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Santa Monica
—  City  —
Downtown Santa Monica as seen from the Santa Monica Pier

Nickname(s): SaMo
Motto: Populus Felix en Urbe Felice  (Latin)
"Fortunate People in a Fortunate Land"
Location of Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California
Santa Monica is located in California
Santa Monica
Location of Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates: 34°01′19″N 118°28′53″W / 34.02194°N 118.48139°W / 34.02194; -118.48139
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Settled August 3, 1769
Incorporated November 30, 1886
 - Mayor Pam O'Connor (Acting)
 - City Council Bobby Shriver
Kevin McKeown
Robert Holbrook
Richard Bloom
Gleam Davis
Terry O’Day
 - Total 15.9 sq mi (41.2 km2)
 - Land 8.3 sq mi (21.4 km2)
 - Water 7.7 sq mi (19.8 km2)  48.08%
Elevation 105 ft (32 m)
Population (2008 est.)[1]
 - Total 87,664
 Density 10,561.9/sq mi (4,096.4/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 90401-90411
Area code(s) 310/424
FIPS code 06-70000
GNIS feature ID 1652792

Santa Monica is a city in western Los Angeles County, California, USA. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los AngelesPacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and Venice on the southeast.

The Census Bureau 2008 population estimate for Santa Monica is 87,664.[1] Santa Monica is named for Saint Monica of Hippo because the area on which the city is now located was first visited by Spaniards on her feast day. In the skateboard and surfing communities, Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood (and the neighboring section of Venice) is referred to as Dogtown.

Because of its agreeable climate, Santa Monica had become a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core with significant job growth and increased tourism.



Attractions and cultural resources

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, designed by Welton Becket in 1958. Home of the Oscars award ceremony from 1961 to 1968.
The Monica, on 2nd Street, remains a highly popular art house/independent film theater.

The Santa Monica Hippodrome (carousel) is a National Historic Landmark. It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909. The La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US, and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s. McCabe's Guitar Shop is still a leading acoustic performance space, as well as retail outlet. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound that includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The city is also home to the Santa Monica Heritage Museum.

Santa Monica is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-oriented shopping district that stretches for three blocks between Wilshire Blvd. and Broadway (not the same Broadway in downtown and south Los Angeles). Third Street has been closed for those three blocks and converted to a pedestrians-only stretch to allow people to congregate, shop and enjoy street performers. Santa Monica Place, the indoor mall designed by Frank Gehry, is located just to the south. It's been closed for redevelopment, and is expected to reopen in spring 2010 as a modern shopping-entertainment complex with more outdoor space.[2]

Santa Monica hosts the annual Santa Monica Film Festival.

The oldest movie theater in the city is the Majestic. Also known as the Mayfair Theatre, the theater which opened in 1912 has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The Aero Theater (now operated by the American Cinematheque) and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies. The Santa Monica Promenade alone supports more than a dozen movie screens.

Palisades Park stretches out along the crumbling bluffs overlooking the Pacific and is a favorite walking area to view the ocean. It features a camera obscura. For 48 years local churches and the Police Association assembled a 12-tableau story of Christmas in Palisades Park. The sheds were open on the street side, protected by chain-link fencing (for years there was no fencing because vandalism was not yet a large problem). Inside were dioramas of the Holy Family made from store mannequins; critics argued that many of them did not resemble real people, were damaged, or were otherwise inappropriate. In 2001 the city decided to temporarily end the practice of allowing private groups to place displays in city parks, but in 2004 the Christmas displays returned.

The Santa Monica Steps, a long, steep staircase that leads from north of San Vicente down into Santa Monica Canyon, is a popular spot for all-natural outdoor workouts. Some area residents have complained that the stairs have become too popular, and attract too many exercisers to the wealthy neighborhood of multimillion-dollar properties.[3]

Natives and tourists alike have enjoyed the Santa Monica Rugby Club since 1972. The club has been very successful since its conception, most recently winning back-to-back national championships in 2005 and 2006. Santa Monica defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 57-19 in the Division 1 final, convincingly claiming its second consecutive American title on June 4, 2006, in San Diego. They offer Men's, Women's and a thriving children's programs. The club recently joined the Rugby Super League.

Every fall the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosts The Taste of Santa Monica on the Santa Monica Pier. Visitors can sample food and drinks from Santa Monica restaurants. Other annual events include the Business and Consumer Expo, Sustainable Quality Awards, Santa Monica Cares Health and Wellness Festival, and the State of the City.

Santa Monica is an international mecca for skateboarding culture.[citation needed]

Santa Monica has two hospitals: Saint John's Health Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Its cemetery is Woodlawn Memorial.

Santa Monica has several newspapers and magazines, including the: Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Mirror, the Santa Monica Observer Newspaper, Santa Monica Magazine, and the Santa Monica Sun.



Elementary and secondary schools

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District provides public education at the elementary and secondary levels. Private schools in the city include the Crossroads School, New Roads School, Concord High School, Pacifica Christian High, St. Anne Catholic School, Lighthouse Christian Academy and Saint Monica Catholic High School. Notable primary schools include the Carlthorp School and Santa Monica Montessori School.


Santa Monica College is a community college founded in 1929. Many SMC graduates transfer to the University of California system. It occupies 35 acres (14 hectares) and enrolls 30,000 students annually. The Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School, associated with the RAND Corporation, is the U.S.'s largest producer of public policy Ph.D.s. The Art Institute of California — Los Angeles is also located in Santa Monica near the Santa Monica Airport, though many are misled to believe the institute is in the city of Los Angeles because of its name.

Universities and colleges within a 15-mile (24 km) radius from Santa Monica include Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Valley College, Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary's College, Pepperdine University, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, West Los Angeles College and West Valley Occupational Center.


The Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) begins in Santa Monica near the Pacific Ocean and heads east. The Santa Monica Freeway between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of the busiest highways in all of North America. After traversing Los Angeles County, I-10 crosses seven more states, terminating at Jacksonville, Florida. In Santa Monica, there is a road sign designating this route as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway. State Route 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard) begins in Santa Monica, barely grazing State Route 1 at Lincoln Boulevard, and continues northeast across Los Angeles County, through the Angeles National Forest, crossing the San Gabriel Mountains as the Angeles Crest Highway, ending in Wrightwood. Santa Monica is also the western (Pacific) terminus of historic U.S. Route 66. Close to the eastern boundary of Santa Monica, Sepulveda Boulevard reaches from Long Beach at the south, to the northern end of the San Fernando Valley. Just east of Santa Monica is Interstate 405, the "San Diego Freeway", a major north-south route in Los Angeles County and Orange County, California.

The City of Santa Monica has purchased the first ZeroTruck all-electric medium duty truck. The vehicle will be equipped with a Scelzi utility body, it is based on the Isuzu N series chassis, a UQM PowerPhase 100 advanced electric motor and is the only US built electric truck offered for sale in the United States in 2009.[4]


The city of Santa Monica runs its own bus service, the Big Blue Bus, which also serves much of West Los Angeles and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). A Big Blue Bus was featured prominently in the action movie Speed.

The city of Santa Monica is also served by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's bus lines. Metro also complements Big Blue service, as when Big Blue routes are not operational overnight, Metro buses make many Big Blue Bus stops, in addition to MTA stops. It currently has no rail service but Metro is working on bringing light rail to Santa Monica in the form of the Exposition Line. Since the mid-1980s, various proposals have been made to extend the Purple Line subway to Santa Monica under Wilshire Boulevard. However, to this day, no plans to complete the "subway to the sea" are imminent, owing to the difficulty of funding the estimated $5 billion project. In the past, Santa Monica had rail service operated by the Pacific Electric Railway, until it was dismantled in the 1960s.

Airport and ports

The city owns and operates a general aviation airport, Santa Monica Airport, which has been the site of several important aviation achievements. Commercial flights are available for residents at Los Angeles International Airport, a few miles south of Santa Monica.

Like other cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica is dependent upon the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles for international ship cargo. In the 1890s, Santa Monica was once in competition with Wilmington, Calif., and San Pedro for recognition as the "Port of Los Angeles" (see History of Santa Monica, California).

Medical services

Two major hospitals are within the Santa Monica city limits, UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and St. John's Hospital. There are five fire stations providing medical and fire response- Fire Units 121-125. Santa Monica Fire used to be dispatched from within the city. However, SMFD is now incorporated into the Operation Command Dispatch (OCD) system for Los Angeles City Fire Department. Ambulance transportation is provided by Gerber Ambulance Services.[citation needed]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica.[5] The Department's West Area Health Office is in the Simms/Mann Center.[6]


Santa Monica beach and pier viewed from the end of Santa Monica Pier. Note that the bluff is highest at the north end, to the left of the image

Santa Monica is situated at 34°1'19" North, 118°28'53" West (34.022059, -118.481336).[7]

The city rests on a mostly flat slope that angles down towards Ocean Avenue and towards the south. High bluffs separate the north side of the city from the beaches.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 41.2 km² (15.9 mi²); 21.4 km² (8.3 mi²) of land. Its borders extend three nautical miles (5.6 km) out to sea, and so 19.8 km² (7.7 mi²) of it is water for a total area that is 48.08% water.


Palm trees line Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica Downtown at twilight

Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year.[8] Because of its location, nestled on the vast and open Santa Monica Bay, morning fog is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon.[9] Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun shines east of 20th St., while the beach area is overcast.

As a general rule, the beach temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 5.5 degrees Celsius) cooler than it is inland. A typical spring day (Mid-April) is sunny, pleasant and about 68 °F (20 °C). In the summer, which stretches from May to late October, temperatures can reach the mid-80's Fahrenheit (about 30 °C) at the beach. The average temperature for August is 71 °F (21 °C). September is the warmest month of the year in Santa Monica, with an average of 73.2 °F (22 °C). It is also in September that high temperature records tend to be broken. In early September 2004, 92 °F (33 °C) to 98 °F (33 °C to 37 °C) were recorded.

In early November, it is about 68 °F (20 °C). In late January, temperatures are around 63 °F (17 °C). It is winter, however, when the hot, dry winds of the Santa Anas are most common. In mid-December 2004, temperatures soared to 84 °F (28 °C) in Santa Monica, for a few straight days, with perfectly sunny skies. In contrast, temperatures exceeding 10 degrees below average are rare.

The rainy season is from late October through late March. Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland. There is very little rain during the rest of the year. Yearly rainfall totals are unpredictable as rainy years are occasionally followed by droughts.

Santa Monica usually enjoys a cool breeze blowing in from the ocean, keeping the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles. However, in the autumn months of September through November, the Santa Ana winds will sometimes blow from the east, bringing smoggy inland air to the beaches.

Climate data for Santa Monica, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
Average high °F (°C) 64
Average low °F (°C) 50
Record low °F (°C) 34
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.06
Source: [10]


The city is well known as one of the leading sustainable cities in all of the US. Three of every four of the city’s public works vehicles run on alternative fuel, making it among the largest such fleets in the country. All public buildings use renewable energy. In the last 15 years, the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 per cent, a feat in car-crazy Southern California. City officials and residents have made the ongoing cleanup of the Santa Monica Bay a priority – an urban runoff facility catches 3.5 million gallons of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay. Other environmental features include miles of beaches, extensive curbside recycling, farmer’s markets, community gardens, and the city’s bus system.[11][12]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 417
1890 1,580 278.9%
1900 3,057 93.5%
1910 7,847 156.7%
1920 15,252 94.4%
1930 37,146 143.5%
1940 53,500 44.0%
1950 71,595 33.8%
1960 83,249 16.3%
1970 88,289 6.1%
1980 88,314 0%
1990 86,905 −1.6%
2000 84,084 −3.2%
Est. 2008 87,664 4.3%
Santa Monica City Hall, designed by Donald Parkinson, with terrazo mosaics by Stanton MacDonald-Wright

Santa Monica's population has grown from 417 in 1880 to 87,664 in 2008.[1] For population statistics by decade, see History of Santa Monica, California.

