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Tips for Travel to Santa Monica

Santa Monica is located on the beachfront in western Los Angeles.

If you travel to Santa Monica by air, LAX is the easiest place to arrive at from Europe and other international destinations, as well as flights originating in the continental United States.

It is just eight non-freeway miles from LAX to Santa Monica. You'll usually find the best prices and flight options arriving through this hub. While Santa Monica does have a small airport, it is primarily used for private planes only.

There are also four additional airports within 60 miles (97 km) of Santa Monica: Bob Hope Airport in Burbank; John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana; Long Beach Airport; and Ontario International Airport.

Travel to Santa Monica via LAX

Transportation from LAX is pretty straightforward and easy to navigate.

Options for getting here include direct bus service via the Big Blue Bus, taxis (taxis to Santa Monica start at $25 per person one way, excluding tip), shuttle service, and private car service.

On-demand ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber are also available for transportation to Santa Monica. Fares start at $20 for Lynx and Uber from LAX to Santa Monica.

Getting Around in Santa Monica

If you're staying at one of the Santa Monica beach hotels, most of the places you'll be visiting are within walking distance, including the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica beaches, and the Third Street Promenade.

If you'll be venturing further out in Santa Monica or beyond the city limits, the Big Blue Bus line can take you to neighboring areas such as Brentwood, Westwood, and Venice Beach.

You can get information at the Big Blue Bus Transit Store, located at 223 Broadway in Santa Monica; (310) 451-5444.

Taxis are ubiquitous along Ocean Avenue near the beach, and are relatively inexpensive for quick trips to Santa Monica's restaurants and attractions.

Although you can rent a car, you'll find parking is difficult if you're not keyed into the location of the various city parking lots. You can get parking information here if you choose to go that route.

You can also rent a bike and explore on your own. (Do be sure to inquire at your hotel first about free bikes for use or bike rentals on site.) Santa Monica's 3.5 miles of beach are bike-friendly with well-marked lanes and routes. You can get more information on biking Santa Monica here. 

Bikes are one of the most scenic and economical ways to navigate the city - and Santa Monica's Breeze bike share program makes it easy and inexpensive to tool around town.

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