Santa Monica

Sunbathe, surf, shop, and stroll the Third Street Promenade in this totally autonomous beach town.

Cliffs cascade into the coast in Santa Monica, an autonomous west Los Angeles locale defined by its easy-going attitude and stylish mindset. A quintessentially-California beach town, Santa Monica's blend of surf, sand, and sun attract Angelenos and outsiders to promenade its shopping plazas, its boardwalk, and Montana Avenue, its chic boutique-filled corridor. If you're in Santa Monica without a car, you'll feel slightly sequestered on the coast. Trust us, the sunshine makes up for it.

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On the Map

Santa Monica is bordered by Venice, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Mar Vista, and West Los Angeles

LAX Airport: 20 minutes by car or 50 minutes by public transit
Santa Monica Pier: 5 minutes by car
Hollywood Walk of Fame: 25 minutes by car
Venice Boardwalk: 10 minutes by car
The Grove: 25 minutes by car

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Possible

A Seaside City With Surf, Sand, and Style

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Santa Monica, you are beautiful.

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Located along Los Angeles' coastline, this beachfront city balances its boutique ideals with a laid-back attitude.

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Its streets fill with shoppers, joggers, visitors, families, and yogis.

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Its parks fill with picnickers and protesters.

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Its farmers' market fills with fresh produce and jarred-by-hand honey stalls.

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Santa Monica is equal parts outspoken and polite.

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It exudes a feeling as warm as the sun that incessantly shines upon it.

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Shine on, Santa Monica.

Oceanfront Amusements at Santa Monica Pier

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Carousels, roller coasters, souvenir stalls, and old-fashioned arcades beckon from the Santa Monica Pier.

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Interaction is encouraged.

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Swing from trapezes.

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Visit the Santa Monica Pier on a summer's Thursday and catch a free concert.

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Ride the bright and shiny wheel.

Sand, Sun, Surf In Santa Monica

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Santa Monica's generally-tame surf break invites beginners, surf swamis, and all the groms in between to get on a board.

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ZJ's, a favourite Santa Monica surf shop, sponsors an annual Haunted Halloween surf contest.

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From Beach to Boulevard: Downtown Santa Monica

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Hundreds of shops, stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, and street serenaders crowd into Downtown Santa Monica.

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Centred on the 3rd Street Promenade and the recently-renovated Santa Monica Place Mall, Downtown proves a popular alternative to the beach.

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This urban-inspired centre fills with cacophonous activity.

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Santa Monica's Downtown sports a sunny disposition.

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Arts and Culture In Santa Monica

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Santa Monica makes new attractions out of old spaces.

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What was once a former rail yard was renovated to become Bergamot Station, a gallery complex at the intersection of art and culture.

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Bergamot Station combines over thirty exhibition spaces with cafes and shops.

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Montana Avenue: Santa Monica's Beverly Hills

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If Rodeo Drive feels too ritzy for your taste or your wallet, stroll its sister street in Santa Monica.

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Santa Monica's Montana Avenue feels more relaxed than Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive.

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Despite their laid-back attitudes, boutiques along Montana Avenue still ascribe to couture ideals.

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So mod.

The Dining Scene: Santa Monica

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Santa Monica's high-quality cafes match its high-class restaurants.

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Montana Avenue is home to pour-over coffee and couture tacos.

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It craftily combines top-tier cuisine and low-brow attitude.

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Dive bars and cocktail lounges celebrate long pours and savoury bar food.

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The Great Outdoors In Santa Monica

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In Santa Monica, loveless interstates become coast-hugging highways.

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Bike paths stretch for miles along the sand.

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Public green spaces like Douglas and Palisades Park weave through the cliffs of Santa Monica.

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Manicured paths, public art, and impromptu natural mattresses course through Palisades Park's miles of green space.

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When you want to venture from the beach to the beach club, make a reservation at Annenberg Community Beach House.

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Santa Monica's Architectural Landscape

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Santa Monica's living situation ranges from multi-unit apartment complexes to multi-million dollar mansions by the sea.

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Bungalows and bold geometric designs can be found side by side.

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After Sunset In Santa Monica

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When the daylight dims, Santa Monica lights up.

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Downtown, Montana Avenue, and Main Street maintain Santa Monica's effervescent energy.

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In Santa Monica, you'll find oceanside amusement at all hours of the day.

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Santa Monica, you spin us right round.


Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighbourhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Rob Kalmbach

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Rob is an editorial & commercial art photographer based in LA. On a recent assignment to South Africa with Ghetto Film School, he documented student filmmakers. On the Airbnb project, Rob says: “I love exploring the City of Angels. The other day, I photographed in pouring rain, thinking the worst, but ended up with some of my best shots. The people I meet on a daily basis amaze me."

Lauren Devon

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Lauren Devon is an editorial and commercial lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles. She loves the adventure of her work, as well as the creativity and collaboration that goes with it. With the help of locals, Lauren explored the heart of each community for Airbnb, and discovered neighbourhood gems that made each story diverse and fresh.