The Beach, Santa Monica
Santa Monica's beach and beachfront are its main draw. It's distinctly cooler here compared to the city inland, and the location is relaxed enough to be popular with all kinds of people, from families, to teenagers, to jet-setting Englishmen too shy to even take their shoes off for a dip in the Pacific ocean.
Santa Monica 3.5 miles of wonderful beach areas now. In the past, we enjoyed coming here and just sitting in the sand and taking in the ocean breezes. As teenagers we didn't swim here because the LA drainage dumps into here which was terrible at times. Now with the new water treatment plant, it is once again maintained as it should be. You can bike along the trails and skate the trails. It is a great place to surf, swim, volleyball, and just a great place to soak up the sun (with sunscreen please:)
The last time I was in LA, I had to go visit the Santa Monica beaches. Awesome scene, awesome people, and easily accessible. I wish I had known about Surfin Socal before going. If you check out their website www.surfinsocal.com they offer one on one lessons no experience required, and the best part is that you can contact them before going on your trip and they will help you design a personalized plan with recommendations as to where to surf, stay, eat, go out. Just tell them what you want! Pretty sweet. The pier is cool too, but can get pretty crowded. Pretty much a one and done thing.
The beach is sandy, the waves are crashing, the crowds are beautiful - what more could you want in a beach?
We didn't actually spend much time at the beach in Santa Monica. The beach immediately south of the Santa Monica pier was surprisingly quiet, whereas the beach to the north had all the crowds. I didn't notice any surfers (do they even surf this close to LA?) although there were plenty of people dipping their toes in the water. I didn't notice any beach volleyball, although I hear that nearby Manhattan Beach is where you'd go for that!
During the summer, this is one of the most crowded beaches in Southern California. During the winter, though, it's a peaceful escape. In winter, the beach tends to be foggy in the morning, with most of the fog burning off by 1 or 2 pm.
If you are on foot, you can access the beach from Montana Ave., off of Ocean Avenue -- follow the footpath, which will lead you over a safe pedestrian bridge. If you are driving, the Pacific Coast Highway runs along the beach, and I noticed plenty of parking lots in the area, and $5.00 per entry was the going rate.
There is a bike and foot path that runs adjacent to the beach, and you can ride north to Malibu or as far south as Marina del Ray.
Come out and soak up some rays at Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica's got plenty of coastline. Sit in the sun, take a dip or take in a game of volleyball. They're saving some beach just for you!
Warning: the warm California sun can be strong. Keep that sunscreen handy and, if you're like me, a hat too. Trust me, I know!
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a large collection of small parks and canyons just outside of Los Angeles. It is a popular place for hiking, with many short trails leading to spectacular views, hidden waterfalls or somewhat secluded places of respite.
The area is bordered by both Highway 1 and highway 101 and various exits and streets lead to park entrances and trails. It can be somewhat confusing for the first time visitor. The National Park Service website has maps which provide specific locations of parks and canyons.
Oh Santa Monica! Every evening , the skyline displays a gorgeous palette especially by the beach. Along Ocean Blvd , as well as many elegant restaurants like the popular Ivy by the Shore and art deco buildings. Taking a walk here is a perfect idea for a romantic date or even just for hang out with friends.
Santa Monica has miles of sandy beaches. The photo was taken from the Pier looking north. Besides people-watching, sunbathing, and playing with water and sand, one of the interesting things people do here is to take photos with the lifeguards. Haha, the tourists must have watched too much "Baywatch" on TV. To them, this is what southern California is all about.
The beach is huge. I was there in October and I was very thankful that it was quiet. I bet it is full in the summer time!