Photo by Oyster.com
There may be no better place in Santa Monica to practice the eternal art of people watching than from a balcony at the Shutters on the Beach hotel. A favorite among well-heeled travellers to L.A., this Cape Cod-esque classic is a laid-back escape from the demands of Hollywood and Rodeo Drive. Take one of their vintage cruiser bicycles out for a ride along the boardwalk, attend a yoga class in the sand, or sip wine at the oceanfront bar -- this is beach living at its finest. And where else can you watch the sun set over the Pacific from your very own cozy, 4-poster bed?