Best Activities for Outdoor Lovers in Santa Monica

There are different ways to enjoy the great weather, fresh air and scenery that the outdoors has to offer. If you’re looking for something different after spending most of your vacations in canyons and mountains, then we recommend booking a vacation at a beach, specifically Santa Monica, California, for a good time.

When you’re not lying in the sand and working on your tan, you’ll have access to a variety of activities that you can do solo or with friends and family. Some options on the list below are perfect for adrenaline junkies, while others are more suited for an easy time on the water. Here are the best activities for outdoor lovers in Santa Monica.

1. Surfing

Whether you’re new to the game or are a veteran looking for new waves that can challenge you with your tricks, surfing is among the most common sources of fun in this town. The waves range in size, so you can try out the smaller ones if you want to get used to the activity, or wait for bigger ones to show up so that your friends can post a video of you pulling off some awesome flips. Of course, we’ve always known that California is one of the greatest places to surf in the world.


In case you’re traveling in a group with different levels of experience, there are spots on the beach that offer lessons so that everyone can get on the same page. This also comes in handy in case you’re bringing your kids and they want to learn how to surf.

2. Snorkeling

One of the best parts of exploring nature is being able to interact with the wildlife that call the area home. The creatures that you’ll encounter in the ocean come in all shapes and sizes, and if you want to get closer to the smaller, friendlier ones that will most likely not try to bite you, then we recommend going snorkeling at the beaches of Santa Monica.


Lessons are available in case you’re new to this activity, and you’ll get to check out a variety of aquatic life just hanging out underwater, such as fish, crabs and stingrays. You might be lucky enough to spot a dolphin or two from a distance, but it still best to keep a distance from them and stick closer to the shore.

3. Bike Tours

If you want to take a break from the ocean and keep dry for a little while, then taking part in the different bike tours available at the beach is your best move. This is a chance to get some exercise in a relaxing way, as you will be able to learn more about Santa Monica, no matter how close you are to the water.

Bike Tours

Tours are available at different times of the day, which is great if you want to enjoy beautiful views of the sun rising or setting over the ocean during your rides. This option may also come in handy if you’re having trouble deciding where to go shopping or have dinner later on and you happen to spot a mall or restaurant along the ride that you might like.

4. Paddleboarding

Once you’re ready to get back into the water, you should find an activity that allows you to get warmed up for the more exciting options. One way to go is with paddleboarding, which lets you stand while you travel across the water and take in the sun and views of the ocean. Rentals are available and provide lessons in case you’re new to this activity.


In addition to providing a light workout, paddleboarding can take you out to different depths, depending on how comfortable you are being far out on the water. You might be able to spot dolphins if you feel like venturing out further, but we advise sticking closer to the beach so that you can slowly get used to it.

5. Whale Watching

If you get bored with the crabs, fish and other smaller aquatic life closer to the shore and want to find more unique creatures, then whale watching is the way to go. A variety of services are available that will take you far out in the ocean so that you can spot orcas and hunchbacks in all of their glory.

Whale Watching

Be sure to bring a camera or phone, or a friend or relative who has one, so that you can get some good shots of these creatures going about their day and shooting out of the water for some awesome dives. There’s also the chance that you’ll spot a shark or two while whale watching, depending on how far out you are.

6. Parasailing

Being up in the air grants you view that are not available on the ground. Going to Santa Monica gives you the opportunity to get these views by going parasailing, which lets you sore through the air on your own or with a partner, depending on how new you are to this option and how comfortable you are with heights.


In addition to being able to look at a bigger scope of the ocean, you’ll be able to check out all of Santa Monica and parts of downtown Los Angeles. You might be able to see dolphins, sharks, sea lions, whales and other larger forms of aquatic life doing their thing, and doing this while the sun is setting just adds to the beauty.

Give these activities a shot so that you can experience the best of the outdoors in Santa Monica.

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