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Santa Monica Airport  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > North America > USA > California > Los Angeles > People & Culture

Santa Monica Airport

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A municipal airport as culture and recreation center? Over the last few years, civic officials have cleverly surrounded the Santa Monica Airport with amenities that qualify it for such status.                     

Attached to the airport administration building is a two-tiered observation deck open to the public for viewing take-offs and landings. You can enjoy a picnic on the deck or just listen to the control tower air and ground communications in the background. The Typhoon Restaurant offers an unobstructed view of the runway, Pan-Asian cuisine, and live music Mon.-Tues. evenings.

An 8.3 acre park and recreation area is situated between the airport road and the main building. It has two soccer fields, a playground with swings and climbers, picnic tables, BBQ grills, a walking path, off-leash dog area, and free Wi-Fi.

Across the road from the park is the Spitfire Grill, with outdoor and indoor casual dining, aviation memorabilia, and large aviation-themed mural. Open 7 days/week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

In front of the 3200 building next to the Spitfire is a demo project of sustainable gardening. Intended to help you set one up yourself, it highlights climate appropriate plants, vegetables and herbs, with drip irrigation and lawn alternatives.

Proceed next door to the 3100 building and the new home for the Museum of Flying, with special focus on the important role of Santa Monica and the Douglas Aircraft Company in the history of aviation, from the 1920s to the 60s. Nearly two dozen aircraft are on display to embody the chronology of air travel. You can also play pilot in the flight simulator and real life cockpit of a 727.

Keep going to the 3026 building and the largest number of art studios under one roof in the city. The 22,000 square foot Santa Monica Art Studios is a converted hangar, housing 28 art studios and two galleries. Open from 12 noon - 6 p.m. Wed.-Sun.

On the other side of this building is the Ruskin Group Theater (3000), a live 49 seat theater presenting plays on weekends, and offering acting classes during the week.

Farther down at the 2800 building is the Santa Monica College Airport Arts Campus, with classes in fine arts and a separate ceramics building complete with kilns.

Across the street is the massive Barker Hangar with 35,000 sq. feet of space, used for major events like trade shows, corporate parties and charity fundraisers.       

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Type: Cultural Center
Costs: Varies
Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Street address: 2800-3223 Airport Road
Nearest public transport: Big Blue Bus, Centinela/Airport Road stop
Opening hours: Varies

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