California

Santa Monica, California

A- Overview:
Santa Monica Beach symbolizes Southern California Beach lifestyle. Located near the cultural heart of Los Angeles, Santa Monica offers virtually any attraction a visitor could want when visiting southern California. If there is only time to choose one beach in the Los Angeles area during your visit, it should definitely be Santa Monica Beach.

The Santa Monica Pier, located at the end of Colorado Street, is the focal point of the beach area. The wide, sandy beach extends for about a mile north and south of the pier. Pacific Park, an amusement park located on the pier, is anchored by a 9-story solar powered Ferris wheel. Thrill seekers might also enjoy the 5-story roller coaster. Hey, what’s not to like about a beachfront amusement park reminiscent of those that lined the coast in the old days. Romantics and little ones will enjoy the Santa Monica Carousel (as seen in the Hollywood classic The Sting.) Underneath the pier is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, a beach level aquarium with exhibits the whole family will enjoy.

By Southern California standards, this is a top-notch beach. The large sandy area between the water and the bicycle path is great for sunbathing, people watching, tossing a ball or simply lying in the soft, warm sand. An offshore breakwater was installed to keep the surf gentle, great for kids but not so good for surfers looking for the best waves. The fun includes swimming, body boarding and just splashing in the water. The kids will enjoy the play area located near the pier. For a little extra exercise while enjoying the sights, running through the beach is a paved bicycle and walking path that extends for miles to the south. No doubt, most people have seen this path: it stars in countless movies and in TV shows such as Three’s Company. Visitors will see a variety of non-motorized transportation on this trail. Bicycle and Rollerblade rental shops are plentiful.

The entire downtown area is great for shopping including the Third Street Promenade, an open-air pedestrian street. The Promenade epitomizes Southern California lifestyle with an eclectic mix of people, shops, restaurants and galleries. Be sure to bring a camera and a pen, as several Hollywood notables have been known to frequent the area.

At the southern end of Santa Monica Beach is the renowned “Muscle Beach”. Remember those “Beach Movies” of bygone days? They featured reels of copper toned hard bodies flexing rippled muscles on the beach. Well, they built those bodies right here at Muscle Beach. Visitors will find an outdoor workout venue with gymnastic and balance equipment and an exhibition area for “flexing”. Muscle Beach has been around since 1930, but was newly restored in 2000.

Santa Monica is privileged to experience ideal weather and climate year round. With the humidity rarely over 55% and a gentle breeze from the nearby Pacific Ocean, the city offers its visitors an ideal climate. Fall and spring usher in many festival and events. Sun, fun, excitement, tranquility, muscles and more! Santa Monica is a vacationer’s paradise.

B- City Information:
Population: 84,084

Elevation: 101 feet above sea level

Land Area: 8.3 square miles

Location: Located in southern California on the Pacific Ocean, bordered on the north by Malibu and the south by Venice Beach. Santa Monica is located 8 miles/13 km from Los Angles International Airport, 13 miles/21 km to downtown Los Angeles

Time Zone: Pacific Time Zone (when it’s noon in Santa Monica, it’s 3pm in New York City and 2pm in Chicago). Santa Monica observes Daylight Saving Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
57.1
57.5
57.4
59.2
60.6
63.4
66.2
67.4
67.2
64.9
61.0
57.7

High temperature (°F)
64.2
64.0
63.0
64.5
64.8
67.3
70.2
71.7
71.8
70.6
67.9
65.2

Low temperature (°F)
49.9
50.9
51.8
53.7
56.4
59.4
62.1
63.0
62.5
59.2
54.1
50.2

Precipitation (in)
3.2
3.4
2.7
0.6
0.3
0.0
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.4
1.0
1.9

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
6
5
5
3
1
0
0
0
1
2
3
5

Wind speed (mph)
5.2
6.0
6.7
7.4
7.1
7.0
6.8
6.6
6.2
5.6
5.2
5.0

Morning humidity (%)
76
78
80
80
81
82
82
82
83
81
79
77

Afternoon humidity (%)
53
54
55
51
55
56
54
53
54
54
53
52

Sunshine (%)
70
71
71
70
63
63
71
73
72
71
75
71

Local Seasons:

Summer is the busiest time of the year as visitors from around the world come to enjoy all that southern California has to offer. Santa Monica is privileged to experience ideal weather and climate year round. With the humidity rarely over 55% and a gentle breeze blowing from the nearby Pacific Ocean, the city offers its visitors plentiful opportunities to enjoy a host of outdoor activities, including its world famous beach

How to Get There:

By Air

Los Angeles International Airport

1 World Way
Los Angeles, CA 90045

310-646-5252

The nearest airport serving major commercial carriers is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is only 8 miles south (13km) of Santa Monica. The airport is served by most of the national and international airlines as well as a host of local, regional and charter airlines.

