The (Un-Touristy) Santa Monica Summertime To-Do List

Twilight on Pier Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a haven for tourists, and with good reason. From the Santa Monica Pier to Third Street Promenade, there’s no end to the fun things visitors can do. As a local, though, you’ll eventually hit a point when you just can’t take another minute of touristy-fun. Are you ready to step away from the obvious and explore a whole new side of Santa Monica? We’ve got you covered! Here are five awesome, non-touristy activities to add to your summertime to-do list.

Santa Monica Food Truck Lot

Every Tuesday evening, head down to the corner of Main St. and Ocean Park Blvd. (right next to the California Heritage Museum) to indulge in some amazing eats at the Santa Monica Food Truck Lot.
The event runs from 5 until 9 p.m. and there’s a different selection of food trucks every week (you can see the lineup here). Bring a blanket and enjoy your food picnic-style on the museum’s lawn, or head over to The Victorian to eat on the patio or grab some drinks at the bar.

Santa Monica Airport Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market

On the first and fourth Saturday of every month, take a trip to the Santa Monica Airport for the Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market. Named one of the top 10 “Flea Markets” in the United States, this unique shopping experience is one you won’t want to miss. Here you’ll find furniture, artwork, vintage items, estate jewelry, clocks, watches, exotic plants, and more. The event is popular among boutique owners, collectors, and treasure seekers from all walks of life. It’s also pet-friendly, so pack up your furry friend and head out on an adventure!

Santa Monica Brew Works

Santa Monica’s only craft beer brewery, Santa Monica Brew Works, is another popular destination among area locals. Their newly-opened tasting room offers visitors a place to relax and enjoy their fresh-brewed beers while grabbing a bite to eat from the rotating lineup of food trucks. Visitors love the bar’s “indoor beer garden vibe” and friendly atmosphere.

Dinner at Dialogue

For a unique dining experience you won’t soon forget, you can’t beat dinner at Dialogue. This small, intimate restaurant only has three tables and an eight-seat counter, giving guests the ability to interact with one another and with the staff. You won’t find a traditional menu here. Instead, this restaurant offers a single 21-course tasting menu created by Award-winning chef Dave Beran. This two-and-a-half to three-hour dining experience is designed to take guests on a three-part journey through the seasons. Every three months, as the seasons change, Dialogue create an entirely new menu. Experience it one time and you’ll be dying to come back again and again.

Twilight on the Pier

A Santa Monica staple for 35 years, the annual music festival on the Pier is coming back this year with a new name and a new vision. Twilight on the Pier begins on August 21st. Not only will the festival have the great music it’s always been known for, this year you’ll enjoy a pier-wide event complete with immersive art, games, and interactive experiences as well as plenty of food offerings and a beer and spirits garden. The event is free to attend and will run every Wednesday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. until the 25th of September.

The Haus: Santa Monica’s Premier BMW and Mini Service Center

Before you head out to explore Santa Monica like a local, you’ll want to make sure your BMW or Mini Cooper is in top shape. Stop by The Haus and you’ll quickly see why we’re the area’s go-to service center!

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