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The Pacific Ocean coastal community of Santa Monica is located in sunny Southern California, widely considered the film capital of the world. Santa Monica has its share of media production companies, but it's known more for being a beach town than a movie industry hub, although it is quite close to fashionable Beverly Hills where many movie stars make their homes. Accommodation choices abound, but renting a house or apartment in Santa Monica is a great option. The area's typically warm weather is wonderful for outdoor grilling and lounging by the private pool or hot tub. Amenities like these are things that hotels lack but homes in Santa Monica often have. Washing machines and reserved parking spaces are sometimes included, and some rentals also welcome pets. The cost for houses that have ocean views and beach access is also quite reasonable when compared with the premium prices a hotel with these advantages would charge.
Sunbathing, strolling and practicing yoga are some of the activities people enjoy doing on Santa Monica's expanse of sandy beach. Experienced surfers and paddle boarders will be right at home here, and there are lessons available for novices.Santa Monica Pier
Both locals and tourists enjoy spending time at this hundred-year-old pier, home to an iconic Ferris wheel, an arcade, amusement park rides, a carousel and several restaurants. Fishing off the end of the pier and watching the sunset are popular pursuits, and concerts are often held here during the summer months.The South Bay Bicycle Trail
There are plenty of shops renting bicycles for rides down the 22-mile-long, paved trail that runs south from Santa Monica parallel to the Pacific.
The city boasts several shopping zones, such as the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place, that house major national retail chains, but smaller, independently-owned boutiques, offering one-of-a-kind items, can also be found on many streets, especially Montana Avenue.
Santa Monica has an impressive number of galleries and museums including Bergamot Station, a former trolley station that now houses a cultural center and art gallery. At the Santa Monica Design District, guests can enjoy a tour of contemporary design showrooms while enjoying a taste of regional wines.
Santa Monica is situated in Los Angeles County where the weather is famous for being mild and sunny. Winters are temperate, although it is the season when rainfall is typically expected. Santa Monica's coastal location virtually ensures that visitors will enjoy cool temperatures even during the occasional Southern California heat wave. However, this also means that ocean water temperatures can be cold, especially during the winter months when daytime highs at the beach hover in the mid to low 60s. Because of this, many people prefer to visit during the warmer summer months. Other popular times of year are September when the Abbott Kinney street fair is held in neighboring Venice Beach and February when the Academy Awards take place and the runners in the Los Angeles Marathon cross the finish line in Santa Monica.
Santa Monica is only about eight miles from Los Angeles International Airport, also known as simply LAX, which is served by many major domestic and international carriers. There are plenty of rental car desks at the airport, and private car service can be pre-booked. LAX's terminals are arranged around an oval shaped configuration of driving lanes, so it's possible to continuously circle the airport. Shared van service is available, but transit times can be long if the driver spends time circling around hoping to fill the van completely. Taxi stands marked with yellow signs are located outside the arrival terminals. There is a free airport shuttle that transports passengers from the terminals to Parking Lot C where a bus center is located. Public buses that travel to Santa Monica make stops at this center.