Checklist: Santa Monica

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Checklist: Santa Monica

With miles of sandy beaches, surfers chasing the perfect wave and frequent celebrity sightings, Santa Monica is heavy on the coastal eye-candy. A vacation here is catnip if you’re in need of an infusion of Southern California’s sun-kissed lifestyle.

For visitors who embrace a car-free travel ethic, compact Santa Monica defies the stereotypical image of Los Angeles as a sprawling, car-crazed metropolis. Blossoming public transportation options include the newly opened Expo line Light Rail station, connecting this beachside community with greater Los Angeles. A robust cycling community and pedestrian-only shopping streets make it a breeze to explore without a personal vehicle. Read on for the best fun in the sun activities, car-optional.

Allison is a travel and food writer based in NYC. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Time Out, am New York, off Metro, Dave’s Travel Corner and Family Travel Forum.