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Taking the new Expo extension? We have a few suggestions for nearby places to check out




File: Members of the Metro board of directors take a sneak peek ride from the Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica stations on the new Expo Line extension on Monday morning, May 9, 2016. The line opens to the public on May 20.
File: Members of the Metro board of directors take a sneak peek ride from the Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica stations on the new Expo Line extension on Monday morning, May 9, 2016. The line opens to the public on May 20.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Do you have your TAP card ready to go for the new Expo Line extension? Why rush to the beach when you could get to know the neighborhoods in between. We have suggestions for places stop and check out at all seven new stops.

>> See an interactive map of the stations and surrounding points of interest

Palms station

A map of points of interest near the Palms Expo Line station.
A map of points of interest near the Palms Expo Line station.
Google Maps

The area around the Palms station has the largest residential population along the new Expo Line route, according to Metro. Nearby Motor Avenue includes several schools, restaurants and a weekly farmers market every Sunday at the corner of Motor and National Boulevard.

Parking: None.

Places to check out:

Westwood/Rancho Park station

A map of points of interest near the Westwood/Rancho Park station.
A map of points of interest near the Westwood/Rancho Park station.
Google Maps

This neighborhood is primarily filled with single-family homes, though there's a thriving commercial corridor north of the station along Pico Boulevard, according to Metro. You'll find the Westside Pavilion shopping center here, with nearby Westwood Boulevard connecting UCLA, Westwood Village, Pico Boulevard and the Palms neighborhood.

Parking: None

Places to check out:

Expo/Sepulveda station

A map of points of interest near the Expo/Sepulveda station.
A map of points of interest near the Expo/Sepulveda station.
Google Maps

Not far from where the 405 and 10 freeways meet, this station is an active manufacturing and commercial area, according to Metro. Nearby businesses including a cement plant, a lumber retailer, government office buildings, public storage, animal services and more. There are also some homes and apartments in the area. Most of the stores and restaurants nearby are on Pico Boulevard.

Parking: 260 spaces (77 require permits on weekday mornings).

Places to check out:

Expo/Bundy station

A map of points of interest near the Expo/Bundy station.
A map of points of interest near the Expo/Bundy station.
Google Maps

The neighborhood surrounding the Expo/Bundy station is home to a growing patch of creative and media business, according to Metro. Head north and you'll find a largely commercial area that's home to a car dealership, the Westside Media Center, offices and big-box retailers. Farther north and directly south, you'll find more residential areas. Head farther south and you'll hit Pico Boulevard, with plenty of independent mom-and-pop shopping spots.

Parking: 217 spaces (131 require permits on weekday mornings).

Places to check out:

26th St/Bergamot station

A map of points of interest near the 26st Street/Bergamot Expo Line station.
A map of points of interest near the 26st Street/Bergamot Expo Line station.
Google Maps

The big attraction nearby is Bergamot Station. It's a former railroad station that now houses art galleries for your perusing pleasure.

Parking: None

Places to check out:

17th St/Santa Monica College station

A map of points of interest near the 17th Street/Santa Monica College station.
A map of points of interest near the 17th Street/Santa Monica College station.
Google Maps

The draw here is, of course, Santa Monica College. Parking nearby is next to nil, unless you're able to park at the school, just three blocks away.

Parking: 67 spaces (13 require permits on weekday mornings)

Places to check out:

Esquire video

Downtown Santa Monica station

A map of points of interest near the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line station.
A map of points of interest near the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line station.
Google Maps

This station drops you right in downtown Santa Monica. You're just two to three blocks from the Santa Monica Pier, Metro's Jose Ubaldo told KPCC, as well as right by the Third Street Promenade.

Parking: None.

Places to check out:

Bonus: Bike the Expo Line bike path

The Expo Line also features a bike path that runs along most of the extension, connecting downtown Culver City to downtown Santa Monica.

"The beauty of the bike lane is you don't have to deal with traffic on Olympic or Colorado," says KPCC listener Joni Yung. "You're protected most of the time."

(Note: there is a gap between the Palms and Westwood/Rancho Park station where you'll be biking through a neighborhood, instead. Here's a map someone compiled to help guide you.)

If you don't have a bike, Yung suggests joining the Santa Monica Breeze Bike Share program.

You'll be able to rent a bike outside the 26th/Bergamot, 17th St/Santa Monica College and Downtown Santa Monica stations.

Once you're signed up, look for the bright green color of the bikes at a designated rack. Punch your code into a bike to unlock it, and you're on your way to traveling up and down the path.

Have a suggestion of your own? Let us know! Tag @KPCC in your tweet, let us know on Facebook, or post your comment below!