As of the census[13] of 2000, there are 84,084 people, 44,497 households, and 16,775 families in the city. The population density is 3,930.4/km² (10,178.7/mi²). There are 47,863 housing units at an average density of 2,237.3/km² (5,794.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 78.29% White, 7.25% Asian, 3.78% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 5.97% from other races, and 4.13% from two or more races. 13.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. There are 44,497 households, out of which 15.8% have children under the age of 18, 27.5% are married couples living together, 7.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 62.3% are non-families. 51.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.83 and the average family size is 2.80.

The city of Santa Monica is consistently among the most educated cities in the United States, as measured by the percentage of residents with graduate degrees.[14]

The population is diverse in age, with 14.6% under 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 40.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% 65 years or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females, there are 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.3 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $71,796, and the median income for a family is $100,657.[15] Males have a median income of $55,689 versus $42,948 for females. The per capita income for the city is $42,874. 10.4% of the population and 5.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.9% of those under the age of 18 and 10.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Government and infrastructure

The Santa Monica City Council, a Council-Manager form of government, with seven Council members elected at-large, is the current governing body of the city. Mayor Ken Genser died on January 9, 2010, and Pam O'Connor assumed the title of temporary mayor.[16] In the state legislature Santa Monica is located in the 23rd California State Senate District, represented by Democrat Fran Pavley, and in the 41st California State Assembly district District, represented by Democrat Julia Brownley. Federally, Santa Monica is located in California's 30th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +20[17] and is represented by Democrat Henry Waxman.


Headquarters of Activision

Santa Monica is home to the headquarters of many notable businesses, including Lions Gate Films,[18] Experian subsidiary, the RAND Corporation, investment firm Dimensional Fund Advisors, search engine company, and film / television production company and record label The Playtone Company, headed by actor Tom Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman. Major companies with branch offices in Santa Monica include: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Universal, MTV and The Design Center California for Volkswagen, formerly located in Simi Valley, moved to the former site of the Museum Of Flying at the Santa Monica Airport in 2006. Volkswagen's only styling studio in North America has been responsible for many notable automotive designs, including The New Beetle and The Audi Road Jet concept seen at the Detroit Car Show. The offices for the Comedy Central show South Park are located in Santa Monica. Supermarine, now Atlantic Aviation, is at the Santa Monica Airport.[citation needed]

A number of game development studios are based in Santa Monica, making it a major location for the industry. These include:

Fatburger's headquarters are in Santa Monica.[20]

Former Santa Monica businesses include Douglas Aircraft (now merged with Boeing) and MySpace (now headquartered in Beverly Hills).[citation needed] In December 1996, GeoCities was headquartered on the third floor of 1918 Main Street in Santa Monica.[21]


In 2006, crime in Santa Monica affected 4.41% of the population, slightly lower than the national average crime rate that year of 4.48%.[22] The majority of this was property crime, which affected 3.74% of Santa Monica's population in 2006; this was higher than the rates for Los Angeles County (2.76%) and California (3.17%),[23] but lower than the national average (3.91%). These per-capita crime rates are computed based on Santa Monica's full-time population of about 85,000. However, the Santa Monica Police Department has suggested the actual per-capita crime rate is much lower, as tourists, workers, and beachgoers can increase the city's daytime population to between 250,000 and 450,000 people.[24]

Violent crimes affected 0.67% of the population in Santa Monica in 2006, in line with Los Angeles County (0.65%), but higher than the averages for California (0.53%) and the nation (0.55%).[22][23]

Hate crime has typically been minimal in Santa Monica, with only one reported incident in 2007. However, the city experienced a spike of anti-Islamic hate crime in 2001, following the attacks of September 11. Hate crime levels returned to their minimal 2000 levels by 2002.[25]

In 2006, Santa Monica voters passed "Measure Y" with a 65% majority,[26] which moved the issuance of citations for marijuana smoking to the bottom of the police priority list. A 2009 study by the Santa Monica Daily Press showed that since the law took effect in 2007, the Santa Monica Police had "not issued any citations for offenses involving the adult, personal use of marijuana inside private residences."[27]

Gang activity

While gentrification has transformed much of the city, some areas of Santa Monica experience gang activity. The city estimates that there are fewer than 50 gang members in Santa Monica, although some community organizers dispute this claim.[28] Gang activity has been prevalent for decades in the Pico neighborhood, particularly the portion of the area running roughly from 14th Street to just east of Cloverfield, and between Pico Boulevard and Colorado Ave. This war has sporadically spilled into the halls of Santa Monica High School and impacts daily life for students at Olympic High School (at the corner of Ocean Park Blvd and Lincoln Blvd). These various feuds have claimed dozens of lives over more than two decades.

Culver/Pico feud

One of the most violent feuds was between Latino Santa Monica 13 gangs and the rival Culver City 13 gang. In 1998, five shooting deaths occurred in a two week period between these two gangs.

In October 1998, alleged Culver City 13 gang member Omar Sevilla, 21, of Culver City was killed.[29] A couple of hours after the shooting of Sevilla, German tourist Horst Fietze was killed.[30] Several days later Juan Martin Campos, age 23, a Santa Monica City employer and former gang member was shot and killed. Police believe this was a retaliatory killing in response to the death of Omar Sevilla.[31] Less than twenty-four hours later, Javier Cruz was wounded outside his home on 17th and Michigan, a violence riddled pocket of the Pico area.[32]

In 2006, there was a double homicide in the Westside Clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard. During the incident, Culver City gang members David "Puppet" Robles and Jesse "Psycho" Garcia entered the store masked and began opening fire, killing Anthony and Michael Juarez. They then ran outside to a getaway vehicle driven by a third Culver City gang member, who is now also in custody.[33] The clothing store was believed to be a local hang out for Santa Monica gang members. The dead included two men from Northern California who had merely been visiting the store's owner, their cousin, to see if they could open a similar store in their area. Police say the incident was in retaliation for a shooting committed by the Santa Monica 13 gang days before the Juarez brothers were gunned down.[34]

Aside from the rivalry with the Culver City gang, Black and Latino Pico gang members also feud with the Venice and West Los Angeles gangs. The main rivals in these regions include Venice 13, and Venice Shoreline Crips gangs located in the Oakwood area of Venice, CA. The Sotel 13 gang located in West Los Angeles has long been the main rival of Santa Monica's Latino gangs.

