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Hotels, restaurants, activities in Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu

WHERE TO STAY Hotel Erwin, 1697 Pacific Ave., Venice; (310) 452-1111 or (800) 786-7789, 119 rooms in a lodging that was redone in 2009 by the trendy Joie de Vivre chain. One block from the beach and boardwalk. Rooftop bar. No pool. Double rooms rent for about $179 (winter weekdays) to $359 (summer weekends). Hostelling International Santa Monica, 1436 2nd St., Santa Monica; (310) 393-9913, Here are 260 beds (most in dorm rooms with shared bathrooms and six to 10 beds each), a few blocks from the beach in the middle of Santa Monica. Summer rates of about $36-$49 per person in dorms (about $10 less in winter) and about $159 for...