Santa Monica Municipal Airport

3223 Donald Douglas Loop South
Santa Monica, CA 90405

310-458-8591

The Santa Monica Municipal Airport is a small airfield that accommodates private aircraft.

Ground Transportation:

All of the major car rental companies as well as taxi, limousine, and shuttle bus service are available at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Limited availability at Santa Monica Municipal Airport.

By Car

Visitors can reach Santa Monica by car from the north, south or east. Pacific Coast Highway (California 1), The Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10), Historic Route 66 (Santa Monica Boulevard) and Wilshire Boulevard run right through the city.

By Train

Amtrak

The nearest Amtrak station is located at Union Station, Los Angeles, 800 N. Alameda Avenue. To reach Santa Monica from the depot, visitors will find taxis at the stations. Buses operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) can bring visitors to Santa Monica as well or they can arrange a shuttle in advance.

For additional information, call:

800-872-7245

By Bus

Greyhound

800- 229-9424.

Greyhound offers bus transportation to Los Angeles from most cities in the United States. If visitors are arriving by bus, the Greyhound Bus Station is at 1716 E. 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles. From the station, Greyhound offers one shuttle to Santa Monica daily – it arrives at 10:30am (A return shuttle takes passengers back to the Los Angeles station.)

How to Get Around:

Due to the multitude of things to see and do both in and near the city, the best way to get around is by either personal or rental car. For activities at the beach, walking is suggested.

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day, 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day, last Mon. in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
The Beach

The world famous 3.5-mile Santa Monica Beach has appeared in countless movies and TV shows epitomizing the beach life of Southern California. Here visitors can ride a wave or wade in one. Work on the perfect tan. Build a sandcastle or build up their body. Pedal or skate along the sand. Play games that are good for the body and the brain or just watch the waves kiss the shore. On Santa Monica Beach visitors can be as active or laid back as they want to be, because in Santa Monica being who you want to be is the way of life.

Pacific Park

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-260-8744

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

What visitors do on the Pier today isn’t very different from what they did more than 100 years ago. They fish day or night, watch the waves, view the wonders of the undersea world, dance under the stars, ride a carousel horse or a roller coaster, dine at an ocean view restaurant, and entertain themselves at an arcade and shop for souvenirs. The Pier is a place for families and fun, for amusement and amazement.

The Carousel on the Pier

Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-260-8744

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The highlight of the original Pier, which was built in 1912 and restored lovingly in 1990, is the famed Santa Monica Carousel which is housed in its own Victorian style hippodrome building at the inland side of the Pier. This merry-go-round carved by Charles Looff in 1922 was featured in the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film The Sting. The Carousel, which harks back to a more innocent time, is still extremely popular with today’s visitors.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Under the Pier

Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-260-8744

Hours: Open to the public Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm. Extended summer hours (July & August) Tuesday – Friday 3pm – 6pm

Admission Charged

Tucked under the Pier is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, a beach level aquarium which uses appealing, hands-on presentations to convey a sense of the fragility and beauty of the marine life in Santa Monica Bay. Touch tanks are full of delicate, endangered sea specimens. An 8-foot octagonal tank glows with its population of luminous lilac jellyfish. Exhibits display ways to help preserve and protect the ocean environment.

Ocean Walk

Admission Free

This broad, paved footpath which stretches south from the Pier to just below Bay Street gives visitors access to every beach activity. At its foot is the children’s playground, and as visitors move south along it, they pass volleyball courts, the International Chess Park, the famed Muscle Beach, and public art installations. People watching is never better than from this sidewalk by the sea.

Palisades Park

1400 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-393-7593

Hours: Open daily, summer hours 10am – 5pm, winter hours 10am – 4pm

Admission Free

Palisades Park is a neighborhood focal point for readers and runners, sunbathers and sketchers, art lovers and animated conversationalists. At any time of the day it’s breathtaking, but don’t miss seeing the sunset from this Ocean Avenue landmark.

Muscle Beach

Located along Ocean Front Walk

As visitors stroll along Ocean Front Walk they’ll come upon California’s original Muscle Beach, the famous outdoor workout venue. Newly restored in 2000, this bit of beach has attracted suntanned fitness buffs since 1930. The combination of a gorgeous location coupled with a wide array of gymnastic and balance apparatus draws fitness experts and novices alike. There’s even an exhibition area where the fittest are likely to do some flexing for those watching.

Chess Park

Located on Ocean Front Walk

Just past the Volleyball courts at the south side of the Pier on Ocean Front Walk is the International Chess Park, Santa Monica’s sunny response to New York City’s Washington Square Park. Its chess tables draw game lovers so don’t be reluctant to stand and watch, but no advice, please.

