A shopping mall like no other, this was designed by Frank Gehry, whose signature LA work is Walt Disney Concert Hall. It's a relatively early design of his from the 1980s, but you'll see signature poured-in-place concrete, metal fencing and a soaring tower. Grab a coffee or ice cream at Peet's or Ben & Jerry's and grab a seat to contemplate around the fountain in the courtyard.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santa Monica attractions

1. California Heritage Museum

0.14 MILES

For a trip back in time, check out the latest exhibit at this museum housed in one of Santa Monica’s few surviving grand Victorian mansions – this one…

2. Jadis

0.26 MILES

Don’t miss this homespun, steampunk-paradise museum and shop, grinding with old gears and spare-part robots, antique clocks, concept planes and cars, old…

3. Axiom Gallery


This spacious contemporary-art gallery featuring sculpture and canvases spread over two rooms always makes for a fun wander.

4. Ballerina Clown

0.66 MILES

Even the artist, Jonathan Borofsky, has questioned the taste of this landmark sculpture of a ballerina in a bearded clown mask perched above the corner of…

5. International Chess Park

0.66 MILES

Close by the Original Muscle Beach, the search for the next Bobby Fischer is on at the International Chess Park. There are more than 65 regular-sized…

6. Original Muscle Beach

0.67 MILES

South of Santa Monica Pier is the Original Muscle Beach, where the Southern California exercise craze began in the 1930s and '40s. While it's more…

7. Tongva Park

0.69 MILES

This meticulously designed green space connects Ocean Ave to the Santa Monica Civic Center area. Well-lit and maintained, there are palms and agave groves…

8. Binoculars Building

0.72 MILES

Formerly known as the Chiat/Day Building, this Frank Gehry–designed office building is home to Google and, thanks to its eye-catching architecture and the…