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

Gateway Hotel Santa Monica
Gateway Hotel Santa Monica
3.5 out of 5
1920 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
The price is ¥20,098 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Located in Mid-City, this hotel is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Venice Beach Boardwalk. Santa Monica Pier and Santa ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,532 reviews)
"Everyone was very friendly"

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2021

Gateway Hotel 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 ¥30,532 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
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)
"Enjoyed our stay. However, the in-room mini bar refrigerator motor was quite loud that it woke me up several times each night. It was annoying. Otherwise, great food at their restaurant and friendly staff. Especially the cleaning ladies."

Reviewed on Sep 19, 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 ¥39,030 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Located in Downtown Santa Monica, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 10-minute walk of Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Place. Venice Beach ...
4.3/5Excellent! (957 reviews)
"Great spot to stay in Santa Monica with it right on the ocean."

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2021

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
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.
BEACH GUESTROOM - Private !!! Guestroom with private bathroom 3 blocks to beach
BEACH GUESTROOM - Private !!! Guestroom with private bathroom 3 blocks to beach
Santa Monica, CA
The price is ¥7,466 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Located in Santa Monica Canyon, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Montana Avenue and Santa Monica Beach. Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place ...
5/5Exceptional! (46 reviews)
Easy access to everything
"Len was a great host. Everything was comfortable. Great location."

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2021

BEACH GUESTROOM - Private !!! Guestroom with private bathroom 3 blocks to beach
Large Room Available in a Beautiful Victorian Manor in Santa Monica
Large Room Available in a Beautiful Victorian Manor in Santa Monica
Santa Monica, CA
The price is ¥10,979 per night from Oct 7 to Oct 7
Located in Pico, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Main Street Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Beach and ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (68 reviews)
Great place!
"Blake was really helpful for our check in process, he let us drop food and bags off early and gave us early parking passes. The room was very clean, well decorated and fully stocked with all typical supplies. The place is also just a 15 minute walk to Muscle Beach/Santa Monica pier. Highly ..."

Reviewed on Aug 26, 2021

Large Room Available in a Beautiful Victorian Manor in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Beach House
Santa Monica Beach House
Santa Monica, CA
This family-friendly Santa Monica vacation home is located in Downtown Santa Monica, within 1 mi (2 km) of Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach Boardwalk. Santa ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (56 reviews)
Loved the location for our family vacation!
"Our family of four (two parents and two teens) had a great stay here and would recommend it to others. The easy walk to the beach, the pier, and downtown Santa Monica offered us plenty of options and our teens plenty of independence. The apartment layout allowed us to spread out. The kitchen and ..."

Reviewed on Sep 11, 2021

Santa Monica Beach House
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.

Popular places to visit in Santa Monica

Top things to do in Santa Monica

Cities near Santa Monica