Santa Monica Apartments near Santa Monica Pier
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 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.
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.
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, Great Circle Aviation and Desert Jet 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.
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. 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.
* Angels Attic Museum, 516 Colorado Ave., 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.
was one of many filmed here), the city has a vibe like no other. Hollywood haute couture meets surfer chic meets hippie casual, and somehow it all works. A word of advice: ditch the car and walk everywhere. Santa Monica is small and prides itself on being pedestrian- and environmentally friendly. You won’t need wheels at the auto-free Third Street Promenade, a stroller’s paradise known for its multitude of movie theaters, restaurants and animated street performers. Or at the famous and historic Santa Monica Pier, home to savory smells from fast food stalls and the solar powered, nine-story high Ferris wheel that has long been a symbol of the city. If your feet start to fail, hop on the electric powered Tide Shuttle, a bus service that runs along the beach offering great views plus a ride to the artsy Bergamot Station and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, or your next spirited Santa Monica destination.
Santa Monica has three Visitor Information Centers that feature experienced Travel Counselors, foreign language line, tickets to area attractions and free visitor information on attractions, hotels, dining, museums, galleries and entertainment.