Santa Monica Day Trips

One of the most exciting things about living in Santa Monica is easy access to other great venues in and around Los Angeles. 

Places like historic Catalina Island, Six Flags Magic Mountain - the self-titled "Thrill Capital of the World"; the shopping Mecca of L.A., Melrose Avenue, at the border between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood; and sunset cocktail cruises from neighboring Marina del Rey are an easy drive or boat trip away.

These Santa Monica day trips are guaranteed to make your visit even more memorable.

Santa Monica Day Trips to Catalina Island

It's hard to top the rush of racing across the Pacific Ocean on a smooth-riding, high-speed boat to gorgeous Catalina Island, a Mediterranean island full of romance and adventure where buffalo roam free and, there's never a traffic jam.

The Catalina Express departs from San Pedro/Long Beach or Dana Point, offering up to 30 departures daily from both these nearby ports on 8-smooth riding powerboats to Avalon, the capital of Catalina Island. 

Avalon is loaded with activities for a great day or overnight stay. Indulge in tours, golf, shopping, and dining, or enjoy the day at a spa.

Hotel packages are offered year-round. Down the coast sits the rustic village of Two Harbors, a spectacular remote location with campgrounds, hiking, and beautiful beaches. Get details at

Six Flags Magic  Mountain

If you're ready to experience world-class thrills, no place on earth offers so many adrenaline-pumping, heart-pouting, record-breaking coasters to push you to the outer limits of screaming fun!

Defy gravity as you speed, flip, soar and dive on an arsenal of rides guaranteed to provide over-the-top excitement for thrill seekers of all ages.

During the soaring heat of the summer months Six Flags Hurricane Harbor right next door is the place to beat the heat on 30 cooling water slides, like the 40-mph, six-story Bonzai Pipelines.

Add dozens more cool adventures, and you've got a day soaked in fun for all ages. Open May-September. Visit for all the latest park information, newest attractions and special ticket pricing. Save time and buy tickets online.

Shop Melrose Avenue

Melrose Avenue is renowned as one of Los Angeles' most walkable and unique shopping, dining and entertainment destinations.

Downtown Melrose encompasses the 22 blocks along Melrose Avenue that stretch from Fairfax to Highland. More than 300 alternative and independent stores offer a wide array of merchandise found nowhere else in the city.

Sunset Cocktail Cruises

Hornblower Cruises & Events welcomes you aboard a summer sunset cocktail cruise.

The 2-hour cruise sails through scenic waterfront sites in Marina del Rey, Newport Beach or Long Beach, which you can enjoy while savoring complimentary appetizers, relaxing background music, and wine, beer and, cocktails for purchase. Get details and reserve your place at

These are some of our favorite Santa Monica day trips you're sure to enjoy!