It’s easy to see why Santa Monica is considered the first choice for a Southern California beach vacation. This seaside city blends the charm and appeal of a coastal getaway with an unforgettable beach and the sophistication of an urban center—a magnetic combination.
Santa Monica's stunning beach is the city’s greatest natural asset. Blessed with 3.5 miles of broad sandy coastline and more than 340 days of sunshine per year, Santa Monica serves as the perfect backdrop for the sun-kissed, fit California beach lifestyle
Fondest memory: With manned lifeguard stations, casual eateries, equipment rental spots, public fitness and activity facilities, a fabulous bike trail, wooden pathways for beachgoers with disabilities and warm days (daytime temperatures average mid-60s to low 70s F in winter and 80s F in the summer), it's not hard to see why Santa Monica State Beach is a favorite destination for people of all ages.
Venice Beach was beautiful.
Be careful when walking the boardwalk you can be pulled into over priced items which you could find cheaper when you walk futher down the path.
EXAMPLE: At the beginning of the boardwalk I paid $8 for a henna tatto but a few minutes of a walk down the road I got it for $5. Also, don't be scared to bargain...
Beware of Pot heads and homeless people. They will obviously ask you for money.
You will see a lot of stores with weed symbols but Venice Beach is known for that kind of stuff.
Live entertainment occasionally.
If you like to pump iron, get this... there is an outdoor gym! Tan and get a little tone. ;-)
Get a henna tattoo. It will last about 1-3 weeks. Great for the Summer.
It's a little cooler in Venice Beach too, so bringing a light jacket wouldnt be a bad idea.
Fondest memory: I will definately miss the beautiful tan which the sun burnt into me.
If you would like a tan, lay out in the sun for an hour or 2...
I will miss the palms down the roads.
Favorite thing: Head for the shore. If you are in the city for one day do not make the mistake of spending it in the downtown area. The action for the shot stopover tourist is on the westside, meaning Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, etc.. There is a lot to see all over LA, but if time is short, that's where you go.
Everyone know the tourist spots (Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc) but to really enjoy the city, go up to Yamashiro above Hollywood for a beautiful view of L.A. with or without smog. Drive along PCH, past the beautiful houses on Malibu to one of the many secluded beaches.
Soak in the energy of the Sunset Strip at night, driving on Sunset still gives me a rush, you get to see interesting people, huge billboards, exclusive stores, clubs and restaurants and the mansions in Beverly Hills.
Fondest memory: While I was in LA, I went hiking on the rocks overlooking the beach for about 5 hours. It was awesome. The thrill of jumping, reaching or climbing from rock to rock combined with the crashing waves below made for a great day. I would like to mention that this was actually north of LA, closer to the Camarillo outlets and Zuma beach. We took this winding highway (the 21, I think) and just parked the car and walked down to the rocks.
There's so many things. Most are obvious and kind of geeky like Universal Studios and Disneyland, but you should check out (in no particular order) Jay Leno, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Long Beach, Laguna Beach, Downtown, Pasadena, Westwood, Melrose, Chinatown, Olvera Street.
Fondest memory: My friends from Pasadena, Orange and Long Beach. Ohh and the warm winters (November).
My fondest memory?
Catching up with colleagues and friends..... who in turn brought me out shopping and dining at their neighborhood - GLENDALE, SANTA MONICA, MARINA DEL REY and LONG BEACH...
My worst nightmare?
Definitely, HOLLYWOOD! Hollywood is NOT what you see in the movies/ TV, believe me.
Photo Below: A glimpse of smog-filled Downtown.
The traffic jams on the freeways in the evenings are also legendary! There was an eventful day when we were caught in the jam for over 4 hours (!!!) because one guy threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge. By the end of the 4th hour, I swore I heard some drivers yelling at him 'jump! jump!!' Sigh...
People do the strangest things when they get frustrated.
First and foremost it will have to be the beaches. If you come to site see, then I will still suggest the beaches.
Fondest memory: I miss the beach.The sunset setting over the buildings in the sky and the waves crashing on the shore
The night life in L.A. is just awesome. No matter if you chose to hang out in Hollywood, Santa Monica or other beach cities like Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach - party 24/7!!
The beach is my favorite weekend hang out. Just dig out those worn out rollerblades and a volleyball and head down to the beach...
Fondest memory: Definately the weather. Summer lasts from April till mid November. Even the remaining months of the year are really comfy (compared to Germany, which I left for this little pice of paradise).
Drive up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) toward Malibu in a convertible on a clear, sunny day and capture the essence of Southern California - beautiful beaches and magnificent mountains.
Fondest memory: The warm, sunny weather and combination of beaches, ocean and mountains, along with the abundance of activities and offerings for all types of people.
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