Where LA meets the sea, you’ll find this charming beach community of Santa Monica. Year- round warm weather, proximity to LA, picturesque beachside setting, friendly locals, lively cultural scene, Santa Monica is a coastal paradise. Not convinced yet? Here are 10 reasons why Santa Monica must be in your bucket list the next time you are in the area.
1. More than 300 days of sunshine a year
Does cold and gloomy weather have you singing the blues? These long chilly winter months are the ideal time to plan an escape to sunny Santa Monica. Santa Monica averages more than 300 days of warm, soul-healing sunshine a year and offers some of the best sunsets on the West Coast. Temperatures rarely dip below 60°F/16°C, providing the ideal climate for getting physically active, shopping or dining al fresco.
2. Location, location, location
Less than an hour from Hollywood and even closer from downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica is an excellent base from which you can enjoy the rest of California including Malibu, Santa Barbara, and San Diego.
3. Home to most iconic beaches in California
Many visitors to Santa Monica come because of the beach. The 8.3 square-mile city of Santa Monica offers a variety of activities such as sunbathing, biking and volleyball– which are ideal for the public beaches. And don’t forget the muscle beach. The Original Muscle beach located just south of Santa Monica pier is a popular attraction for beachgoers and athletes alike.
4. Food is reliably fresh
Santa Monica has deep ties to California farmers. Named by Travel + Leisure as the best farmers market in the county, Santa Monica’s four weekly farmers markets attract the city's residents and local chefs with the fresh produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, nuts, fish, and more.
5. Best window-shopping mecca
Santa Monica’s walkable neighbourhoods and celebrated outdoor retail destinations make it a shopper’s paradise, all set near one of Southern California’s most iconic coastlines. Honouring the city’s laid-back spirit and wealth of options, Sunset Magazine recently named Santa Monica the best “Window Shopping Mecca” in its 2018 Travel Awards.
6. Hub for art lovers
Santa Monica has a robust gallery scene. But there’s no need to head inside to be inspired by artists’ works. Visitors and locals alike are treated to more than 150 notable sculptures, murals and other creative endeavours found all around town.
7. Green Spaces
When many hear “green travel” they think of camping in the wilderness, but in Santa Monica you don’t have to sacrifice the indulgences of luxury travel in order to “go green.” Santa Monica provides many eco-friendly restaurants, hotels, attractions and transportation alternatives so you can travel guilt-free and protect the destination you love to visit.
8. Even their Ferris Wheel is eco-friendly
Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the “World’s Coolest Ferris Wheels,” the 13-story Pacific Wheel is the world’s first and only solar-powered Ferris wheel. From a seat on the Pacific Wheel, visitors and locals alike take in panoramic views of the Los Angeles coastline and mountains from more than 185 feet above the Santa Monica Pier. The Ferris wheel’s 174,000 energy-efficient LED lights create a 85-foot high computer-generated light show for night-time beach-goers to enjoy.
9. Excellent odds of seeing someone famous
Santa Monica is a city with high concentration of famous people. There are several restaurants in the city where celebrities occasionally dine like The Bungalow, Ivy at the Shore, The Penthouse, Tar and Roses, among others.
10. LGBT friendly
Not only is Santa Monica home to some of the country’s most beloved beaches, it is also home to one of Los Angeles’ most open-minded and fun-loving communities. From the locals who have called Santa Monica home their entire lives to newer residents, Santa Monica is a vibrant and growing community made up of people from all walks of life, making it the perfect place to stay as an LGBT traveller.
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