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Everything about Santa Monica sizzles, from hundreds of funky shops and restaurants to more than three miles of white sandy beach, to the multitude of celebrities zipping into the local airport and out on Montana Avenue. The subject of popular songs, movies and television shows ("Baywatch" was one of many filmed here), the city has a vibe like no other. Hollywood haute couture meets surfer chic meets hippie casual, and somehow it all works. A word of advice: ditch the car and walk everywhere. Santa Monica is small and prides itself on being pedestrian- and environmentally friendly. You won't need wheels at the auto-free Third Street Promenade, a stroller's paradise known for its multitude of cinemas, restaurants and street performers. Or at the famous and historic Santa Monica Pier, home to tempting smells from fast-food stalls and the solar-powered, nine-storey high Ferris wheel that has long been a symbol of the city. If your feet start to fail, hop on the electrically powered Tide Shuttle, a bus service that runs along the beach offering great views plus a ride to the artsy Bergamot Station and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, or your next spirited Santa Monica destination.
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