FlightsFlights to Santa Monica
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Flying into Beautiful Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a beachfront resort city in western Los Angeles County, California. The City of Los Angeles district of West Los Angeles and Los Angeles neighborhoods of Brentwood, MarVista, Pacific Palisades, and Venice, as well as the City of Malibu, all border Santa Monica. Among the few places to stay in the Santa Monica area, which cost less than $125 a night, are Santa Monica Motel, Marina Motel 7 in Venice, Sunburst Spa & Suites Motel in Culver City, Ramada Culver City, and Travelodge Culver City.
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Best Airport SMO or LAX?

Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) is a general aviation airport, located three miles from the Pacific Ocean and six miles north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). If you are piloting your own airplane, or a flying as a passenger in a corporate jet, the best airport is SMO. If you are traveling on a commercial flight, the closest airport to Santa Monica is LAX (pronounce the letters individually).

Cheapest Flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

If you were to fly to Los Angeles from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City, the low-cost carriers would be JetBlue Airways, United, and Virgin America. If you were to fly from Miami International Airport (MIA) to LAX, the cheapest flights would be on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta. Economical flights from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (ORD) to LAX would be on Delta. Spirit Airlines has the cheapest flight from Dallas (DFW) to LAX. Virgin America has the cheapest flights from San Francisco (SFO) to LAX.

Time of Year to Avoid Flying Into LAX

LAX, the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles area, is the sixth busiest airport in the world for commercial travel. There isn’t a time of year that’s best for flying into LAX. If at all possible, visitors whose travel plans are flexible, should avoid flying in and out of LAX for two or three days before and after a holiday weekend. If planning to visit relatives in the Los Angeles area at Thanksgiving, arrive at LAX by the Sunday before the holiday. Don’t even consider arriving the day before Thanksgiving — it’s the busiest travel day of the year.

Getting from LAX to Santa Monica

The least expensive way to get from LAX to Santa Monica is by bus. Take the free shuttle bus from your LAX terminal to the bus plaza in Parking Lot C. Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines, also known as the Big Blue Bus, Route 3, or Rapid 3 will take you from the LAX bus plaza to Santa Monica for $1. Another reasonable option for traveling from LAX to Santa Monica is by airport shuttle. Among the shared van services at the airport are LAX FlyAway, Prime Time Shuttle, RoadRunner, and SuperShuttle.

Santa Monica Attractions

Santa Monica State Beach, more than three miles long, attracts both local residents and visitors from all over the world. Beside the areas for sunbathing, there is a paved bike path, a pedestrian walking path, parks, sand volleyball courts, food concessions, and a wheelchair accessible boardwalk. Rent bicycles, skates, and surfboards.

Santa Monica Pier is two connected piers. It consists of a municipal pier constructed in 1909, and a 1,600-foot long concrete pleasure pier built in 1916. The pleasure pier houses Pacific Park, a full-service amusement park. Among the rides in Pacific Park are a nine-story tall Pacific Plunge tower ride, a five-story tall roller coaster, the only over-water miniature golf course in the United States, and the nine-story tall Pacific Wheel. It is the only over-water Ferris wheel in California, and the world’s first solar-powered wheel.

The Looff Hippodrome Carousel on the pier, constructed in 1922 is now a National Historic Landmark. This is where Paul Newman worked in The Sting. The pier appears in many other movies, among them: Titanic, Forrest Gump, Ruthless People, and Hannah Montana: The Movie. Restaurants on the pier include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Soda Jerks, Ristorante al Mare, Mariasol Cocina Mexicana, and Pier Burger.

Trapeze School of New York offers lessons on the pier. Prior experience is unnecessary for the two-hour lessons, which are open to everyone. Playland Arcade has more than 200 arcade games, ranging from classical like Pac-Man to modern-day favorites. Located at beach level under the carousel, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium features interactive exhibits and hands-on presentations. Restaurants and shops line Ocean Front Walk, a wide, paved footpath extending south from Santa Monica Pier.