Located west of Downtown Los Angeles so within walking distance of hotels and shops, Santa Monica Beach seems worlds apart from the hectic city life with its laid-back seaside charm. It is an outstanding Southern California destination that is also only eight miles from the Los Angeles International Airport. Its 8.3 square miles is very walkable.
You can enjoy expanses of a soft sand well-maintained beach that is 3.5 miles long with paved and lighted walkways, lifeguard stations, surfing, paddle boarding, bike trails, plentiful restaurants and picnic areas, over 75 museums and art galleries, shopping, hotels overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and many activities and events. The Big Blue Bus with its day passes costing only $4.00 operates routes that stop at or near this beach. During the more popular summer season, the average high temperature is 71°F. During the spring, fall and winter, the average high temperature is 65°F.
Perry’s Café and Beach Rentals
This local restaurant and beach rental with multiple locations offers a service with lounge chairs, an umbrella, a small table, a cooler with two bottles of water, and a wind guard for the cost of $50.00 per day.
Santa Monica Pier
In the middle of the beach, the landmark double-jointed pier features an aquarium, an amusement park, a solar-powered Ferris wheel, an arcade with over 200 games, seven restaurants, street performers, and more. It was opened on September 9, 1909, and was designated as a World Heritage Site on August 17, 1976. The Hippodrome houses the Carousel with the building still standing as the city’s first National Historic Landmark.
This amusement park on the Pier has a five-story roller coaster, a nine-story tower ride called the Pacific Plunge, a nine-story Ferris Wheel which is California’s only over-water Ferris Wheel, and the only over-water miniature golf course.
Original Muscle Beach
On the south side of the Pier, this was established back in the early 1930s and became the epicenter of the growing fitness movement of the 20th century when crowds gathered to watch acrobatic feats. Today, there is an open-air collection of gymnastic equipment that includes parallel and ropes bars, rings, swings, and retro equipment, and numerous volleyball courts.
Marvin Braude Bike Trail
Also known as The Strand and The South Bay Bicycle Trail, this 22-mile paved trail begins in Santa Monica and ends at the Torrance County Beach after passing through Venice, Hermosa, and Redondo Beach