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Los Angeles Tour: Santa Monica

Explore this picturesque, beachside, and pedestrian-friendly model “city within a city.”

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 13.6 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  Santa Monica promises the picture-postcard Los Angeles experience with its wide, palm-tree-lined beaches and stunning sunsets over the... more »

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Points of Interest

Near the western terminus of historic Route 66, this old-timey seaside amusement park has an enduring, if kitschy, popularity. Untold thousands of parents have been dragged by their children toward the Ferris wheel that sparkles at night above the nearly century-old pier. Here, sunset-gazers and cotton-candy-hawkers rub shoulders with elderly men ... More

2. Fairmont Miramar Luxury Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica

Since the 1920s, privacy-seeking Hollywood starlets—among them Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe—have found refuge at this bluff-perched resort overlooking Santa Monica beach. The property’s 32 stand-alone bungalows, with patios surrounded by thick tropical greenery, are still coveted by A-listers today—but plenty of nonfamous luxury-seekers... More

This clutch of 30+ contemporary art galleries is housed in a former Red Line trolley station dating back to 1875. The industrial campus makes an evocative setting for the ultra avant-garde art offerings, which range from furniture and sculpture to painting and photography. Also onsite are the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Bergamot Cafe,... More

Formerly a private beachfront estate that William Randolph Hearst built for actress Marion Davies, the Annenberg Community Beach House is now open to the public as a place to enjoy the Santa Monica sand in style. No membership is required—access to the courtyards, view deck, splash pad, sand sports courts, children’s play area, gallery, and Marion... More

A recent revamp turned this once-indoor mall at the edge of the popular Third Street Promenade into a hip, open-air shopping and dining experience. Though Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s are the anchors, specialty shops like Fluxus, Tory Burch, and 7 For All Mankind are a cut above standard mall fare. Gone is the outdated food court, replaced by the ... More

The French- and Mediterranean-kissed American fare at neighborhood fine-dining gem Josie is some of the most highly regarded on the Westside. Organic, responsibly sourced ingredients and simple yet sophisticated preparations come together in dishes like the whole “campfire” trout with blue lake beans and beef short rib tagine studded with... More

Japanese street food has arrived in Santa Monica with the opening of this perky omusubi shop. The tasty, grab-and-go treats consist of warm Japanese rice balls stuffed with fillings like chicken curry or miso mushrooms and wrapped with nori (seaweed). Pair yours with sides like daikon salad with ponzu dressing or pickled cucumbers, and feel free... More

This “secret” subterranean bar is hidden below a popular wedding and events venue and offers a sultry speakeasy vibe for cocktailing and live music. The entrance—through the parking lot behind The Victorian and down a flight of stairs—is appropriately hard to find. Elaborate chandeliers, leather armchairs, and bourbon cocktails complete the... More