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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Lee

5 Things You *Must* Do in Santa Monica

When you think of the Greater Los Angeles area, what comes to mind? Hollywood? Beverly Hills? For me, I have a special spot in my heart for Santa Monica, CA. This beautiful beachside town is filled with shops, restaurants, and good old California sunshine. I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of the things you simply *must* do when you are visiting Santa Monica.

Take the Light Rail! One of my favorite ways to get around when I'm traveling is to take public transportation, just like the locals. Now that the Light Rail system has expanded out to reach Santa Monica, it's a fast and cost-effective way to get across LA. And it's definitely cheaper than taking an Uber!

Take a Panoramic Shot! Whip out your phone, stand with your feet planted and take a steady panoramic shot to capture the entire boardwalk in one photo. There's so much to fit in, a regular photo can't do it justice! Plus, here's a pro tip: When you return home, put your panoramic shots in a slide show with Ken Burns effect, and the panoramic photos will scroll across your computer screen, as though you were actually there, turning your head and viewing the scene - almost like real life! Almost...

Have a Margarita on the Boardwalk! This one's probably a no-brainer, but it might be something easily overlooked when you are busy enjoying everything that Santa Monica has to offer. Take a moment to sit down, enjoy some delicious food and drink a satisfying margarita from a place like Mariasol. Do some people watching and take in the gorgeous view of the ocean.

Ride the Pacific Wheel! No, it's not just for kids. Stop being a wuss and get in line! The ride is fairly inexpensive and grants you some of the best views in all of Santa Monica. Try not to gasp too loudly as you view the entire Santa Monica beach and coastline while the ferris wheel carries you over 130 feet into the air!

Participate in a Photo-Op! When you are in such a high tourist traffic area, you are bound to find companies trying to gain exposure for their brand, or a new product. On the day that I visited Santa Monica, Amazon had a street team set up to promote the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which was debuting at the time. By taking a photo with their giant "Marvelous" sign, I was given the entire first season on DVD for free!

Obviously there are many, many other fun and wonderful things to do in Santa Monica. I fully intend to go back again someday (soon!) and try more of the restaurants and shops that line the boardwalk. It's such a positive experience in Santa Monica, with the sunny beach and the ocean waves greeting you from the moment you arrive. Don't forget to take some time to just look out at the water and appreciate nature too!

Santa Monica, CA

What is YOUR favorite thing to do in Santa Monica? Let me know your thoughts!

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