Santa Monica is wonderful. There, I said it. Sorry, but it's true. It's a wonderfully relaxed place, with many shops, restaurants, bars and cafes and a fantastic beach. It is also fairly compact, so you can walk almost everywhere, or at the very least take a taxi to your destination – without the fare meter adding up, as in Los Angeles ! If you do have a car, however, many LA must sees are only a short drive away.