Santa Monica is an unforgettable seaside city, with easy access to metropolitan Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. Equal parts coastal getaway and urban center, Santa Monica serves as a perfect base for vacationers and business travelers alike.
Located a convenient eight miles (13 km) north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and itself a walkable 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²), Santa Monica is comprised of eight distinct districts, each featuring its own character and lifestyle options. Following is a survey of the eight districts and highlights of each of their offerings:
DOWNTOWN AND THIRD STREET PROMENADE
Also known as Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., this neighborhood hosts some of the city’s biggest stores and most famous retailers as well as two weekly farmers’ markets. The open-air, pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade is a huge draw for its shopping, dining, street performers, bookstores and movie theaters.
SANTA MONICA PIER AND OCEAN AVENUE
Offering direct contact with the beach and ocean, the famous Santa Monica Pier houses a Carousel and full over-the-water amusement park, while palm tree–lined Ocean Avenue has an array of prized ocean-view restaurants and hotels.
Mid-City’s wide thoroughfares are home to a variety of shopping, dining and pubs, many major film, television and music companies, as well as the city’s newest performing arts venue.
Main Street offers chic clothing and design stores, art galleries and a weekly farmers’ market just two blocks from the ocean, as well as the Santa Monica Walk-In Visitor Information Center.
Montana Avenue is a tree-lined European boulevard amid a residential neighborhood with casual yet luxurious dining and shopping options.
The highlights of Pico Boulevard are the record stores and a huge Saturday farmers’ market, not to mention the award-winning restaurants and clothing boutiques.
Ocean Park is a friendly, artsy neighborhood with a wide variety of stores, galleries, coffee shops and a culinary arts restaurant.
SANTA MONICA AIRPORT
Santa Monica Airport is a working, private airfield and events space, home to outstanding restaurants, the monthly Outdoor Antique Market and annual Barney’s sale at Barker Hangar.