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Surrounded by Los Angeles on three sides, Santa Monica lies just 8 miles (about 13 kilometres) from LAX, making it ideal for travelers. Whether you're seeking something budget-minded or a five-star accommodation, a secluded spot, or something right in the heart of the city, the hotels in Santa Monica have something for you. Accommodations are spread across all of the city's neighborhoods.
Santa Monica's culinary scene may not be as renowned as other California communities may, but you'll find lots of delectable edibles. From fine dining establishments such as Mélisse on Wilshire Boulevard to Bay Cities Deli & Bakery, a favourite haunt among locals, Santa Monica's restaurants give you a great selection of classic and contemporary menus from an array of cuisines. If you're staying at the Fairmont Miramar, be sure to give the hotel restaurant, FIG, a try.
For an authentic Southern California shopping experience, look no further than downtown Santa Monica shopping centres. Be sure to check out the Third Street Promenade, a three-block pedestrian-only district full of clothing boutiques, gift shops, and tons of other stores. If you're looking for a place to splurge, head to Santa Monica Place or Montana Avenue.
Home to more than 90 art galleries, Santa Monica is celebrated for its art scene. Among its most notable institutions is Bergamot Station, a former railroad station now owned by the city and home to many art galleries. One of the best-known aspects of the city is the Santa Monica Pier, a 100-year-old attraction that has also been featured in many films and television programmes.
Santa Monica has no major sports teams of its own, but the city is less than 20 minutes away from Los Angeles' premiere athletic venues, including Dodge Stadium and the STAPLES Center. For baseball, you have the Dodgers and the Angels. L.A. also boasts two NBA teams, the Lakers and the Clippers, and a WNBA team, the Sparks. Check out the Los Angeles Kings, the city's NHL team, or if you prefer football (what Americans call soccer), you also have the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA.