I’ve wanted to visit the idyllic oceanfront city that is Santa Monica with its long beach ever since watching the hit series Baywatch as a kid. The huge expanse of sand and the boardwalk, I was hoping I might even just bump into a Yasmine Bleeth while I was there (wishful thinking I know).
- Added more 360 & standard photos from 2nd visit
I’ve been here twice now, returning as it was one of my favourite days out the last time I was in LA both times we went straight to the pier and walked to the end. There’s actually a fair bit to see and do on the Pier, we made our way to the very end to check out the views, the first time here randomly there was a cop car parked up, not what we expected to find on the end of a wooden pier!
After admiring the views and enjoying some of the performers and the many shops including the end of the famous Route 66. We decided to have a go on the world’s only solar powered Ferris wheel. At the top you have panoramic views of Malibu and the South Bay coastline and they are pretty outstanding. I think this is a must do if your in the area.
If it’s a nice hot day which I’m sure it will be, it’s sunny California after all. You have to buy yourself some dippin dots ice cream from the kiosk in Pacific Park. Oh my, these little things are delicious, I highly recommend the stuff. You can even mix it up, I went for the Bubblegum and Cotton Candy together. I so want to campaign to bring it to the UK.
After the pier we walked along the beach and I thought it would be a good idea to step into the water, sweet jesus that was cold. A few seconds was more than long enough. On the second visit the sand was too hot to walk on. Moving on we eventually ended up on the boardwalk, surrounded by many amazing street performers and artists that hang out around here. We even came across a couple of two headed turtles, if you like weird and wonderful things that is. Just be on your guard a little though, watch out for the scammers trying to sell you their CD’s, they’re asking for $20+ a pop! I mean you can buy an officially produced CD for a tenner! This time around there were still people offering CD’s, but they weren’t asking for money.
Every Sunday just to the right of the pier and its amusement park they plant hundreds of wooden crosses in the sand, setting up what they call Arlington West. A temporary memorial for American servicemen and women who have lost their lives to war. Included are many faiths, a crescent is used to represent Muslim soldiers, while stars represent Jewish soldiers, each red cross represents 10 dead American soldiers, while each white cross stands for one man or woman. The flag-draped coffins represent the military dead for the week. When the Sunday sun sets, volunteers then stack up all the crosses and hope no more will be added when they set it up again the following week.
Not alot of people realise there’s a little bit of Italy just around the corner, go and wander the Venice Canals . It’s not far and a great escape if you want a break from the hussle and bussle of the boardwalk and while your walking the midtown keep an eye out for some of the cool artwork and graffiti on walls.
We’d been told that snapchats offices were located nearby. We thought as we’re here may as well go check it out, expecting some huge lavish looking place with snapchat plastered all over it. Nope nothing like that at all, in fact it wasn’t anything that I or certainly anyone would of expected. It’s a rather simple looking abode with a single lonely security guard, who we spoke to to ask if we had the right place and he confirmed that it was indeed the place.
There are some great places to eat and drink down here, Cabo Cantina do some great nachos and the Whaler also has great food, atmosphere and if you go upstairs the view isn’t bad either.
After wandering around and seeing all that, we decided to head on back to the beach so we could sit, chill and watch the sunset with a beer. A perfect end to a brilliant day. The second time here I arranged to meet some LA friends and they suggested Santa Monica Whaler, so we headed there for an evenings meal. Some of you may know them, no other then my favourite virtual tour software creators, Bartek and Magdalena, the founders of Kuula.
Santa Monica is an ideal destination for families and visitors of any age. It has a much more relaxed feel than that of the Hollywood Boulevard. This was my favourite part of L.A and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area.
Santa Monica is a city in Los Angeles County, situated along Santa Monica Bay on California’s South Coast bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles. Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, Sawtelle on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast and Venice on the south.
- Known as Silicon Beach, local businesses are at the leading edge of the nation’s creative economy and startup scene.
- Every Sunday just to the right of the pier they plant hundreds of wooden crosses in the sand, setting up what they call Arlington West. A temporary memorial for American servicemen and women who have lost their lives to war.
- Santa Monica Beach is 3.5 mile long and enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year.
- Free city WiFi available throughout the length of the beach.
- Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language.
- Santa Monica was developed in 1875 by John P. Jones, a U.S. Senator from Nevada.
- Check out the Street Performers
- Pacific Park Wheel.
- Santa Monica Beach.
- Santa Monica Pier.
- Venice Canals.
- Ale House, great selection of ales and you can even have a skateboard slider selection.
- Cabo Cantina, Had some great nachos here.
- Larry’s Great beer selection and reasonable prices. Grab a seat at the bar if you can.
- Hinano Cafe Serving world-famous burgers and cold beers just steps from the Venice Beach pier since 1962.
- Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery Damn good breakfast here, its exceptionally busy though. You may have to wait for a table, but It’s well worth it.
- Venice Ale House Good Craft Beer selection, they even have a skate of beer sampler. If you order food you can sit outside, chill and watch the world go by.
- Whaler Both the Santa Monica or the Venice Whaler.
It’s an easily walkable 8.3 square miles, many rent bikes or even rollerblade around.
- E-Scooter/Bike, they are scattered around everywhere. Unlock them with an app on your phone.
- Get $5 credit for your first Uber ride here.
If your in L.A, then just head west. If your feet get wet you’ve gone too far! My first time here we hired a car and parked up in a car park near the famous Muscle Beach and took a stroll toward the Pier. 2nd time we were dropped off by an Uber.
- There are a quite few car parks around and even parking on the pier itself, accessible via the ramp at Ocean and Colorado. There is also two lower car parks accessible via Appian Way.
- It’s just a short ride on a bus
- Jump in an Uber or Lyft.
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