Santa Monica3205, 1685 Main St, Santa Monica
This idyllic oceanfront city, bounded by a 3.5-mile/5.6-km-long beach, feels more like a weekend getaway spot than a city just a few minutes west of central Los Angeles. Relax on the city’s broad beach or lively Pacific Pier (complete with its own amusement park). Or hire bikes to follow the Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail, aka 'The Strand'. The paved, multi-use path follows the oceanfront for roughly 22 miles/35 kilometres, from Santa Monica south to Torrance.
Santa Monica is also a place for serious shopping. Pedestrian only Third Street Promenade is lined with big name brands, galleries, cinemas and comedy shows, including the open-air Santa Monica Place. Or visit one of Santa Monica’s outstanding farmers’ markets, which pop up weekly on the city's streets.