Surfers, students, and those who want something a little more free-wheeling than high-walled mansions and the latest in security devices these are the kind of people you will find in Santa Monica. This city by the sea is an excellent base from where you can explore the bright lights of Hollywood, shop till you drop in Beverly Hills, experience the sights and sounds of Los Angeles, and do it all for a lot cheaper than you would be able to by staying in LA.
If you want to just stay put, vacations to Santa Monica still have a great deal to offer you long stretches of white sandy beaches, the excitement and thrill of theme park rides on Santa Monica Pier, glimpses of the rich and famous on upscale Montana Avenue, and the opportunity to sharpen your rusty Sicilian defence or Fianchetto manoeuvres at the local Chess Park.
Santa Monica is brimming with free art galleries and museums, and to see some of the city's best works, you can just walk around and view the public installations that are liberally scattered around town. Options for cheap restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as off-beat boutique stores abound, so if you need to stick to a strict budget on your vacation, Santa Monica will be more than able to help you do it.