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SShprints May 1st, 2007 10:46 AM

Southern Cali - Santa Monica, Malibu, Santa Barbara, San Diego
Planing a trip for about a week to Southern Cali in July. Have no idea where to stay. We are six adults in mid 20s. We like outdoor cafes and restaurants, and love great nightlife and people watching...Not big fans of huge poluted cities, so don't really want to stay in LA proper, but need help choosing between all the Santas and Sans :) The list of locations that has been suggested is:
Santa Monica
Santa Barbara
San Diego

what do you suggest?


J_Correa May 1st, 2007 11:15 AM

I think that San Diego and Santa Monica will fit what you are looking for. Santa Barbara is quieter, I always think of it as appealing more towards couples in their late 30s and above rather than a group in their mid-20s.

lvk May 1st, 2007 11:51 AM

My suggestions are not included on your list, but work better for your interests, IMO:

Hermosa Beach
Huntington Beach

iamq May 1st, 2007 12:32 PM

Sorry, but the "Cali" thing is a pet peeve. It's California. No one here calls it that.

canterbury May 1st, 2007 01:34 PM

Thank you, iamq - I never hear "Cali" either.

clarkgriswold May 1st, 2007 01:51 PM

you don't mention a budget for your stays in Cali, but I can recommend and

travel_tomato May 1st, 2007 01:52 PM

that sounds like fun trip (6 x 20s)
in that case I recommend a vacation rental - you can do and be however you want.
HomeAway is the biggest and easites to navigate:
but also VRBO:
plus others if you wish to look for perfect rental;
have fun!

SShprints May 2nd, 2007 02:00 PM

Thanks guys..
So Santa Monica is no good? Really? I was there many many years ago and it looked great.

We can spend upto $200/night for a hotel, but I am leaning towards getting a beach house somewhere near all the action.

janisj May 2nd, 2007 05:24 PM

$200 per person, per couple -- or for all six of you????

paula1470 May 2nd, 2007 08:37 PM

Most of the beach houses require a week's stay. In the LA area, Manhattan or Hermosa Beach are great areas for mid 20's. Most weekly rents there run in the $3000-$4000 rate but if you are two to a room at $200 a night that's $600 a night x 7 days = $4200.

Check out Newport Beach-maybe a little quieter but a lot more rentals and more reasonable prices. You can get a pretty big beach house for a week for around $3000. Check to see some rentals.

Also check out to see rentals in all areas.

Let us know your budget. I hope you mean $200 per couple and even at that price it will be hard to find rooms near the beach.

SShprints May 8th, 2007 12:31 PM

yea def 200/night per room (2 in room) :)

SShprints May 8th, 2007 12:32 PM

any suggestions on hotels in the 200/night range? close to beach?

mtca May 10th, 2007 11:44 AM

I think Santa Monica is a good choice, But hotels on/near the beach are expensive. How about the Holiday Inn S.M at the pier, its not a great hotel, but it is in your price range, and right on the pier, Beach and a few blocks to 3rd St Promanade,& the mall

MBnancy May 10th, 2007 05:31 PM

Check out Hotels in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach on Sepulveda Blvd. or Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) like Hawthorn Suites, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, or Hotel Hermosa, Quality Inn and Suites, etc.

Hermosa has the best "party" nightlife, and Manhattan has more outdoor cafes and restaurants. Towns are next to each other. 10-15 minutes south of LAX.

kay_smith May 10th, 2007 07:41 PM

Santa Monica is definitely worth checking out - might be more expensive, but third street promenade/beach/restaurants and other night offerings are close by and sound like what you might want. And it's close to real LA but not too close.

We stayed at a hotel in San Diego a few years ago called Prava that was beautiful, great location and reasonably priced. I can't seem to find a website for it, though, so I wonder if it's changed names? SD also has much to offer for younger travelers. Gotta go visit the Hotel del Coronado, too.

Santa Barbara is beautiful -- though other posters are right and it's not extremely hopping at night. More up your alley if you want a peaceful night in a beautiful city -- there are many hotels on the beach there, but it's not a rowdy city.

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