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Getting in and out of Santa Monica can either be very easy or a huge hassle, depending on the time of day. During rush hour, it can take forever to navigate the clogged streets. The 10 Freeway goes directly in to the city from the 405 and from Hollywood. If you’re trying to get to Hollywood during rush hour, however, avoid the freeways and take surface streets lest you get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 2 hours to go less than 20 miles. But during the off-hours, it’s not so bad. The PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) is a more scenic drive up and down the coast, although thanks to many stoplights enroute, it can take longer to get to Santa Monica that way.
From Los Angeles International Airport, you’ve got a multitude of choices from shuttles, taxis and even the Big Blue Bus, which costs less than a dollar although can take up to 60 minutes. Primetime Shuttle, Express Shuttle or SuperShuttle are good options and cost between $15-$20 each way. Also, check with your hotel because many in the area offer their own shuttle buses (some complimentary, others not).