In popular culture

Film and television

Hundreds of movies have been shot or set in part within the city of Santa Monica.[35] One of the oldest exterior shots in Santa Monica is Buster Keaton’s Spite Marriage (1929) which shows much of 2nd Street. The comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) included several scenes shot in Santa Monica, including those along the California Street incline, which led to the movie's treasure spot, "The Big W". The Sylvester Stallone movie Rocky III (1982) shows Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed training to fight Clubber Lang by running on the Santa Monica Beach, and Stallone's Demolition Man (1993) includes Santa Monica settings. Henry Jaglom's indie Someone to Love (1987), the last film in which Orson Welles appeared, takes place in Santa Monica's venerable Mayfair Theatre. Heathers (1989) used Santa Monica's John Adams Middle School for many exterior shots. The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996) is set entirely in Santa Monica, particularly the Palisades Park area, and features a radio station that resembles KCRW at Santa Monica College. 17 Again (2009) was shot at Samo High. Other movies that show significant exterior shots Santa Monica include Fletch (1985), Get Shorty (1995), and Ocean's Eleven (2001).

The documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) and the related dramatic film Lords of Dogtown (2005) are both about the influential skateboarding culture of Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood in the '70s.

The Santa Monica Pier is shown in many movies, including They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), The Sting (1973), Ruthless People (1986), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Clean Slate (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Net (1995), Love Stinks (1999), Cellular (2004) and Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).

A number of television series have been set in Santa Monica, including Baywatch, Three's Company, Pacific Blue, and Private Practice. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the main exterior set of the town of Sunnydale, including the infamous "sun sign", was located in Santa Monica in a lot on Olympic Boulevard.[36]

The movies The Doors (1991) and Speed (1994) featured Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus.

The city of Santa Monica (and in particular the Santa Monica airport) was featured in Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012 (2009). An earthquake destroys the airport and the surrounding area as a group of survivors escape in a personal plane.


Raymond Chandler's most famous character, private detective Philip Marlowe, frequently has a portion of his adventures in a place called "Bay City", which is modeled on depression-era Santa Monica.[37] In Marlowe's world, Bay City is "a wide-open town", where gambling and other crimes thrive due to a massively corrupt and ineffective police force.

The setting on a certain portion of Mitch Albom's book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, has similarities to the Pacific Pier located along the Santa Monica beach. In the book, it is named Ruby Pier. Mitch Albom even acknowledged the Pacific Pier for its cooperation.


  • The band "Linkin Park" was named after the Lincoln Park in Santa Monica.
  • The modern rock band Theory of a Deadman's song titled "Santa Monica", is a first-person account about a girl leaving her significant other to start a new life in Santa Monica.
  • The band Everclear released a song titled "Santa Monica" in 1995, which became their first mainstream hit.
  • The band Savage Garden also released a song titled "Santa Monica" off their #3 US album Savage Garden (1997).
  • The ska/reggae band, Bedouin Soundclash has a song entitled "Santa Monica".
  • One of the few songs that musical satirist Tom Lehrer has recorded since the 1970s is a tribute to the holidays of the Jewish calendar entitled "I'm Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica".
  • Santa Monica is referenced throughout Jack's Mannequin's debut album Everything In Transit.
  • In 1968, British singer-songwriter Noel Harrison released a song and album titled Santa Monica Pier.[38]
  • In 1948, bandleader Kay Kyser released a 78 record of the novelty song "When Veronica Plays the Harmonica (Down at the Pier in Santa Monica)."[39]


Santa Monica is featured in the video games True Crime: Streets of LA (2003), Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (2004), Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (2004) , Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (2005), and Midnight Club: Los Angeles (2008).

See also


  1. ^ a b c Santa Monica, California (
  2. ^ Martha Groves, Hopes high for low-profile mall, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2007.
  3. ^ Ben Tracy (February 18, 2009). "Santa Monica's Disputed Steps". CBS News TV report. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  6. ^ "SPA5 - West Area Health Office." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Los Angeles, California, United States of America". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  9. ^ "Santa June Gloom". Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Santa Monica Average Weather". 
  11. ^ City Mayors: The greenest US cities
  12. ^ Environmental Programs Division (EPD) - City of Santa Monica
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ CNN Money - 25 Most Educated Cities
  15. ^ Santa Monica city, California - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder
  16. ^ "Santa Monica Mayor Ken Genser dies at 59". Los Angeles Times. 2010-01-10.,0,6224860.story. 
  17. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  18. ^ "INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT." Lions Gate Films. Retrieved on November 3, 2009.
  19. ^ "Time Line." Naughty Dog. June 4, 2004. Retrieved on May 5, 2010.
  20. ^ "Contact." Fatburger. Retrieved on March 5, 2010.
  21. ^ "Advertising and Sponsorship Information." GeoCities. December 19, 1996. Retrieved on April 30, 2009.
  22. ^ a b "Santa Monica CA Crime Statistics (2006 Crime Data)". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  23. ^ a b "Crime Statistics for Santa Monica". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  24. ^ Schley, Reeve T. (September 25, 2002). "Santa Monica Crime Rate Is Highest in Los Angeles County". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Sustainable City Progress Report". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  26. ^ "Measure Y: Lowest Enforcement Priority for Adult, Personal Use of Marijuana City of Santa Monica". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  27. ^ Emma Trotter (July 31, 2009). "Two years of toking it up". Santa Monica Daily Press. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  28. ^ Police Chief Calls for Regional Approach to Gang Violence
  29. ^ Death of gangster Omar Sevilla.
  30. ^ NBC Los Angeles report on the capture of Fietze's killer
  31. ^ Gang Bullets Pierce Santa Monica's Image
  32. ^ Violence in Pico
  33. ^ Suspects Charged in Westside Clothing Store Shooting
  34. ^ 'Gangster's Paradise Lost'
  35. ^
  36. ^ Various authors, "Sets and Locations", The Ultimate Buffy and Angel Trivia Guide (updated 2007).
  37. ^ Hiney, Tom (1999). Raymond Chandler. Grove Press. p. 92. ISBN 0802136370, 9780802136374. 
  38. ^ Steve Harvey, "Only in L.A.", Los Angeles Times, February 9, 1990.
  39. ^ YouTube video of recording, "When Veronica Plays the Harmonica", Kay Kyser.

