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Best Times to Visit Santa Monica

The best time to visit Santa Monica is between September and November. During these fall months, you'll enjoy some of the warmest weather of the year while avoiding the extra thick crowds found in June, July and August, meaning you can comfortably lounge at the beach and explore popular attractions like the Santa Monica Pier and the Third Street Promenade. Plus, you'll likely find deals for accommodations and airfare when you time your visit for fall. If you're sticking to a budget and don't mind a higher likelihood of rain – though showers are few and far between thanks to the roughly 280 days of sunshine the city sees annually – consider arriving in December, January or February. Deals are occasionally available in spring, too. However, March and April's influx of spring breakers may detract from the city's relaxed vibe. Expect to pay more if you plan on visiting during the peak summer season: Families flock here in June, July and August to soak up some sun while the kids are out of school.

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Weather in Santa Monica

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Average Temperature (°F)
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Average Precipitation (in)
2.84
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1.96
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0.13
0.5
1.08
1.88
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Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

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September-November

From September through November, daytime highs sit in the upper 60s to low 70s and rain showers rarely occur. This means you can spend the bulk of your trip lounging on and swimming at the beach, walking around the Third Street Promenade, biking up and down the Marvin Braude Beach Trail and picnicking in Palisades Park or Tongva Park. Hotel prices also tend to drop as the season progresses, making it possible to score a deal. Though you won't find fall foliage here, if you enjoy celebrating the season, be sure to visit in October. All kinds of fall-themed experiences, such as pumpkin-focused activities at the city's farmers markets and autumn-inspired classes at Santa Monica Place's cooking school, are available.

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December-February

Santa Monica's location in Southern California makes it a year-round vacation destination, but those who want to spend most of their time at the beach may want to avoid traveling here in winter. December, January and February are some of the wettest months of the year, and daytime temps rarely climb above 65 degrees. Still, a winter visit comes with a few benefits: Downtown's holiday displays make the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place feel extra festive in December, while Santa Monica Restaurant Week's incredible dining deals turn the city into an even bigger foodie destination in January. Budget-conscious travelers will appreciate that deals are easy to find during these months, especially in January and February.

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March-May

In March and April, spring breakers from local universities come here in droves to stretch out on the sand before classes resume. Tourists continue to arrive in May thanks to mostly clear skies and average highs staying in the mid-60s. This idyllic weather contributes not only to the influx of travelers, but also to rising hotel prices. Because of the increase in demand, hotel deals are less common, so book your accommodations in advance to secure lower rates. For a fun twist on exploring the city, arrive in May during MAINopoly, an annual culinary event that transforms Main Street into a walkable Monopoly board with more than 20 tasting opportunities.

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June-August

Summer is when Santa Monica comes alive, but don't expect to be the only one visiting during this time. June, July and August are the driest months of the year and offer comfortable daytime temps in the mid-60s to low 70s and warmer water ideal for swimming without a wetsuit, making them perfect for beach visits, bike rides and leisurely strolls. Plus, the city's kid-friendly atmosphere is ideal for families once school recesses, and its variety of popular summer events – including a beach festival with live music and a Fourth of July parade – means travelers can add fun seasonal activities to their vacation itineraries. Keep in mind, though, that all of these positives create one major negative: Room rates stay consistently high. To ensure availability, visitors should finalize their lodging months in advance.

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