The oceanside city of Santa Monica, posh (second highest US average home sale price in 2006) and sophisticated, is one of the most pleasant areas in LA. Santa Monica is the best place to immerse oneself into the sassy SoCal vibe. Santa Monica best known landmark is the early 20th century pier, which includes the oldest amusement park in California as well as the world first solar-powered Ferris wheel. There is more to Santa Monica than the wide sandy beaches, bordered by a long seaside promenade. Other places to explore include a pedestrian downtown area with excellent shopping and restaurants centered on the Third Street promenade, and the Bergamot Station Arts center, possibly the most important complex of art galleries on the West Coast.
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