External links

Coordinates: 34°01′06″N 118°29′25″W / 34.01833°N 118.49028°W / 34.01833; -118.49028

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Santa Monica Pier.
The Santa Monica Pier.

Santa Monica [1] is a city on the Pacific Ocean coast, anchoring the West Side of Los Angeles County in Southern California.


Santa Monica [2] was originally developed as a seaside retreat at the turn of the last century. The railroad owners built the first version of the amusement park on Santa Monica pier as an attraction to fill empty train seats on weekends. Santa Monica grew into an urban, eclectic, and prosperous beach city whose real estate values are amongst the most pricey in the world. Santa Monica is a very desirable city whose people are drawn to its accessibility and its progressiveness as a community. Today, Santa Monica is a mixture of very affluent, single-family neighborhoods, renters drawn by the high quality of life, lifelong surfers, young professionals and students.

Tourists visiting the Los Angeles region will find Santa Monica as one of the best situated locations to base their trip. There are plenty of hotel, restaurant and entertainment options, as well as close accessibility to major sights like Venice Beach, Malibu and Beverly Hills. Visitors will also note the beach cities' moderate climate; during the summer and fall, as the mercury soars to 100 in the San Fernando Valley and 90 downtown, Santa Monica usually remains at a very comfortable 75 degrees.

Santa Monica has three Visitor Information Centers [3] that feature experienced Travel Counselors, foreign language line, tickets to area attractions and free visitor information on attractions, hotels, dining, museums, galleries and entertainment.

Get in

By car

Santa Monica is located at the western terminus of the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway, about 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles and 7 miles north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The city is roughly bounded by Centinela Blvd to the east, Ocean Park Blvd to the south, San Vicente Blvd to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

The tourist center of Santa Monica is the downtown area located near the famous Santa Monica Pier, which was once the western end of historic Route 66. By car, take the 10 Freeway to the 4th/5th Street exit, then head left toward the ocean. From the north, turn left off the Pacific Coast Highway (California 1) at the California Incline, which deposits you just a few blocks north of the pier.

By bus

Santa Monica is accessible by bus from throughout the Los Angeles region. Take 720 from downtown LA or 704 from Union Station.

If you are arriving via LAX, you and your luggage can access the Downtown area for less than $1 by taking airport shuttle C and asking the driver to let you off closest to the stop for Big Blue Bus line 3. Once you step off the shuttle, exit the lot, and turn right, and look for a blue triangular-shaped sign at the corner of the street. Buses arrive about every 20 minutes on weekdays, and less often on weekends; the fare is $0.75.

By plane

Santa Monica Airport (ICAO: KSMO) is popular for general aviation and business jet travelers. Air taxi and air charter companies such as New Flight Charters [4] and Great Circle Aviation [5] fly a variety of private charter aircraft and jets, from charter luxury Gulfstreams down to economical piston twins for small groups and individuals.

For commercial passengers, the closest airport is LAX just a short drive south.

Get around

Many of Santa Monica's tourist destinations are within easy walking distance of each other. The city Big Blue Bus system operates a number of lines that link not only places within the city, but also neighboring Brentwood, Westwood and Venice Beach, making Santa Monica one of the relatively few places in Los Angeles where one needn't drive to get around. Traffic is very heavy in the downtown area, and during rush hour and weekends the city's main arterial streets (Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd, Lincoln Blvd) are choked with cars.


Throughout Santa Monica there are numerous pieces of public art to discover. From large murals to huge sculptures, there are almost 40 of these to check out.

  • Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., +1 310-453-7535. M 9AM-4PM, Tu-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM (Individual galleries may have different hours). Over 30 art galleries, including the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Free.  edit
  • Angels Attic Museum, 516 Colorado Ave., +1 310 394-8331, [6]. Th-Sa: 12 noon to 4PM; closed on holidays. A museum of antique and contemporary dolls, doll houses, and toys. The only parking is at metered street locations. Adults - $8.00, Children Under 12 - $5.00, Seniors - $7.00. (34.014644,-118.490515) edit
A beach in Santa Monica
A beach in Santa Monica
  • Bergamot Station. A city-owned art gallery compound which includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art.  edit
  • Chess Park. How is your chess game? Chess park lies along the concrete path about 500 feet (150 m) south of the pier, and is frequented by locals who rate no less than class B in standard chess and can promise a fierce game of blitz chess. Watch a game in action, or challenge an aficionado. Be prepared for some keen competition, though.  edit
  • Montana Avenue. A local street with lots of small stores and restaurants. This is where the local rich folks hang out, so you'll see lots of rich folks shopping, going to Yoga, and walking dogs.  edit
  • Main Street. A local street that attracts the most surfers and bikers. It is just 2 blocks from the ocean, and have many hotspots on the street like Urth Care, World Cafe, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf along with cool local restaurants, pubs and just few blocks to Abbot Kinney, Venice.  edit
  • Santa Monica Pier, [7]. A bustling boardwalk whose huge Ferris Wheel is the city's icon. The long pier has an old-fashioned amusement park, with reasonable by-the-ride pricing, including a small roller coaster. The Pier has restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and some street performers. At almost all hours you'll find at least a few people fishing as well. The Santa Monica Pier has terrific coastline views of Malibu and the Southbay. The Pier is within easy walking distance to the Promenade.  edit
  • Santa Monica Beach. A large, wide, beautiful beach on either side of the pier. Perry's rents bikes and roller blades or bring your own for use on the world famous *strand* that links all of the Westside beach cities. For some of the best people watching in the world, follow the strand south a couple of miles to Venice Beach. Hire a bike or skates and travel along the cycle path (there are a number of shops to hire from around and on the pier).  edit
  • Third Street Promenade, (several blocks of Third Street), [8]. A very successful Urban mall project: a vibrant, outdoor street full of restaurants, movie theaters, shopping, bookstores, and bars. Those who enjoy street performances will be impressed by the quality of musicians, dancers, and others. The Promenade is located only three blocks from the beach, the Promenade is one of L.A.'s most popular places to "hang out" for people of all ages.  edit
  • Twilight Dance Series, (on the Santa Monica Pier), [9]. Thursday evenings in summer, starting at 7:30PM. The Twilight Dance Series is a free concert series that has been running since 1983. Acts range from rock to reggae to folk and have included artists such as the Indigo Girls, Patti Smith, Los Lobos, Dick Dale and others. There is no organized seating, so arrive early to stake out a spot and bring something soft to sit on since the pier can be hard (note that once concerts start most people end up standing). Free!.  edit


