Tucked snugly into a narrow corner lot, the supremely casual Bayside's greatest asset is its prime spot directly across from the beach, within walkable blocks from the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. Expect no frills. Rooms are tidy with access via exterior walkway, and have been upgraded with tiled floors, powerful showers, and flat-screen TVs. There's a small front office instead of lobby. Drivers must negotiate a cramped lot, and then pay $20 a night for
parking. Request a room with unobstructed ocean views and balconies. Book early for summer weekends; the hotel typically sells out then.