With brag-worthy oceanfront real estate, Santa Monica is where Los Angeles comes to play. Miles of beaches border this fashionable seaside city, while a few blocks inland you’ll find swanky shopping streets with cutting-edge creative restaurants and hip cocktail bars for refueling after a day of playing outside in the sun.
Family vacations are a cinch in Santa Monica. You could spend all afternoon on the pier, riding the solar-powered Ferris wheel at the amusement park and taking your kids to touch tide-pool critters inside the tiny aquarium. For a funkier atmosphere, Venice lazes just south. There, an arty, alternative crowd hangs out on Abbott Kinney Boulevard, while eccentrics pack the beach boardwalk.
From Santa Monica, it’s easy to day trip anywhere across LA – strut down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, see real stars at the Griffith Observatory, be awed by artistic masterpieces at the Getty Center museum or cruise up the coast to Malibu. Whatever your California dreams are made of, make them come true here.