Cheap hotels in Santa Monica? You've probably heard about the scary price hotels in Santa Monica charge.
If you're on a limited budget, you may feel like you'll be left out in the cold (or, instead, the warmth) in Santa Monica.
While Santa Monica is famous for its expensive beach hotels, the truth is that there are cheap hotels here too - and some are even steps from the beach.
And you'll find there are plenty of free and inexpensive Santa Monica sports and beach activities you can enjoy while you're here, too.
The Seaview Hotel is just one block from the beach and historic Santa Monica Pier through a private walkway. Located on Ocean Avenue features 15 guest rooms in fresh, welcoming colors and comfy furnishings.
The Seaview's garden and grounds have been lovingly attended to over the years, giving it a quaint, homey appeal.
There's also a rooftop sun deck for guests with sweeping ocean views. Each guest room has a kitchenette with microwave, refrigerator, and coffeemaker.
Welcome to the Hotel California... except there isn't one, according to the Eagles' band members. But if it were a real place, the Hotel California Santa Monica would have been it.
However the name was recently scrapped and the venerable favorite renamed: Sea Blue Hotel.
The 2-story hotel features 26 rock-and-roll and surfer-inspired guest rooms (expect things like surfboard headboards and guitars on the walls) - and a private beach pathway from the quaint Spanish courtyard.
Travel + Leisure magazine called the Hotel California "One of the top three affordable hotels in Los Angeles."
The iconic Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica's premiere outdoor, pedestrian-only shopping center, are a 10-minute walk away.
The Bayside Hotel bills itself as the "arbiter of fun in the sun" - and frankly, there's some solemn truth in advertising there. Not only does the Bayside Hotel sit directly across the street from the beach, but it is also just one short block from Main Street to the east.
Main Street is home to block after block of chic clothing shops and boutiques, some of Santa Monica's best restaurants, and coffee shops galore.
The Bayside makes beach bikes available for guests so that you can comfortably cruise to the beach or along Main Street - and beyond.
Santa Monica is a bike-friendly city with miles of well-marked bike paths. Pedaling is how many locals get around Santa Monica, so you're sure to quickly feel at home exploring the city inexpensively when you hop on one of the Bayside's two-wheelers.
The Bayside's simple, comfortable guest rooms are decorated in soft, soothing colors; upgraded rooms also feature an ocean view, kitchenettes, and patio areas.
It's hard to beat the Ocean Lodge Hotel when it comes to finding a reasonably priced Santa Monica accommodation within walking distance of top Santa Monica attractions.
This low-rise, 1950s-era hotel just a block from the beach offers bargain rates, a prime location, and clean, comfy guest rooms. That's not an easy feat in usually spendy Santa Monica, but the Ocean Lodge pulls it off to perfection.
The Ocean Lodge sits boldly among the newer luxury hotels on Ocean Avenue, a testament to just how much Santa Monica has changed over the past half-century.
It is just a two-minute stroll from the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Aquarium, and the beach. Which provides another opportunity to save money: Once you arrive, you won't need a rental car to get around.
The Lodge's recently renovated, air-conditioned rooms and two-bedroom suites (for 1 to 5 guests) include refrigerators, televisions, and en suite bathrooms.
Some rooms offer ocean views. There are free WiFi and complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. There's also a computer in the lobby for e-mail or browsing. The Gregory family has operated the two-story, 1950s-California beach vintage style hotel for three generations.
The Hotel Carmel reminds me a lot of the smaller European hotels I love so much with their grand but postage-stamp-size entryways and gracious, stately lobbies. It's easy to see how the hotel is the perfect home away from home if you've flown across 'the pond.'
The lobby's high ceilings, dramatic white columns. and oversize fireplace captures the gracious Spanish revival elements of the 1920s.
The hotel has 97 guest rooms and suites, some with views. And you can't beat the location - the hotel practically sits on the famous Third Street Promenade.
Nearby restaurants on Ocean Avenue are some of Santa Monica's best.
The Seashore Hotel is old-school charming, small (just 19 spacious standard rooms), centrally located in the heart of bustling Main Street.
Historic Main Street is home to some of Santa Monica's best restaurants, art galleries, chic boutique shops, fun, and funky coffee houses, and more. And perhaps best of all, it's one of the budget-friendly hotels in Santa Monica that is just two short blocks from the beach.
The 3-story Comfort Inn is about a mile and a half from Santa Monica beach, the Santa Monica Pier, and the 3rd Street Promenade.
But what it lacks in location, it makes up for in price, Comfort, cleanliness, and amenities. It is a clean, reliable place to stay, with ultra comfortable beds, oversized bathrooms, free self-parking and Wi-Fi, and breakfast daily.
The Days Inn Santa Monica is about 2 miles from the beach, with a city bus stop just across the street. Breakfast is included daily with your room. And so is complimentary gym access, so you can keep your beach body toned.
Even if the Wyndham Santa Monica was a cheap hotel flophouse, there are three reasons I'd stay here: Location, location, location.
The Wyndham, thankfully, bears no resemblance to a flop house. The freshly renovated, 132 guest rooms provide the amenities to feel comfortable and at home away from home.
Budget-friendly hotels abound in Santa Monica. Compare prices and locations to find the perfect place to stay during your vacation on a shoestring budget.
There are lots of other cheap Santa Monica hotels. But these are the ones I can vouch for. If you're on a limited budget, I'm pretty sure you'd be happy at the hotels detailed above.