable. Perfect for a fun and adventurous day out!
Hat – This baseball hat is functional, affordable, and stylish. Keep the sun out of your eyes with this accessory.
Backpack – A sturdy backpack is necessary to keep all your valuables in and remain hands-free while you travel. This backpack is great to hold jackets, a water bottle, and any other necessities!
Portable Charger – There is nothing worse to be caught with a 1% battery life and nowhere to charge your phone! Carry this device and you will never have the worry of “what if my battery dies” again.
Sunglasses – These stylish and UV protection sunglasses are going to keep the glare away and prevent you from squinting in the California sun!
Hand Sanitizer – Where are my germaphobes out there?! I don’t go anywhere without my hand sanitizer and this travel-size container fits in any pocket!
Light Jacket – Since California never really gets too cold or too hold, all you really need is an easy light jacket to keep you warm at night and sun-protected during the day.
Sneakers – These are my favorite sneakers that go with ANY outfit. Comfortable and sturdy for long days out exploring new places.
What would you add to this one day itinerary? I’d love to hear what your favorite places were to visit! Make sure to check out some of my easy tips for staying healthy while on the road!