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Superb Santa Monica holidays 2019 / 2020

Nestled between the bustling American cities of Venice and Malibu in California, is the buzzing holiday destination of Santa Monica. A vibrant city just west of Los Angeles, a holiday in Santa Monica offers the bright lights and big city feel of America's second largest city. It also provides visitors with the glamour of California's amazing beaches. So, why not make Santa Monica your holiday destination in 2019 / 2020?

Santa Monica is a former seaside retreat that now boasts a number of edgy restaurants, funky shops and amazing pier. A holiday in Santa Monica also comes with three miles of white sandy beach, some of the best in the USA, to kick back on.

Take in the birds-eye views from the top of the city’s iconic Ferris Wheel, stroll along its picturesque boardwalks with a gentle sea breeze blowing through your hair, surf the waves of the Pacific Ocean, or grab a coffee as you watch the world go by on Main Street. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed break in the sun or a fun family getaway, you’ll find a wealth of things to do on a city break holiday to Santa Monica in 2019 / 2020.

Top attractions

Top attractions

Santa Monica is a thriving city with attractions for everyone, whether you love to get sporty or soak up local culture. Stroll through the picturesque Marina Del Rey harbour, explore the cool Third Street Promenade – an eclectic outdoor street packed full of restaurants, cinemas, bookstores and bars – or mingle with the jet set and head straight to Montana Avenue. It’s the ideal place for celebrity spotting. With Hollywood just around the corner, you never know who you’ll bump into.

If you love to hit the shops, you can’t beat Santa Monica Place with its upmarket selection of designer boutiques. the city is also a great place to explore by bike. So, grab your wheels and embark on the South Bay Bicycle Trail.

Art lovers are in for a treat in Santa Monica, with a wealth of public art, from large murals to huge sculptures to view. Southern California’s largest art gallery complex, Bergamot Station, totals over 35 contemporary art galleries and studios to get you started. The eagle-eyed traveller might notice that art can be found all around the city, from the hidden art underneath Santa Monica’s boardwalk to stunning ocean murals.

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Eating out

Eating out

No matter what you are looking for, Santa Monica's restaurants, cafés and bars can supply. The vibrant beach city has something for everyone and its strength lies in its variety of dining options.

Start out the day with a breakfast sandwich from Huckleberry, or tuck into some tasty baked treats. If you find yourself hungry as you stroll down the promenade, head for Wexler's Deli for authentic American sandwiches. These heaped sandwiches are a meal in themselves, and you can enjoy the variety of meats that American delis specialise in.

The Belcampo Meat Company offers a unique take on dining. The restaurant supplies all of its meat from its own farms. This bistro is a diner’s delight, and holidaymakers can stop in for lunch or dinner. Just remember when you are eating in America, portions come big, so make sure you’re hungry for great food.

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If you are travelling to Santa Monica with your children, be prepared for day-after-day of family fun. With so many activities to participate in, you will need to plan wisely to do everything during your Santa Monica holiday.

Of course, you have to go to Santa Monica State Beach. Spend the day splashing in the Pacific Ocean waves that lap on to the beach's three-mile-long shore. The beach's bike path stretches for over five miles and connects Santa Monica Beach to Will Rogers and Venice Beach. While taking in the surf, walk to Santa Monica Pier to find Pacific Park. It’s home to the famous carousel along with an arcade for hours of family fun. While visiting the pier, check out Santa Monica Aquarium. Families can see more than 100 types of marine life.

Santa Monica is also home to some great museums including the Museum of Flying and the History Museum.

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Action & Adventure

Action & Adventure

Want to see Santa Monica without wearing out your feet? Join a Segway tour to cruise around the city’s landmarks. It’s a fun, unique way to see the city. If you fancy jumping into some waves, why not learn to surf from some seasoned veterans? Visitors can take surfing lessons at Santa Monica State Beach and learn to catch big waves just like the pros.

Tired of being in the water? Why not take to the air? Parasailing is a popular tourist pastime in Santa Monica, and there are several companies that specialise in getting you airborne.

Finally, head to the mountains where you’ll find the largest urban national park in the United States. Hike or mountain bike through the amazing ecosystem that overlooks Los Angeles, and see the city from a different perspective.

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Santa Monica’s long golden shoreline is everything you would expect from one of California’s best-loved beaches. The beautiful coastline runs for more than three miles, and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean make it a popular spot for surfing.

With an average of 340 days of sunshine a year, plus a constant gentle ocean breeze, Santa Monica Beach is a dream for anyone who loves topping up their tan. The chilled-out vibe and wild look of the beach are contrasted by the host of fun attractions on offer.

The historic pier is home to a funfair, aquarium and fantastic selection of bars and restaurants. To the south of the pier, you’ll come across Muscle Beach where the locals flex their muscles for all to see. There’s also the International Chess Park if you fancy a game, as well as the family-favourite Carousel Park. If you’ve ever dreamed of an American beach holiday, then Santa Monica can fulfil those fantasies.

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American-style dive bars, local independent brewpubs, classy wine bars and music venues serving up live music, Santa Monica after dark is unforgettable. Compared to other parts of the Southern California area, nightlife in Santa Monica is far more laid-back. You won't have to wait in line or be on the guest list to get into the city's amazing nightspots.

Kickstart the night at the Third Street Promenade – the area's bars host some of the best happy hour specials around. Misfit Restaurant and Bar hosts drink specials that run from lunchtime until 7pm. West 4th and Jane's provides guests with their own great happy hour and serves up delicious American bar food.

Chez Jay is one of the most famous bars in Santa Monica and is a chance to experience the city with true California locals. Of course, Chez Jay has a happy hour that gives you the chance to enjoy drinks and food in the afternoon.

Want to sample some locally brewed beer? Santa Monica Brew Works makes fantastic beers made for sipping on the beach. Visit the tasting room to check out the American Ale Movement first hand.

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Santa Monica is perfect for couples as it combines the beauty of a beach holiday with the simplicity of a city break. Start the morning with stroll along the pier before finding a spot on the sand to soak up the sun. After working on your California tan, head to the promenade for lunch and enjoy happy hour drinks. Find a bar with a patio to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, and when the stars come out, get ready for an unforgettable night out.

If you fancy seeing some stars during the daytime, take a day trip to Hollywood to get a selfie with the famous Hollywood sign. Or find your favourite celebrity's star on the Walk of Fame.

One of the hottest nightspots is Bodega Wine Bar. The quiet atmosphere allows couples to converse and enjoy drinks without the hustle and bustle of loud music. For more wine drinking, head to Sonoma Wine Garden to sample wines produced in California.

If music is your thing, head to one of Santa Monica's great live music venues. But if you want to dance all night, you can find plenty of clubs playing pulsating beats during your holiday in Santa Monica.

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For some California culture, stroll around the city to see the amazing graffiti artwork that decorates buildings, bridges and much more around Santa Monica. Grab a picture or two of the one of a kind artwork to post on your Instagram feed. Santa Monica is home to two great museums, the Museum of Flying and the Santa Monica History Museum. Both will give you more insight into the region.

This Southern Californian city is also home to several theatres and art galleries. The 18th Street Art Complex, Bergamot Station and the California Heritage Museum are just a handful of great venues to see, and you’ll understand why more than half of the people living in Santa Monica work in the arts industry.

A holiday in Santa Monica offers visitors a trip of a lifetime. With so many great places to see, make Santa Monica your holiday destination in 2018/2019. 

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