Dus Santa Monica Mountains
The lifeguard watchtowers on Venice Beach
Santa Monica Pier at sunset
Beautiful beach houses lining Santa Monica's coast

Santa Monica - Charismatic, summery and varied

Popular far more now than just being the backdrop of Baywatch, Santa Monica is a vibrant destination nestled between Venice and Malibu. You get the best of everything Californian here – amazing beaches, relentless sunshine, and the style and charisma of Los Angeles. This sunny seaside city offers a great gateway to other destinations within California, but you’d be forgiven for wanting to stick around right here. The different districts, each with their own character and personality, keep things eclectic and diverse, so there’s no danger of you becoming bored during your stay. Santa Monica has plenty to offer.

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A cultural beach destination with fun nightlife, entertainment and scenery

People often assume that Santa Monica is just another Californian beach destination – albeit a beautiful and vivacious one. And while it’s true that beaches are the top draw for tourists, there’s a great selection of nightlife, cultural and entertainment options to choose from too. The art scene is great, with a number of galleries and public offerings to explore and be inspired by, and tourist favourites such as Third Street Promenade are great if you’re looking to do a spot of shopping.

Life here is all about the outdoors, whether you’re pedalling, swimming or strolling your way through the scenery – and why not? The blissful sunshine and great beach views make it ideal for relaxing in amongst it all. In fact, walking is the best way to soak up the ambience here – the laid-back vibe is infectious and there’s no better way to enjoy the weather. Grab a bite to eat in one of the many healthy and delicious restaurants or brunch joints, pick up a takeaway drink and head to the beach.

So, if you do plan on staying a couple of days, take a look at our recommendations for spending 48 hours in Santa Monica that details where to stay, what to do and where to dine.

Five reasons to visit Santa Monica

  • The beaches – they are as golden and gorgeous as you’d expect so spend some time relaxing with friends and family and enjoying the atmosphere
  • Food-wise, Santa Monica has plenty to entice you with – there are fusion flavours, Californian favourites and a great blend of innovative offerings
  • Go shopping and seek out some great buys, from purse-friendly items to upscale designer buys
  • Take in the culture of Santa Monica by stopping by some of the museums, galleries and architectural highlights
  • Being so close to other cities in California makes this an ideal location for multi-centre holidays – pick a few of your dream destinations and create the ultimate trip

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Yvonne Knott
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