The beach city of Santa Monica, California with it’s average year round temperature of about 68 degrees Fahrenheit, good air quality, 245 acres of state beach, over 3,800 hotel rooms, numerous restaurants and abundant shopping is not only a destination for millions of Southern California day-trippers, it is also a popular destination for vacationers from all over the United States and the world.
The city is also home to the Santa Monica Pier, where you can fish day and night, watch the waves, view the wonders of the undersea world at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, dance under the stars to music from big name bands and musicians (summers, Thursday nights only), ride the Ferris wheel, ride a carousel horse or a roller coaster, dine in an ocean view restaurant, entertain yourself at an arcade, watch street performers, jugglers and roller bladers, and shop for souvenirs.
For shopping you can go to the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor, pedestrian-only shopping and entertainment destination where you can spend the whole day. There are more shops are on adjacent boulevards and neighboring 2nd and 4th street. You can also visit Santa Monica Place, a tri-level sky-lite galleria housing 570,000 square feet with 120 shops and eateries. There is more shopping on Pico Blvd., Montana Ave. and Main Street.
There are accommodations in every price range from inexpensive motels like the Travelodge Santa Monica on Pico Boulevard to luxury hotels like the Hotel Oceana Santa Monica, The Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Le Merigot, Shutters on the Beach and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
Dine in an inexpensive coffee shop, have a Fat Burger or some Mexican fast food or dine in more expensive restaurants like Melisse, Valentino, The Lobster, Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi, Josie, Chinois on Main, Rockenwagner Brasserie, Sam’s by the Beach, The Beach House, Drago and many more.
Check out the male and female weight lifters and body builders at Muscle Beach with it’s free weights, rings, parallel bars, balance bar, and other gymnastics apparatus. Play or watch people play chess at Chess Park with its 14 large tables with 4 chess boards per table and 10 small tables with 1 chess board per table. Go surfing in the Pier, Bay Street and Rose Ave. beach areas.