The Atlas Obscura Guide To Santa Monica
18 Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in Santa Monica, California
Updated October 28, 2022
Unusual Attractions in Santa Monica
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Unforgettable Experiences Nearby
Atlas Obscura Itineraries
On the Run: Los Angeles
Originally named “Venice of America,” Venice, California, owes its existence to a wealthy developer’s dream of a canal-laden resort town west of Los Angeles. The dream didn’t last long: After opening in 1905, the city went broke before joining Los Angeles in 1926. The decades of neglect that followed earned Venice the nickname “the slum by the sea,” but its affordability also attracted artists, beginning with the Beats in the late ’50s. Venice’s identity as a rough-around-the-edges artist haven endures more than 60 years later, though its affordability less so. If you’re looking to plot a trek across Los Angeles pavement and beaches, zero in on Venice with a run that oscillates between fast-and-furious and slow-and-curious. Take on this 5.2-mile run in one go, break it up into multiple runs, or do it in reverse. With the right running shoes, you’ll be ready to navigate Venice’s storied past and its eternally eccentric personality.
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Lists Featuring Santa Monica
19 Unusual Hotels in California
Remarkable places to stay—or at least visit—in the Golden State.
Including The Ahwahnee Hotel, Venice Beach House, and Hotel Vertigo