Santa Monica like the rest of the LA area is very cosmopolitan and attracts a lot of tourist shopping dollars, they are primarily spent in the three main shopping areas:

  • Montana Avenue [10] Located on Montana between 7 and 17th streets, this area is relatively free of major national chains but is full of quaint but expensive local boutiques and cafes.
  • Third Street Promenade is a completely pedestrianized street that is the region's most popular shopping destination. Though chain stores have pushed out independent ones, it is the vibrant street life that distinguishes Third Street from the rest.
  • Santa Monica Place is an indoor mall that lies at the south end of the Third Street Promenade and houses several boutiques and an array of eateries on the first floor. The mall is currently undergoing renovation, however, but will feature outside patios and breezeways once renovation is complete. Scheduled to reopen in 2010.
  • Main Street [11] From Pico Blvd to Navy Street, Main Street shopping is similar to Montana Ave in that it celebrates the independent retailer. Main Street also has its fair share of excellent restaurants and bars. Heritage Square on Main Street is home to the widely popular, family-friendly Sunday Farmer's Market [12].
  • Trapeze School New York (TSNY), Santa Monica Pier, (310) 394-5800, [13]. 7 days a week. Trapeze School New York at Santa Monica Pier is a school of flying trapeze and aerial arts open to the public and for all skill levels and ages. Also offered are corporate workshops, events and parties, birthday parties and performance workshops. $47-$65.  edit


Very diverse food selection, from high-end cuisine to burgers and tacos.

  • Bay Cities Italian Deli, 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica. The best sandwiches on the west side. There will be a long wait during peak hours, so browse the authentic Italian market after you take your number.
  • Pradeep's, 1405 Montana Ave, (310) 395-6675. Offers Indian Cuisine with a California consciousness. Emphasis is on healthy, so sauces are lighter, but flavor is still great.
  • Snug Harbor, 2323 Wilshire Blvd, (310) 828-2991. A great breakfast place! A small "hole in the wall" with a relaxed atmosphere and competent service, you'll find many locals trying to wake up on Saturdays and Sundays. Offering up traditional bacon and eggs with a twist the food is fresh and good. Meat lovers should try Uncle Zeke's scramble.
  • Tacos Por Favor, 1406 Olympic Blvd., Mon-Sat 8am to 8pm closed Sundays. Fresh, cooked to order Mexican food in a taqueria atmosphere. It features good tacos and an excellent chicken mole burrito. Don't miss the pickled carrots and jalepeños in the salsa bar.
  • Blue Plate,1415 Montana Ave, (310) 260-8877. Blue Plate is a small, cozy neighborhood eatery that serves great American comfort food. Located in the heart of Montana Avenue, Blue Plate is close to many hip boutiques and is a great rest stop after a day of shopping. An added plus: the menu is kid-friendly, offering healthy items for kids as well as organic baby food. The turkey meatballs and mac ‘n’ cheese are a must-try. Menu items range from $10-15.
  • Fathers Office, 1018 Montana Ave. (310) 323 BEER (2337), [14]. Best Burgers in Santa Monica in this tiny and wildly popular pub. Some days you'll have to wait a while to get in, and you can't change any of the items on the burger--it's their way or the highway.
  • El Cholo, 11th and Wilshire. A Los Angeles institution and this Santa Monica branch offers great margaritas and wonderful traditional Mexican food. The green corn tamales, available from May to October each year, are a specialty.
  • The Hump, 3221 Donald Douglas Loop S., Third Fl., +1 310-313-0977. With a fireplace and warm colors highlighting a cozy interior, The Hump resembles a stylish cabin somewhere in Aspen. Alas, this sushi/Japanese restaurant overlooks the tiny Santa Monica Airport and serves arguably the finest sushi in town. The Asian-inspired bar/restaurant Typhoon is located just downstairs.
  • Juliano's Planet Raw, 6th Street and Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica. Uber-California raw food vegan restaurant. Juliano has succeeded in making vegan cuisine actually taste like food! The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and totally lacks the sanctimonious, elitist attitude that so many ultra-liberals have. A bit pricey considering the portions are on the small side. Try the avocado sandwich on flax seed "bread."
  • Typhoon, 3221 Donald Douglas Loop S. (Santa Monica Airport), (310) 390-6565. Best known for its exotic fried insects, this pan-asian restaurant also serves dim sum and sushi, Malasian and Thai, in a unique setting with a view of the runway. Window tables have great views of the runway activity. Try the steamed whole fish (bass or catfish). Adventurous eaters can try tasty appetizers of crickets, scorpions, sea worms and ants. MSG used, so be sure to ask for your food without it if it disagrees with you. Upstairs is The Hump, a less exotic (but still good!) sushi bar.  edit
  • Warszawa Restaurant, 1414 Lincoln Blvd, (310) 393-8831) [15]Authentic Polish food can be found on Lincoln with a signature dish of roast duck. They have a fantastic outdoor patio in the back where you can get a great vodka martini.
  • The Lobster, (Colorado Blvd & the Santa Monica Pier), (310) 458-9294, [16]. One of the few restaurants in Santa Monica that actually has a view of the Pacific Ocean. Located at the Eastern end of the Santa Monica Pier, The Lobster provides good seafood dishes, great cocktails and a little bit of a scene. While a little noisy and on the expensive side ($120+ for two with alcohol), the food, fun and view can make it worthwhile.
  • Michael's, [17]. Along with Chez Panisse in Berkeley, lead the nouvelle cuisine movement. Using fresh vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, locally caught fish and excellent meats every dish is sublime. While not cheap, a meal at Michael's does not disappoint.
  • Melisse, (1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401), (310) 395-0881, [18]. Also featuring organic, locally grown produce and two tasting menus (including a vegetarian version), Melisse is Chef Josiah Citrin latest world class restaurant. The food is outstanding and gets the highest marks in Zagat and Michelin. Very pricey: expect $100 per person at a minimum.
  • Ocean and Vine, 1700 Ocean Avenue, [19]. Chic restaurant and lounge at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. "farm-to-table" approach, California cuisine.  edit
  • 3 on Fourth ("1432a 4th St"), (310-395-6765) [20]This imaginative restaurant serves French-, Asian- and American-inspired food in a fresh, unpretentious atmosphere. Great wine, beer and sake list. An extensive cheese menu is available for turophiles. A must try: the sashimi with Himalayan salt, the steak frites and the blueberry pie. A great place to take a date, or any special occasion dinner. Meals are from $31-50.
  • The Penthouse, 1111 Second St, (310) 393-8080 [21] A rooftop Santa Monica restaurant located on the 18th floor of The Huntley Hotel. Offers a bar and lounge and panoramic ocean views. Menu features contemporary American cuisine with global influences from Asia and Brazil. Serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm. Also available for private events.


