Other areas to stay in Santa Monica
DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA/THIRD STREET PROMENADE
Downtown Santa Monica is home to some of the best shops and restaurants in the area. It is the ideal place to stay if you want to be both central to the coast for walks along the beautiful oceanside, and closer to the more residential neighborhoods of Santa Monica to roam past the tree-lined streets or visit the farmer’s markets the neighborhood holds every Wednesday and Saturday. The Third Street Promenade is the main shopping area where you can find a range of stores, from affordable shops to designer boutiques.
There is something for everyone Downtown with cafes, parks, and movie theaters. In this area, you can find restaurants with all different types of cuisines like Mexican, Italian, Korean, Mediterranean, and American. If you’re staying in Downtown Santa Monica, you have walkable access to the many vibrant neighborhoods in the city and are close to everything the city has to offer.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica ⭐⭐⭐
Main Street is blocks away from Downtown Santa Monica and just steps away from the ocean. It’s the place to stay if you are looking for a local experience in the city. Main Street is a laid back option for visitors wanting a relaxed feel, compared to Downtown Santa Monica. Main Street is home to sidewalk cafes like Go Get Em Tiger and Urth Caffe, and small businesses like thrift shops, a bike shop, and jewelry boutiques.
During the summer, Main Street closes its streets to cars and is pedestrian friendly to enjoy attractions and pop-up events like outdoor fitness classes, kids activities, and concerts with local musicians. Main Street is also the best place to stay if you want to visit The California Heritage Museum. The museum is housed in a 19th Century era home and features exhibits dedicated to California’s past and its many contributions to American culture.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Viceroy Santa Monica ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mid City is minutes east of Downtown Santa Monica and offers plenty of affordable hotel options in the area. It is easily accessible to other parts of Santa Monica via the Expo light rail train lines that travel from Santa Monica to Los Angeles. Mid City is known for being an up and coming arts and entertainment neighborhood, and is the perfect place for art lovers to stay. There are over 100 murals in Santa Monica, mostly located in Mid City.
The neighborhood is a welcoming community for art admirers, with street art lining the whole neighborhood. The Bergamot Station Arts Center is the largest gallery and arts center in Southern California and features exhibitions from dozens of artists. The arts center also has its own cafe and a framing shop. Mid City also has a few cafes loved by locals, like Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, Huckleberry Cafe, and La Monarca.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Gateway Hotel Santa Monica ⭐⭐⭐
Located a few minutes north of the Santa Monica Pier, Montana Avenue is a quiet neighborhood for visitors to stay if they are looking for a chill experience in Santa Monica. Montana Avenue is famous for having over 150 restaurants and shops. You can feel like a local when staying in the neighborhood while browsing the unique shops and enjoying everything from authentic ramen to old fashioned ice cream.
Montana Avenue is also home to the world famous Aero Theater. Film lovers will find the theater to be one of the main attractions in the city, as it shows the latest blockbusters and old Hollywood classic films. Montana Avenue has everything you need to enjoy a local Southern California experience while still being just minutes away from Downtown Santa Monica. You can get from Montana Avenue to the rest of the city on foot, or by taking a scenic bike ride.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Palihouse Santa Monica ⭐⭐⭐⭐
OCEAN PARK BOULEVARD/SANTA MONICA AIRPORT AREA
Ocean Park Boulevard spans a few miles, all the way from the Santa Monica Airport to the oceanfront. It is the ideal place for tourists to stay if you want to have easy access to the ocean by bus, bike, or on foot. Ocean Park Boulevard would be a great place to stay for quick weekend getaways or stops along a road trip to Santa Monica considering the close proximity to the airport and the many affordable hotel options.
Ocean Park Boulevard is close to Barnard Way Linear Park, Marine Park, and the Penmar Golf Course. It is also home to the Santa Monica Airport Park, which has acres of playgrounds, athletic fields, and walking trails. The boulevard is also perfect for those wanting to visit museums such as the bG modern art gallery and the Museum of Flying, dedicated to the history of aviation, appropriately located near the airport.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Ocean Park Hotel ⭐⭐
Located just minutes from Downtown Santa Monica, Pico Boulevard is an artistic neighborhood loved by locals and tourists alike. Pico Boulevard has a handful of great and affordable accommodations for fun weekend trips with friends or memorable family vacations. The neighborhood has dozens of street murals created by local Calfornian artists and provides a beautiful backdrop for the area’s many authentic restaurants and cafes. Pico Boulevard features local restaurant favorites with options like Mexican food, brunch, or burgers.
The area is located close to Santa Monica College and Virginia Avenue Park, where you can find basketball courts, picnic tables, and farmer’s markets on occasion. The Santa Monica Pier is a 15-minute bus ride from Pico Boulevard or a 20-30 minute walk away. Walking west towards the ocean on Pico also leads you to the entrance to the Santa Monica State Beach, the historic “Ink Well” landmark, and Crescent Bay Park.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wilshire Boulevard is an iconic street that spans around 16 miles from Downtown Los Angeles to the shores of Santa Monica. It is well known for its history as one of the first pieces of land that was created when Santa Monica was developing. It is located north of most of the neighborhoods in the city, and has a character all its own. The area is great for those wanting to be a bit further away from the busy areas of Santa Monica, yet still close enough where you can get to the ocean and the Santa Monica Pier with a short commute.
Douglas Park is located right off Wilshire Boulevard and features tennis courts, duck ponds, and outdoor bowling. There are a few hotels in the area, all close to shops and local eateries. Here you can find anything from vintage stores to decades old family-run restaurants and Irish pubs.
Recommended hotel to stay in the area: Santa Monica Proper Hotel⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