Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Visiting Santa Monica"

Santa Monica

Although Los Angeles is known for its freeways, traffic, and smog, there is a beautiful beach side city that borders the western edge of LA and is along the Pacific. Every year thousands of people visit Santa Monica. Santa Monica is spread out along the beach from Venice all the way up to the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of LA and is the location of dozens of high-rise luxury hotels, dining, retail and of course beautiful beaches, parks and sunshine. A stroll through Santa Monica will have any visitor feeling like they have left LA and are in the middle of a luxurious resort only found in Mexico or the Mediterranean. Santa Monica offers sights and attractions for the entire family.

The main area of interest when visiting Santa Monica is along the shoreline where Ocean Ave is the dominant thoroughfare for which shopping, dining and accommodations all extend off into separate streets. Tall and thick palm trees line the sidewalks for the entire length of Ocean Avenue. As Ocean Ave runs parallel to the beach, the bright blue of the Pacific Ocean is always visible from any points along the avenue. Ocean Ave straddles a cliff where below are the beaches and bike paths. Dozens of hotels line Ocean Avenue and face out on to the Ocean affording guests spectacular views. There are a broad range of choices in restaurants on Ocean Ave, from hole in the walls to five star, celebrity driven menus. Several major streets cross Ocean Avenue and take visitors into Los Angeles proper and offer additional opportunities in shopping and dining. These streets include Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd and Broadway.

The 3rd St. Promenade is only 2 blocks inland from the beaches and Ocean Avenue. In the last decade the Third Street Promenade has transformed itself into one of the biggest shopping destinations in Los Angeles. Extending almost half a mile from Wilshire Blvd down to Broadway, the Promenade is a street closed to cars and consists of a brick road, lined by palm trees, kiosks and dozens of high end stores from home furnishings to fashion. On the weekends many street performers come out and perform a variety acts from music to acrobatic stunts as crowds gather and watch. There are many dining opportunities on 3rd Street to chose including pizza and Chinese. There are two movie theaters and a major mall under construction slated to open in late 2010 at the termination point of the Promenade at Broadway. Several streets run parallel to Third Street including 4th Street and 2nd Street, each of these streets also provide a variety of shopping and dining opportunities as well.

Jutting out from the beaches of Santa Monica and into the Ocean is the Santa Monica Pier. With a rollercoaster, Ferris Wheel, stalls, aquarium and fishing, the average visitor can spend a day on the pier. The pier is friendly to families and allows for a variety of fun activities. The Santa Monica Pier celebrated its 100 birthday in 2009 and to commemorate the event built a new Ferris wheel; at the top of the Ferris Wheel visitors can get a 360 view of the shoreline, all of Santa Monica and down into Venice. At the base of the pier are many skate and bicycle rental kiosks where the active traveler can venture up and down the coast to Venice.

Santa Monica is a trip in itself and when visiting Los Angeles appropriate time should be made to spend a day or two in this beautiful neighborhood on the beach. In good traffic, Santa Monica is only less than thirty minutes from Hollywood and twenty from Beverly Hills.
For additional information on Santa Monica see .

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