Santa Monica Museum of Art

2525 Michigan Ave # G1

Santa Monica, CA 90404

310-586-6488

Hours: Open Tuesday -Saturday 11am – 6pm, Sunday, 12pm – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Santa Monica Museum of Art, located at Bergamot Station, has no permanent collection, but presents consistently interesting exhibits and installations. See everything from video presentations to interactive experiences that invite you to see the world from a wide range of perspectives.

California Heritage Museum

2612 Main St.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

310-392-9537

Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am – 4pm

Admission Charged

Located on Main Street, the museum is housed in the 1894 former home of the widow of Santa Monica founder, John Jones. The Jones’ son Ray occupied the house until his death. On the first floor of this small, but entrancing museum is a fine collection of vintage Craftsman-style furniture and historic photos. The second floor gallery presents imaginative exhibits concerning some aspect of Southern California and Santa Monica history and culture.

Santa Monica Historical Society Museum

1539 Euclid St.

Santa Monica, CA 90404

310-395-2290

Hours: Open Tuesday and Thursday 10am – 4:30pm and the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month from 1pm -4:30pm

Admission Charged

The Santa Monica Historical Society Museum, on Euclid between Broadway and Colorado, can be most easily located by spotting the massive palm tree that dominates its front yard. In this delightfully unassuming museum visitors can explore every phase of the city’s history. Well-researched exhibits include a wall-size photo diorama of the Santa Monica Pier, a scale model of the Palisades Park Pergola and a wide variety of historic photos, clothing and everyday household items.

Museum of Flying

2772 Donald Douglas Loop N
Santa Monica, CA 90405

310-392-8822

Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Admission Charged

The Museum of Flying is housed in a huge, vaulting hangar at the edge of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport’s runway. From its second floor out-look visitors can view the runway activity as well as listen in on the pilot-tower traffic and departure control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) through museum-supplied handsets. The museum displays several full size aircraft which are hung from the ceiling, with more sitting on the floor and on the runway apron just outside the museum’s hangar door. Children can climb into pilot seats of stripped down Bell Huey and Hughes Cayuse (“Loach”) helicopters. A hydraulics-powered flight simulator takes visitors on flights in a variety of aircraft. Interpretive displays on Howard Hughes and the Tuskegee Airmen, hand-built scale models of World War I airplanes, and a full-size replica of the “ready room” of the 56th Fighter Group, circa 1943, are among the museum’s fascinating exhibits.

Route 66

This famed highway that was designed to connect the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean ends in Santa Monica. Traverse Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica and visitors can discover that like the rest of Route 66, it takes them on a fascinating tour of neighborhoods and lifestyles.

Nearby Attractions:

Disneyland

1313 S Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802

714-781-4000

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Disneyland, America’s original theme park and its companion, The California Adventure are about an hour’s drive from Santa Monica.

Knott’s Berry Farm

8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
714-220-5200

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Knott’s Berry Farm, slightly north of Disneyland, offers thrill rides as well as play areas designed for younger children, along with its famed restaurant known for its chicken dinners and signature jams and jellies.

Universal Studios, Holllywood

70 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608

818-777-6727

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Universal Studios, Hollywood, approximately one-half hour from Santa Monica, offers a tour of the studio back-lots, participatory demonstrations and rides based on the studio’s most popular releases, and City Walk, a shopping street filled with shops and restaurants.

Magic Mountain

26101 Magic Mountain Parkway

Valencia, CA 93155

661-255-4100

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Magic Mountain, a park alive with roller coasters and thrill rides is located in Valencia, just north of the San Fernando Valley.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
The Beach

The world famous 3.5-mile Santa Monica Beach has appeared in countless movies and TV shows epitomizing the beach life of Southern California. Here visitors can ride a wave or wade in one. Work on the perfect tan. Build a sandcastle or build up their body. Pedal or skate along the sand. Play games that are good for the body and the brain. Or just watch the waves kiss the shore. On Santa Monica Beach visitors can be as active or laid back as they want to be because in Santa Monica being who you want to be is the way of life.

Pacific Park

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-260-8744

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

What visitors do on the Pier today isn’t very different from what they did more than 100 years ago. They fish day or night, watch the waves, view the wonders of the undersea world, dance under the stars, ride a carousel horse or a roller coaster, dine at an ocean view restaurant, and entertain themselves at an arcade and shop for souvenirs. The Pier is a place for families and fun, for amusement and amazement.

The Carousel on the Pier

Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-260-8744

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The highlight of the original Pier, which was built in 1912 and restored lovingly in 1990, is the famed Santa Monica Carousel which is housed in its own Victorian style hippodrome building at the inland side of the Pier. This merry-go-round carved by Charles Looff in 1922 was featured in the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film The Sting. The Carousel, which harks back to a more innocent time, is still extremely popular with today’s visitors.

