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Santa Monica Visitors Guide
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Destination: Santa Monica, California
|Featured Hotel: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel|
Many visitors to Santa Monica like to stay right at the beach, near the Santa Monica Pier. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Le Merigot, and the Viceroy are all popular choices.
Starting at the pier and running north along the top of the bluff up to Pacific Palisades, is Palisades Park. Across Ocean Ave. from the park, you can stay at the Hotel Oceana, at the Fairmont Miramar, Hotel Shangri-La, or at the Georgian Hotel.
All of these hotels are very close to the liveliest spot in town: the 3rd Street Promenade. The promenade is home to dozens of restaurants, retail shops, movie theatres, bookstores, and just about every kind of entertainment you can imagine.
The pier is home to Pacific Park, where you'll find spectacular views from the top of the Pacific Wheel. Bring the kids, because they'll love the West Coaster, Pacific Wheel, and other attractions. They'll also like the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium which is underneath the pier. Santa Monica's Chesspark can be found just a few steps south of the pier; it's one of the largest outdoor chess facilities in the world, and chessplayers of all strengths from amatuers to Masters play there regularly.
There are lots of restaurants on the pier, and there's always a variety of live entertainment. Or you might just like to walk out to the end and enjoy the view facing north to Malibu and south to Venice Beach and Marina del Rey.
You can rent a bicycle, or bring your skates, and head down to Venice Beach. But be sure to be back by sunset...because you don't want to miss the view!
Then it's off to dinner and the movies on the 3rd Street Promenade.
Here's a map that will help you find hotels, restaurants, spas, and other attractions: