Guide to Santa Monica

Where transcontinental Interstate 10 meets the Pacific Coast Highway lies iconic Santa Monica, a community of 90,000 known as the birthplace of skateboarding. Visitors and residents alike appreciate the historic Santa Monica Pier, the rides and arcade games at Pacific Park and the stylish shopping and restaurants of Third Street Promenade. Few Southern California scenic spots can turn an afternoon work break into a mini-vacation as well as Santa Monica's Palisades Park. Santa Monica Bay stretches out below the park's bluffs, curving along the horizon from Palos Verdes to Malibu. The Santa Monica Pier, with its historic carousel and neon-clad Ferris wheel, juts out across the wide public beach. On the other side of Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica’s oceanfront is lined with high-end hotels, each with its own collection of crave-worthy restaurants and bars. A couple blocks from the shore, the Third Street Promenade offers a mix of retail shops, movie theaters and restaurants augmented by a steady stream of street performers. Further inland, highly-praised eateries have taken residence to round out the neighborhood. Those seeking culture rather than commerce won't be disappointed. Santa Monica art galleries can be found in many parts of town, including the Santa Monica Museum of Art, but the mother lode is Bergamot Station, which houses 25 galleries. The Annenberg Beach House hosts regular community events and classes, including Audubon beach walks, art exhibits, swim classes and beach volleyball. More

Scenes from Santa Monica
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