Santa Monica; worth two nights?

  1. Hi we are a family from Australia coming to the USA for four weeks.

    We will be at Disneyland (Grand Californian) for 5 nights and we have two extra nights between here and when we have to be in Santa Barbara for our week long journey up to San Francisco.

    Our children are 3 (just) and 5.

    Do you think Santa Monica would be a good place to explore?

    We want to go north from Anaheim, towards Santa Barbara.

    Anywhere in between that you love?

    Or should we stay at Disneyland for an extra two nights?

    We are staying in Beverly Hills before we fly out at the end of our trip for one night.

    We do not need lots of activities to keep us amused, just being in the USA is wonderful as a novelty in itself.

  2. Hi OP i am right smak in the middle of both Santa Monica and Santa Barbra :smile:
    Santa monica will be good to beaches, shopping centers and hang out enjoying 3rd street promonade ect if you come here more down the Coast into Ventura county its more city like where i live (oxnard). Its not a "touristy place" but nice beaches in Ventura and at our harbor and in santa monica. Great seafood resturants :smile: santa monica and the pier might be a nice place for kids also.
  3. Hi OP:smile:

    I have to say that Santa Monica is what motivated me to move to LA, I love the atmosphere and the fact that you can be amused by just hanging out at the beach people watching and enjoying the weather - plus it's 15 minutes from Beverly Hills!

    I love spending time at the 3rd st promenade, my two littlest ones LOVE to walk around and watch the street performers and pet the doggies walking around, I think your little ones will like t too because you can easily find family friendly restaurants etc.

  4. Santa Monica is great for all of the reasons noted above. Just walking on the beach, the pier, or along Ocean Avenue is relaxing and fun. I think it is a great place to stay, as the vibe is relaxed and casual. You are also very close to other parts of west Los Angeles (like Beverly Hills, as gottaluv mentioned) that have interesting places to explore. The Getty Museum is not far, and often has activities for kids going on (and its free!).
  5. I did a roadtrip with two Aussies last summer & we spent 3 days wandering around Santa Monica. It's a lot of fun--tons of cute stores, fun restaurants & the pier has some fun rides on it.

    I think you'll find plenty to do there for two days.
  6. Thanks everyone,

    is Shutters a good place to stay with children?

    Will it be hot enough to swim in October (2nd week)?

  7. I have never stayed there, but here's a tip... On Hotwire.con they have rooms at the intercontinental hotel in century city which is about 10 mins from SM, they often have rooms for $109 and its a great hotel, when we were apartment hunting we stayed there often and would normally get upgraded to a giant room for free! What's great about it is that they have a free car service and you are 3 blocks away from the mall which has plenty of restaurants and a huge movie theater.

    It will likely be cold in October... It was pretty cold 3 weeks ago, but the pools are normally heated :smile:
  8. Shutters is very nice..exclusive..not really kid oriented, but I cant
    think of any Santa Monica Beach (on the beach) that is great for kids.
    With kids..Id go with Loewes.
    October is iffy, weather wise. Water will be cold..personally, I think the water there
    is cold year around.
    I dont think they'll be able to swim that time of year.

    Santa Monica is a nice place to relax, walk shop..not much else IMO...
    and I live just a few miles away.

    Im sure you'll enjoy your stay, but again, there isn't a lot to do in that area,
    especially if it isn't beach weather.
  9. even in july and august it is too cold to swim imo. i went all the way to san diego in the middle of july and it was still freezing! i tried to brave the santa monica beach in early july, was in for 1/2 an hour and my hands and feet were turning blue. lake michigan in august was warmer than any time i've been in the pacific LOL.

    i stayed at the intercontinental too. it's a lovely hotel and a decent location. parking is expensive though :sad:. i don't know if my room was upgraded or not (i don't think so) but the room was pretty big and had a balcony. i got it on hotwire too, i think it was like 110-ish. if you want to go a bit farther south than santa monica, i won the hyatt on huntington beach for a decent price (around 120) and it was an equally nice hotel with a beach view.
  10. Thanks everyone, we are still undecided!!!!

    Is there anywhere else that you would recommend between Anaheim and Santa Barbara? Or would you extend our stay in Santa Barbara from two to four nights?
  11. Theres a wonderful Zoo in Santa Barbra, nice Beaches and Resturants. Theres also a Outdoor shopping center Along State Street an La Cumbre Plaza Mall. Theres a bike Rental so you and family can ride bikes along beach and shopping area.
  12. Honestly..I have no idea what to recommend along that stretch..

    Have you considered San Diego? I know its a few hours from Anaheim, and a lot of driving,
    but there's a lot to do there..
    the zoo there is incredible..just beautiful (one of the best in the world), a must see IMO..
    there's Sea World, Lego Land etc..

    Wish I had more suggestions..
    Santa Barbara is even more relaxed then Santa Monica..
    both areas are pretty, but aside from beach activities and shopping..
    maybe a little sightseeing..
    there's not a heck of a lot going on..
  13. I think you probably won't want to stay two nights in Santa Monica and I wouldn't extend your Santa Barbara visit either, honestly. Santa Barbara is pretty small.
  14. Thanks everyone.

    We are coming back in March 2013 and will devote timne to SAn Diego then when we have a bit more of it.

    I think we will skip Santa Monica and either stay an extra 2 nights at Disneyland and perhaps visit the OC outlet stores or stay in LA, West Hollywood and see the Getty Villa, grove, farmers markets and shop.

    is fun too!

    I'm sure you'll have a great time. If you have any questions..
    feel free to PM me:tup: