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Santa Monica, CA

Travel Guide
Santa Monica Pier featuring general coastal views, a sunset and a sandy beach

An up-market city home to surfers, students, and celebrities, this is where to enjoy one of the famous beaches, a historic pier and great nightlife of the Los Angeles area.

Santa Monica has been one of LA’s most fashionable beach cities for decades. It’s easy to see why with its famous beaches, historic pier, balmy year-round weather and a trendy crowd that frequents the many cafés, boutiques and bars.

Grab a towel and head to the well-maintained beach, which stretches for 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers). The sand is raked daily and is shared by volleyball players, swimmers and sunbathers throughout the year.

For a bit of fun, check out the historic Santa Monica Pier where all the family will enjoy the Pacific Park amusement center. There’s also a small aquarium, shops and arcade.

Wander between the cafés, bookstores, and cinemas of the Third Street Promenade. Check out Main Street for more shops, or go celebrity watching on Montana Avenue. Admire quality top-notch art, visit the Bergamot Station Arts Center. You’ll find the Santa Monica Museum of Art as well as several other smaller galleries. In the evening, drop by the Santa Monica Playhouse for a show, then head out to choose from dozens of bars and restaurants.

From Third St Promenade head to Palisades Park. It stretches for 25 acres (10 hectares), and its treelined paths give a great view of the ocean. There are plenty of spots to picnic, read and watch the world go by.

If you feel like picking up the pace, rent a bike and go for a ride along the 22-mile (35-kilometer) Marvin Braude Bike Trail. This trail passes beneath the Santa Monica Pier and runs mostly along the Pacific Ocean.

Santa Monica is home to a sophisticated and fun crowd. You can hit the beach, party, go celebrity watching, or check out the well-developed art scene and eclectic shops.

Where to stay in Santa Monica

The Huntley Hotel
The Huntley Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1111 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $309 per night from Jul 29 to Jul 29
This family-friendly Santa Monica hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Santa Monica Beach and Santa Monica Pier. Venice Beach and Abbot Kinney ...
4.3/5Excellent! (955 reviews)
"I loved the hotel. The rooms were stunning and the location was perfect. Can’t wait to go back."

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

The Huntley Hotel
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
5 out of 5
1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
The price is $395 per night from Aug 17 to Aug 17
Located in Downtown Santa Monica, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 5-minute walk of Original Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Beach. Santa ...
4.3/5Excellent! (949 reviews)
"Good hotel. A little spendy but worth it"

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites
Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites
3.5 out of 5
1707 4th St, Santa Monica, CA
The price is $309 per night from Aug 10 to Aug 10
Located in Downtown Santa Monica, this beach hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Main Street Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica Beach. Santa ...
4/5Very Good! (967 reviews)
"Great location near Santa Monica pier and area restaurants. Quiet, spacious and clean room. Staff friendly and professional."

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2021

Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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