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Insider Tips for Getting Around Downtown

  1. Park at the Civic Center – this “colorful” parking structure at the corner of 4th and Olympic is one of the city’s best parking spots.  Just two blocks from the beach and the Third Street Promenade, you can park all day for $9 – only $3 when you enter after 6 p.m.  The Main Library lot at 7th and Santa Monica Blvd. is also a great option at just $3 each day.  
  2. Biking is a great way to get around Santa Monica.  Take advantage of the city’s free bike valets available for the Main Street Farmer’s Market, Twilight Dance Series, and special events like GLOW. 

    The Santa Monica Bike Valet will park bikes for free downtown every Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. through Labor Day Weekend and on Monday, September 6. The Bike Valet will be located on the south side of Colorado at Main St. just across from Santa Monica Place.  
  3. Self-park your bike anytime - new bike racks are going up throughout the Downtown area, and Parking Structure 7 adjacent to Santa Monica Place will have a bank of racks for more than 100 bikes.
  4. Take the Big Blue Bus.  Fast, inexpensive and convenient for residents throughout Santa Monica, the Big Blue Bus routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 10 and Rapid 3 & 7 all stop in the Downtown area.  New 30 Day and 13 Ride Passes are coming in August - check schedules and fares at or visit blue: the transit store at 223 Broadway.
  5. In addition, on Saturdays and Sundays the Mini Blue Tide Ride will ferry you between points at the Pier, Main Street and throughout Downtown for just 50 cents per ride! (25 cents for seniors/disabled/Medicare).
  6. When parking at the mall, don’t forget to pay BEFORE you leave – the mall structures (7 & 8) now feature walk-up automated payment machines so you can cruise out of the structure faster.
  7. Come early.  You’re already close, so beat the traffic and head Downtown in the morning, before beach traffic picks up after 11 a.m.
  8. Use the Lincoln Blvd. exit and take 7th Street to Colorado or Broadway to access Downtown – those streets are usually less crowded than other routes.  Also note that Broadway and Arizona are excellent alternatives to busy Santa Monica Blvd.
Civic Parking Structure 




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