Find and book unique accommodations on Airbnb
Guests agree: these stays are highly rated for location, cleanliness, and more.
With 3.5 miles of sandy beach and swimmable water, and some of the most heavenly summer sunsets, Santa Monica is about fun in the sun with a healthy dose of relaxation. The city’s numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues can convince you the city is one large coastal theme park, but it’s also a surprisingly walkable section of Los Angeles, with adjacent Venice Beach just a leisurely 2.5-mile stroll away.
The most convenient entry point into Santa Monica will be through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It’s just a 15 minute drive to the oceanfront neighborhood.
LAX transportation options are numerous. Rental cars are located off site, requiring a short shuttle ride; follow signs on the lower/arrivals level islands outside baggage claim. The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus also services LAX; to pick it up, take the free Lot South/City Bus Center Shuttle from the arrivals level to the LAX City Bus Center. Rideshares and taxi services are located next to Terminal 1 within a dedicated pickup lot. Follow signs or take the free LAX-it shuttles there.
Santa Monica’s coastal Mediterranean climate promises warm daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Sunny, temperate days are generally the rule for the majority of the year, with rain a rare exception. The months of June, July, and August are the driest, while January and February are more regularly gray and gloomy.
Santa Monica temperatures generally hover between the mid-60s to the low 70s Fahrenheit. Morning skies can often be obscured by a marine layer, which typically melts away before lunch, giving way to sunshine. Summers can occasionally introduce warmer daytime temps in the low 80s, but the presence of a coastal breeze tends to keep the temperature hovering around perfect. Still, it’s never a bad idea to bring an extra light layer, especially for evening excursions. Otherwise, bring sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen.
Arguably the most iconic structure along the Southern California coast, this pier overlooks Santa Monica State Beach and operates as a popular social, dining, and entertainment spot for locals and visitors alike. Take a ride on the historic merry-go-round, watch locals cast and catch along the length of the boardwalk, or enjoy the panoramic view from atop the Pacific Park Ferris wheel (especially beautiful during summer as the sun is setting). The pier’s Secret Story Tour app is worth a download before and during any visit.
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Southern California’s expansive cornucopia of produce, a visit to the largest grower-only farmers’ market in the region will surely be a rewarding and flavorful affair. It’s not uncommon to run into famous local chefs loading up carts for their week’s menu alongside other celebrities as you peruse the more than 85 farm stands on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday morning.
This three-block, pedestrian-only stretch of shops and restaurants is an iconic part of the Santa Monica landscape. In recent years, the outdoor pedestrian mall has seen a revitalization. Investment has brought new, heralded dining options to the strip along with numerous public amenities that invite visitors to rest and relax, children to play, and audiences to enjoy free public performances.