Santa Monica,
California

Santa Monica in California is famous for its pier, and beaches, and is one of the best west coast vacation spots, with hotels, restaurants, surfing, museums.

Cyclists by the beach and near Santa Monica Pier in California, from https://www.pacific-coast-highway-travel.com/Santa-Monica-California.htmlSanta Monica Pier

Santa Monica in California, is on the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles county. It's famous for the Santa Monica Pier, and its sandy beaches. There are plenty of hotels and motels to choose from, from places like the historic Shangri-La hotel to motel chains and other cheap hotels.

Santa Monica is less than 10 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, so if you want to get off the plane and pick up a rental car, you can be checked into your hotel and onto the beach in less than an hour – if the traffic co-operates. Heading north along the Pacific Coast Highway it's about 400 miles to San Francisco, a great if long day's drive through places like Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Carmel and Monterey

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Pictures of Santa Monica

Things to Do in Santa Monica

Santa Monica has over 3.5 miles of golden sandy beaches, including the Santa Monica State Beach, which is about two miles long and runs under the Pier. It's cleaned and raked daily, and includes the original Muscle Beach – they had one here before the Venice Muscle Beach became more famous. There are wooden pathways for those with disabilities, a bike trail, eating places, lifeguards, volleyball courts and other activity centers, and you might even spot dolphins swimming off-shore.

Museums

Santa Monica has a fewmuseums worth checking out, including the California Heritage Museum, and the Santa Monica History Museum.

Palisades Park

On cliff-tops above the beach to the north of the Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park has great views out over the Pacific and along the coast. Here you'll find the Santa Monica Visitor Information Kiosk, and the curious Camera Obscura, which uses a rotating mirror to reflect what's going on outside onto a screen inside the darkened room. On a sunny day (and Santa Monica claims 340 sunny days a year) these images can actually seem more real than the reality.

Santa Monica Pier

The Pier is to Santa Monica what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, an iconic landmark. The Pier is almost as old as the Tower too, as it was built in 1909, just 20 years after the Tower was opened. In 1924 the La Monica Ballroom opened on the Pier, and in its day it was the biggest ballroom in the United States. That's no longer there but the Carousel is still going strong. That was built in 1916 and is now a National Historic Landmark. 

The Pier also has the Playland games arcade, the Heal the Bay Aquarium, and the Pacific Park amusement park, the only admission-free amusement park in Los Angeles.

Sunset at Santa Monica Pier in California, from https://www.pacific-coast-highway-travel.com/Santa-Monica-California.htmlSunset at Santa Monica Pier

More Information
For more travel information on Santa Monica,
see the website of

Visit Santa Monica.

Where to Stay in Santa Monica



Other Santa Monica pages

  • Viceroy Santa Monica

    The Viceroy Santa Monica hotel is one of Los Angeles' best, a favorite of celebrities like Dustin Hoffman, Sting, Demi Moore, and Leonardo DiCaprio,

  • Santa Monica Luxury Hotels

    There are many Santa Monica luxury hotels and while Le Meridien Delfina is not right by the beach it has a great bar, pool, restaurant.

  • Pictures of Santa Monica

    Pictures of Santa Monica from Pacific Coast Highway Travel to help anyone thinking of staying in Santa Monica on their PCH drive.

  • The Miramar Santa Monica Restaurant

    The Miramar Santa Monica's restaurant, FIG, had a rave review from the Los Angeles Times for its romantic dining and tasty food.

  • Hotel Shangri-La

    The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica overlooks the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica Beach and is a short walk from Santa Monica Pier.

  • Events in Santa Monica: Glow

    Of all the events in Santa Monica, Glow must be the most amazing, an all-night celebration of art and culture and one of the USA's largest public art events.

  • Best Hotels in Santa Monica with Spas

    The best hotels in Santa Monica combine spa luxury with easy access to the beach, among them Shutters on the Beach, Fairmont Miramar, Casa del Mar and Merigot



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