Santa Monica offers over 50 Happy Hour specials [22] all over town, from dive bars to the high end hotels.

Unfortunately since LA and specifically the west side of LA is famous the world over for its night life going out and drinking in Santa Monica is expensive, normal prices for a domestic beer are $5 and martinis frequently range over $15. To that end the bars listed below are sorted by type and not price:

  • Father's Office, 1018 Montana Ave. (near 10th & Montana), [23]. Offers beers from over 20 different micro-breweries, a nice wine selection, but alas no full bar. The other downside is that its a small space and very popular so long lines quickly spring up.
  • Britannia Pub, 318 Santa Monica Boulevard, near 3rd Street Promenade. Small but very friendly Brit style pub, popular with locals and budget travelers. Good and cheap snacks and meals.
  • Etoile, 1111 2nd St. (top floor of the Huntley Hotel), (310) 393-8080. Located in a newly remodeled space on the top floor of the Huntly Hotel, decent selection of margaritas and martinis, good view of the beach.
  • Circle Bar- Located on Main st at 2926, this is a deep dark space that as you would imagine has a circular bar, popular with the twenty-something I drink too much crowd.
  • Mor Bar [24] Located just a few doors down on the other side of Main St. Mor Bar is a larger space than Circle Bar and is a popular dance spot. According to their website, the Mor Bar moved to a "bigger and better space" in November 2007. However, it is not indicated what and where is the new venue.
  • Main on Main [25] is now where Mor Bar was. Self proclaimed "The premier night club in Santa Monica featuring great music, chill atmosphere and outstanding drinks." located next door to Obrien's Pub [26] This cozy neighborhood pub has been around since 1995, proudly serving a great range of brews, whiskeys and spirits as well as fine Irish and American cuisine.
  • Renee's Courtyard Cafe, 522 Wilshire Blvd. Tel. +1 310-451-9341 This is a great bar. One of the few you can still smoke in, technically. Its entrance way is a patio, with tables, so its outside, and ashtrays abound. There are lots of little nooks and cranny's here, each room with its own feel. Mellow during the weekend, a total meet market on the weekends!
  • O'Brien's Irish Pub, 2941 Main St, Santa Monica Tel. +1 310-396-4725 This is your typical irish pub, but BIG! IT has 4 parts really. The outside patio, the front seating area, the bar, and the back room with the stage. There is almost always live music on the stage, ranging from punk rock bands to acoustic sing-alongs.
  • Cock N Bull Pub, 2947 Lincoln Blvd, Tel. +1 310-399-9696. Referred to as "the most OG English bar in LA" by espn's page 2, the Cock and Bull Serves typical British pub fair, has a wide array of bear on tap, and authentic British bar tenders. Although it can be quiet on the week nights this bar rapidly fills up when ever a quality soccer (football to the rest of the world) match or rugby game is on the TV, regardless of what time it is on, during the World Cup lines started forming at 4AM.
  • Hidden on Main, 3110 Main St Tel. +1 310 399-4800 At the location of the old Schatzi, this restaurant and lounge opened in the spring of 2008. Lots of outdoor seating areas and a crowd which is generally in their late 20s and 30s.
  • Wakano, 1413 5th St. Centrally located near Third Street, Wakano offers indoor and outdoors seating in a cosmopolitan atmosphere.  edit
  • Ye Olde Kings Head (Kings Head), 132 Santa Monica Blvd, (310) 451-1402, [27]. British style pub. Favorite amongst local Brits to watch football and play pub quiz on Tuesdays.  edit
  • Bayside Hotel, 2001 Ocean Ave., (310) 396-6000 or 1-800-525-4447, [28]. $75-140.  edit
  • Comfort Inn Near Santa Monica Pier, 2815 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 828-5517, [29]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12pm.  edit
  • Ocean Park Inn, 2452 Lincoln Blvd., (310) 392-3966 or 1-800-605-5005 (fax: (310) 399-0502), [30]. $70-85.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Express West LA, +1-800-843-6551 (, fax: +1-310-478-1400), [31].  edit
  • HI Los Angeles/Santa Monica, 1436 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (on 2nd Street between Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway), +1 310 393 9913 (, fax: +1 310 393-1769), [32]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Hostel/backpacker style accomodation. 200 beds, clean, safe, plenty of activities. Linen incl. towel provided, the bed is even made for you $30+.  edit
  • Pacific Sands Motel, 1515 Ocean Ave., (310) 395-6133 (fax: (310) 395-7206). $55-125.  edit
  • Palm Motel, 2020 14th St., (310) 452-3861 (fax: (310) 450-8635), [33]. $65-95.  edit
  • Best Western Gateway Hotel, 1920 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 829-9100 (fax: (310) 829-9211), [34]. $90-160.  edit
  • Ocean View Hotel Santa Monica, 1447 Ocean Ave., (310) 458-4888 or 1-800-452-4888 (fax: (310) 458-0848), [35]. $100-250.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Santa Monica, 120 Colorado Ave., (310) 451-0676 or 1-800-947-9175 (fax: (310) 393-7145), [36]. Fantastic location, just steps away from the Santa Monica Pier. Hotel is quaint, comfortable and some rooms have a partial ocean view. $180-280.  edit
