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Best time to go

Year-round

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Time difference

GMT -8 hours

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Flight duration

11 hours 10 minutes

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Los Angeles

Blue skies, SoCal vibes
and laid-back living

You’ve seen its iconic pier and golden beaches in countless films, TV programmes and music videos. You know Santa Monica, even if only on screen. Blessed with five kilometres of wide beaches and perpetually blue skies, Santa Monica has abundant farmers’ markets, a famous pier, a hip food and arts scene and laid-back locals. It’s one of the top 10 beach cities in the world (according to National Geographic).

We think this sanguine town is the perfect place to base yourself during a holiday to Los Angeles or Southern California. Los Angeles surrounds this SoCal beach town on three sides. On the fourth side is the Pacific. With the ocean as a backdrop and a shorefront setting, Santa Monica is where beachfront bohemia meets big-city sophistication.

When not doing LA in all its wacky and wonderful glory, you can live like a local and get active in the outdoors: walk on the beach, partake in paddle-board yoga, surf the breaks or hit the 35-kilometre South Bay Bike Trail – the world’s longest oceanfront bicycle path. But there’s more… You could go shopping on Third Street Promenade or beloved celeb-shopping-spot Montana Avenue. Kids of all ages will love strolling down the pier and riding the famous rollercoaster and Ferris wheel, whilst indulging in some candy floss. What could be sweeter?