Palisades Park

1400 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-393-7593

Hours: Open daily, summer hours 10am – 5pm, winter hours 10am – 4pm

Admission Free

Palisades Park is a neighborhood focal point for readers and runners, sunbathers and sketchers, art lovers and animated conversationalists. At any time of the day it’s breathtaking, but don’t miss seeing the sunset from this Ocean Avenue landmark.

Muscle Beach

Located along Ocean Front Walk

As visitors stroll along Ocean Front Walk they’ll come upon California’s original Muscle Beach, the famous outdoor workout venue. Newly restored in 2000, this bit of beach has attracted suntanned fitness buffs since 1930. The combination of gorgeous location and wide array of gymnastic and balance apparatus draw fitness experts and novices alike. There’s even an exhibition area where the fittest are likely to do some flexing for those watching.

Nearby Attractions:

Disneyland

1313 S Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802

714-781-4000

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Disneyland, America’s original theme park and its companion, The California Adventure are about an hour’s drive from Santa Monica.

Knott’s Berry Farm

8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
714-220-5200

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Knott’s Berry Farm, slightly north of Disneyland, offers thrill rides as well as play areas designed for younger children, along with its famed restaurant known for its chicken dinners and signature jams and jellies.

Universal Studios, Hollywood

70 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608

818-777-6727

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Universal Studios, Hollywood, approximately one-half hour from Santa Monica, offers a tour of the studio back-lots, participatory demonstrations and rides based on the studio’s most popular releases, and City Walk, a shopping street filled with shops and restaurants.

Magic Mountain

26101 Magic Mountain Parkway

Valencia, CA 93155

661-255-4100

Hours: Vary by season, call for additional information

Admission Charged

Magic Mountain, a park alive with roller coasters and thrill rides is located in Valencia, just north of the San Fernando Valley.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events & Entertainment

January

Bustamante Antiques Show & Sale

Held in mid January

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

ART- LA

Held in late January

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

February

Vintage Fashion Expo

Held in early February

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Gem Fair

Held in mid February

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Santa Monica Antiques Show & Sale

Held in mid February

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

April

International Gem & Jewelry Show

Held in early April

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Home Decorating & Remodeling Show

Held in early April

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Annual Community Health Festival

Held in late April

Location: Santa Monica

310-393-9825

Call for additional information

Free screenings and samples from over 60 vendors

May

Santa Monica Indian Art Show

Held in mid May

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

International Bead Show

Held in mid May

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

June

Contemporary Crafts Market

Held in early – mid June

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

International Gem & Jewelry Show

Held in mid June

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Santa Monica Antiques Show & Sale

Held in late June

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

July

Body Mind Spirit Expo

Held in early July

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Bead Fair

Held in late July

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

August

Fabulous Fiber Fest

Held in early – mid August

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

September

Book, Print, Photo & Paper Fair

Held in early – mid September

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Santa Monica Cat Show

Held in mid September

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

International Gem & Jewelry Show

Held in late September

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

L.A. Asian & Tribal Arts

Held in late September

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

October

Vintage Fashion Expo

Held in late October

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Bead Fair

Held in mid October

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Santa Monica Antiques Show & Sale

Held in late October

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

November

Contemporary Crafts Market

Held in early November

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

L.A. Interior Design & Antiques Show

Held in early – mid November

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

December

International Gem & Jewelry Show

Held in early December

Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

310-458-2288

Call for additional information

Entertainment

Cantori Domino
St. Augustine By-The-Sea

805-259-547

Call for performance schedule and additional information
Presents Choral performances periodically throughout the year.

Musica Angelica
First Presbyterian Church
1220 Second Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-451-1303

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Presents an annual season of music by Baroque composers, performed by some of America’s finest Baroque specialists.

City Garage
1340 1/2 Fourth Street (in the alley)

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-319-9939

Call for performance schedule and additional information
Experimental theater producing new plays by world authors, workshops

Edgemar Center for the Arts
2437 Main Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405

310-399-3666

Call for performance schedule and additional information
A diverse arts space including theater, dance, a visual arts gallery, an independent film festival, jazz nights, lecture series, youth programs, and writing, acting and children’s workshops.

Laemmle’s Monica Fourplex
1332 Second Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-394-9744

Call for performance schedule and additional information
Art-house exhibiting foreign films and American independent cinema; occasionally showcasing retrospectives and other specialty programming.

NuWilshire Theater
1314 Wilshire Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90403

310-394-8099
Art-house featuring foreign and independent American cinema.

Moxie!/Santa Monica International Film Festival

310-264-4274

Call for performance schedule and additional information
Film presentations at the Laemmle Fourplex, the Aero Theater, and Bergamot Station
Presents year-round film festival featuring independent films from around the world.