  • Hotel Carmel, 201 Broadway Santa Monica, CA 90401, [37].  edit
  • Inn by the Harbor, 433 W Montecito St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, [38]. Spanish Colonial adobe inn just a short walk from Santa Barbara's golden beaches, yacht harbor, and oceanfront restaurants.  edit
  • Ambrose Hotel, 1255 20th St., (310) 315-1555, [39]. While 20 blocks from the beach, the Ambrose Hotel offers great style and comfort for less than the large beach-front hotels. Very convenient if visiting someone at St. John's Santa Monica Hospital. $175+.  edit
  • Casa del Mar, 1910 Ocean Way, (310) 581-5533 or 1-800-898-6999 (, fax: 310-581-5503), [40]. One of the only hotels in Santa Monica that is directly on the Beach and has prices that reflect this rare amenity. Share pools, spas, etc. with Shutters.  edit
  • The Fairmont, 101 Wilshire Blvd., (310) 576-7777 or 1-800-866-5577 (fax: (310) 458-7912), [41]. A great hotel, but it only has ocean views. $290-730.  edit
  • The Huntley, 1111 Second Street Phone: 310.394.5454, [42]. A luxury hotel in Santa Monica, where the ocean meets the city. This chic Southern California hotel features a business center, fitness facilities, concierge service, and fine dining at The Penthouse.
  • Le Merigot (Marriott), 1740 Ocean Ave., (310) 395-9700 or 1-877-637-446 (fax: (310) 395-9200), [43]. $300-1200.  edit
  • Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Avenue, [44]. A beachfront resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Around the corner from Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade.  edit
  • Viceroy Hotel, 1819 Ocean Ave., (310) 260-7500 or 1-800-670-6185, [45]. The Viceroy Hotel is perfect for travellers who are seeking an ultra-hip experience and don't have any budget restrictions. One block from the beach, and few blocks south of the main part of downtown Santa Monica, the Viceroy still is able to command $300+ per night because of its status as "One of the 50 hottest hotels in the world". $300+.  edit
  • Georgian Hotel, 1415 Ocean Aven., (310) 395-9945 or 1-800-538-8147, [46]. The Georgian Hotel is an Art Deco classic that dates back to the 1920s. Located right on Ocean Avenue and in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, it is in the thick of the action. Rooms are smaller and prices are not cheap, but it is a great place to stay. $200-400.  edit
  • Shangri-la Hotel, 1301 Ocean Ave., (310) 394-2791. The Shangri-la Hotel has huge rooms, ocean views, and free parking for guests.  edit
  • Shutters, One Pico Blvd., (310) 458-0030 or 1-800-334-9000 (fax: (310) 899-1652), [47]. One of the only hotels in Santa Monica that is directly on the beach. Share pools, spas, etc. with Casa del Mar. $450+.  edit

Stay Safe

Crime rates in and around the tourist areas are relatively low, thanks to an increased police presence and "neighborhood watch" campaign by business owners.

Santa Monica is considered to be Southern California's "Home of the Homeless"; the city has the highest per-capita homeless population in Los Angeles county.. However, most of them are harmless. You will probably be asked for spare change when travelling on foot, but you shouldn't be bothered further (a suitable response would be something like "nothing today," or "nothing at all" depending on the temperament of the one making the petition).

Just use common sense and stay in the main tourist areas if you decide to go out at night (Everything on Wilshire Blvd and north of it, particularly Montana Avenue from Ocean Avenue to about 17th or so, everything from the pier to Wilshire -the pier, 3rd St Promenade and surroundings- from Ocean Avenue to about 4th St, and Main Street and Ocean Avenue when venturing venture south of the pier...).

  • Malibu. Located just a few miles to the northwest and accessible via the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Malibu is a beach town that is home to many entertainment stars and offers great beaches, surfing and restaurants for visitors.
  • Pacific Palisades. A neighboring town that is home to multi-million dollar homes set amongst the hills overlooking the ocean, as well as the J. Paul Getty Villa which features classical sculpture.
  • Culver City. A neighboring city and the home of Sony Studios that in recent years has been undergoing a rebirth and now has an increasing number of food, shopping and entertainment options.
  • Venice. The neighboring beach town offers miles of sand, an eclectic nightlife, and the infamous Muscle Beach.
  • Marina del Rey. The "marina of the king" is home to a vast number of restaurants, hotels, and the largest man-made pleasure craft harbor in th world; not as touristy as some of the neighboring beach cities is nonetheless a fun spot to spend an evening.
  • Beverly Hills and its fabled shopping is accessed by driving east on Santa Monica or Wilshire Boulevards.
Routes through Santa Monica
END  W noframe E  Los AngelesSan Bernardino
Santa BarbaraPacific Palisades  N noframe S  VeniceLong Beach
END  W noframe E  Beverly HillsBarstow
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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