$1/night road trips in the US. Click here
The best fleet of RVs, campervans and motorhomes for rent in Santa Monica
Originally developed as a seaside retreat at the turn of the 20th century, Santa Monica has since grown into an eclectic, urban, prosperous beach city with a reputation for accessibility and progressiveness. Home to families, surfers, young professionals, and students, the city makes for an affluent hub of boiling pot culture.
Santa Monica spans 8.3 square miles on the westside of Los Angeles County. A beachside city, it offers a picturesque waterfront environment, popular with locals and tourists alike. The city features three miles of pristine, Pacific beaches along with a character-driven boardwalk and the iconic Santa Monica Pier.
Tourism to the city attracts over 8 million visitors annually, making for a bustling mix of locals and visitors. A lot of those visiting the greater Los Angeles area choose to base themselves in Santa Monica – there are numerous hotel, restaurant, and entertainment options as well as accessibility to other major sights such as Malibu, Venice Beach, and Beverly Hills.
Santa Monica has been named by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 Beach Cities in the World and definitely lives up to its hype.
By car: Santa Monica is situated at the western terminus of Interstate 10, approximately 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. The tourist hub of Santa Monica is located near the famous Santa Monica Pier. To get to it by car, take the 10 Freeway to the 4th/5th street exit, then head for the ocean. If arriving from the north, turn left off the Pacific Coast Highway at the California Incline – this will pop you out just a few blocks north of the pier.
By plane: The closest airport for commercial passengers is LAX, located just 7 miles south of the city.
By bus: You can bus to Santa Monica from throughout the Los Angeles region. Simply take the 720 from downtown LA or the 704 from Union Station. Buses typically run every two to ten minutes during peak hours and every ten to twenty minutes otherwise.
At the beach: You can park for free at a beach lot from 5:30 pm until sunset – the perfect excuse for an evening swim. Otherwise, you’re looking at $7 to $18 per day to park in a beach lot.
At the pier: There are a couple of options available to you for access to the Santa Monica Pier and the nearby beach.
Downtown: Santa Monica has on-street parking meters city-wide, all of which accept credit card or coins as payment. These meters are typically $2.50 per hour in the beach meter and downtown zones and $1.25 throughout the rest of the city.