Santa Monica is a beachfront city of South California, near the city of Los Angeles. It is a paradise of famous Hollywood actors and Television stars. It is one of the most expensive real estate in the country. Santa Monica is a superb blend of the excitement and lure of a big city and the essence and calmness of the seashore. It is named after a Christian saint named Monica. It is situated on the Santa Monica Bay. The place is not only just limited to the wealthy and rich communities but is also accessible and warm to the average people. The beach community welcomes all the tourists with open arms. It is a perfect destination to stay and relax when you are visiting California.
Santa Monica is a perfect tourist destination, especially for the people who like to travel on foot. It is only 3.6 miles in size and could easily be explored by just walking. Still it has one of the best developed public transportation system. The city is well designed with only 30 blocks so it is difficult to be lost while exploring the area. The city has 8 districts and tourists must take their time to visit each one of them. One of the famous districts is ‘The Bayside District’. It is the city’s primary shopping and dining destination. It has many designer and exclusive stores and boutiques. It’s one of the main attraction is the Santa Monica Place which is the city’s traditional mall. Street artists and entertainers are a common site here. It is a pedestrian only area.
Other attractions in the city include The Santa Monica Museum of Art in the Mid- City district. It is known as the centre of arts. It is the abode of many major movie, TV and music companies like Sony, Universal, MTV, etc. It is also famous for its large number of British and Irish pubs. The other districts include the Montana Avenue district which is the most opulent and luxurious place of the city. It is easy to spot a movie star or a celebrity in this area. It has one of the most expensive hotels, restaurant and bars.
The most attractive and famous destination in Santa Monica is the ‘Santa Monica Pier’. It is the home of the traditional amusement park named Pacific Park with old fashioned roller coaster rides at affordable prices. This is the place where you will find the famous ‘Santa Monica Neon Sign’ which one can often spot in movies and TV shows. The place is also a designated place for fishing where you do not need a license for fishing. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is an attraction for both children and adults alike. It is open for both general public and to student groups. The special events in the aquarium include lectures and lessons of marine and environmental studies for the students and sometimes specially organized story telling events for the kids. The famous restaurants in the Pier include the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company seafood restaurant which is located right at the entry of the Pier and offers a beautiful view of the beaches, oceans and palisades. Other famous restaurants are Meriasol Mexican Restaurant, Rusty’s Surf Ranch Restaurant/Bar, etc.
If you want to visit art galleries and theatres, you may visit the Pico Boulevard district in the southern end of Santa Monica. Here, the theatre and music students show their talent and it is a wonderful breeding place for them. The place also has a wide range of restaurants and bars.
Besides other attractions in Santa Monica, the main reason to visit Santa Monica is the beaches of the city. They introduce the tourists to the healthy lifestyle of California. The most famous beach of Santa Monica is the ‘Santa Monica State Beach’. It is said to enjoy ample sunshine almost whole of the year. It is the most crowded beach of the city, especially in the weekends. Throughout the year the beach is filled with bare bodies covered in sand. But despite the overcrowded state of the beach and so many visitors, the city authorities manage to keep the beach clean and attractive. Other things to enjoy at the beach apart from sunbathing and swimming include the Bike Path and Chess Park.
The Bike Path is 22 miles long and is the longest beach path of its kind. All types of non-motorized wheeled vehicles are allowed on it. For those who enjoy biking, often ride along the path to enjoy the beautiful view of the beaches of the city. The other attraction of the beach is the Santa Monica’s Chess Park. Here, the people daily witness some high anxiety chess games. It attracts a lot of talented and superb chess players and viewers from all over the place. The human scale chess board built on the sidewalk also had become a fancy for the kids. Among other attractive beaches of the city include ‘The Muscle Beach’. It is the favourite destination of the fitness freak people. The beach is equipped with best fitness machines and is a hang out place for fitness icons like Jack LaLane and Joe Gold, founder of Gold’s Gym.
Santa Monica is a great shopping destination too. The main shopping areas include Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Venice Beach Boardwalk, Montana Avenue and Malibu Country Mart. The choices for shopping in the city are very diverse and they range from traditional style of retail to the eclectic designer boutiques.
The Santa Monica city is generally safe to roam around, but it is still advised to use one’s common sense and be in a crowded area at night and avoid deserted creepy places. The city has the highest population of homeless people but they do not pose any threat to the tourists or common people. The crime rate is low in the city due the presence of a vigilant police force.