Santa Monica is in Los Angeles, California in the United States, and has an abundance of restaurants, beaches, attractions, Theatres, a large pleasure pier and a theme park (Pacific Park) – in basic terms there's so much to do here it's worth booking as your main holiday and perhaps visiting downtown LA for a day. The resort is famed for the series 'Baywatch' being filmed here, and for the legendary 'Route 66' ending here.
Everything here is geared to tourists and the local residents and shop/restaurant owners are very welcoming.
The currency in Santa Monica is US dollars ($).
Who Comes To Santa Monica?
Santa Monica is a large busy resort that attracts American residents from surrounding states but is also beginning to attract lots of European countries like it here because of the weather, and that there is so much to do and see. Families and mixed groups like it here as life can be centred around the beach by day then dinner in the evening – followed by jumping into the bustling nightlife, most of which can be found on the Promenade.
When does the Season Begin in Santa Monica?
The highest temperature is in September and reaches approximately 22º. The resort has around 340 days of sunshine throughout the year giving it a beautiful summer ambience most of that time but don't let that fool you, Santa Monica doesn't have a tropical climate but it's very pleasant and the weather is fairly mild for the majority of the year with lowest temperatures being in winter evenings.
Santa Monica Airport is the closest airport, though if you have booked a package holiday you will probably travel to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and transfer from there on a pre-arranged bus. LA Airport employs staff specifically to help visitors find their way so you don't get stuck. Taxi's will normally cost around $30 / €22 / £15 but remember to add around 15% for a tip.
Santa Monica Nightlife
Most clubs and bars serve food and will charge you a 'cover' fee instead of entrance, whether you eat or not, from around 10pm. Cover can cost up to $20 / €15 / £10 and you will probably pay premium prices for drinks.
'Mor Bar' gets very busy – you can get large portions here and dance the evening away but it does get very busy. If you prefer a bit of home on holiday, try 'Ye Olde Kings Head'.
Drinks prices are hugely varied and can be expensive in some places, especially if you drink in your hotel. Saying that, you can easily get a draft beer for $2 / €1.50 / £1 and a spirit mixer for around $4 / €3 / £2 if you look around. Most bars have happy hour (this is usually between the hours of 4pm and 8pm) where you can get cheap drinks, and some have special events on a certain day of the week when drinks are cheaper.
As with most places in America most restaurants serve culinary delights for the most critical along with fairly large portions. Smoking is becoming less accepted and tips are usually around 20% of your bill.
Santa Monica has every type of cuisine you can imagine – French, Chinese, Italian, Caribbean, Mexican and American, which goes without saying! Most of them can be found on the main route down to Venice beach.
'Ocean Avenue Seafood' has had great reviews and at 'JiRaffe', a French restaurant, you can have a romantic dinner costing around $30 / €22 / £15 for a meal for one including drinks.
Couples and mixed small groups travel to Santa Monica so I wouldn't recommend this as a place to find a brief holiday romance but it's makes for a great atmosphere by day AND by night.
Santa Monica Beaches
The beaches are easy to get to by car or on foot and are safe enough for children with lots of things to do and see.
Santa Monica beach is equally clean and busy and the reason most holidaymakers come here.
If you want to leave the resort you could venture to Venice Beach which is Santa Monica's Southerly neighbour. It is clean and safe and is where a mixture of people gather – from entertainers to surfers so I'd recommend spending half a day or maybe a day here, or travelling the hour (or two in busy periods) to Laguna Beach.