Green Tourism in Southern California

For years, Santa Monica has been well ahead of the gang in the "green" movement, implementing sustainable practices across the board, from local food initiatives to eco-friendly architectural design. Now, the beloved beach community is taking another step in the green direction by implementing a ban on plastic shopping bags that went into effect on March 7th. Under the new law, supermarkets, convenience stores, liquor stores, and pharmacies are all prohibited from handing out single-use plastic bags. However, recyclable paper bags will be sold for 10 cents apiece, so there's no need to panic if you forget to bring your re-useable bags. The ban is similar to other initiatives that have taken place in upscale communities like Malibu and San Francisco, and residents are taking well to the approach. Some grocery stores have said that 30-40% of shoppers brought their own bags before the plastic bag ban was even on the table. Of course, the green doesn't stop with groceries. Santa Monica is a prime location for Southern California Summer attractions that walk the green walk. If you're the type that likes to travel without leaving a fooctitprint, take a look at these Santa Monica attractions:

Image of Water, Waterfront, Amusement Park, Ferris Wheel, Fun, Pacific Wheel: the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world!

Pacific Wheel

Pacific Wheel is the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel, located at Pacific Park, the waterfront amusement park located on the Santa Monica Pier. The family-friendly park is one of the oldest seaside parks in the country.

Farmers' Markets

Santa Monica's farmers markets are renowned for their quality and value—even upscale local chefs shop along the colorful aisles of produce! Green travelers will enjoy the opportunity to eat healthily and responsibly at an affordable price. The Downtown Farmers Market, Pico Farmers Market, and Main Street Farmers Market also offer live music, fresh-cut flowers, and free samples.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Image of Water, Waterfront, Pier, Outdoors, Nature, Sky, Beach, Coast, Sea, Shoreline, A fun family day at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a leader in environmental conservation and marine stewardship. The Aquarium’s mission is to "inspire understanding and conservation of the Santa Monica Bay and its watersheds through hands-on education, environmental stewardship and discovery. " Visitors will enjoy varied environmental education programs and, of course, the chance to get up close to the sharks, rays, and sea urchins!

Biking Along the Beach

There's no better way to explore Santa Monica and the surrounding beach communities, like Venice Beach and Marina del Rey, than by bicycle. With a Santa Monica Bike Rental through Spokes N' Stuff, you'll be free to ride (or skate, if you prefer) along the 19-mile Ocean Front Walk while soaking up the sun and people watching—without causing any harm to the community's beautiful natural wonders. For a comprehensive look at all things green in Santa Monica, check out the Green Map, featuring green businesses and related ecological features to help visitors (and residents!) become aware of the many resources available for living a sustainable lifestyle. With Smart Destinations' products, you'll get access to these and other top Southern California Summer attractions. Go Los Angeles Card, you'll get admission to Pacific Park, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, a Spokes N Stuff bike rental and over 35 other area attractions for one low price. You'll also receive special discounts and our free guidebook for a vacation that's both eco-friendly and economical.
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