Should I stay in Santa Monica or Hollywood?
Santa Monica is better for night life at a beach location and traffic gridlock, Its the place of bars, shopping, scenic ocean views, Getty Museum, Santa Monica Pier, etc. The drive between the two is easiest mid day. Work commutes can be difficult. Its also difficult if its a major beach day going to Santa Monica.
Is Venice Beach Safe?
Considering only the crime rate, Venice is safer than the California state average and as safe as the national average.
Should I stay in Santa Monica or Venice Beach?
Looking at them, Santa Monica is certainly the more stylish, upmarket suburb of the two. It's catering to more sophisticated shopping and travel. Venice Beach attracts a younger more grungy traveler, and the accommodation is styled and sized to suit that market.