Santa Monica California is found just 16 miles to the west of Los Angeles and is one of the most highly-recognizable Los Angeles County cities. Home to around 90,000 people, some of whom are just as recognizable, it is a thriving coastal city that has long been a shining reference point for the southern California lifestyle. Vacations to Santa Monica are ideal for anyone who is looking for fine weather, proximity to Hollywood, and a nice strip of sand to relax on. The Santa Monica beaches, which actually form one continual beach, are a haven for those who are looking to escape the nearby urban hangouts, though come summertime, you won’t exactly find solitude on them. That’s just fine by most, as Santa Monica California is pretty much a see and be-seen kind of place.
The Santa Monica beaches, which are without question among the top attractions in Santa Monica, stretch for some 3.5 miles, giving visitors ample room to roam. They are also wide in most parts, which is beneficial during the busier summer months. Summer isn’t the only time that you will find warm beach weather here, as in 2004, the month of December saw a few straight days where the temperatures were in the 80’s! Usually, the winter temperatures here hover around 63 degrees, however, while in the summertime, temperatures in the mid-80’s are to be expected. On the northern side of Santa Monica, the beaches are backed by bluffs, which serve to more-or-less separate them a bit more from the actual city. Closer to the central stretch of sand here is where the famed Santa Monica Pier can be found. It’s almost a must that you at least take a quick walk on the Santa Monica Pier when enjoying vacations to Santa Monica, as it is one of the most renowned piers in the entire country.
The Santa Monica Pier, which for those who want to know its exact location, can be found on the section of beach where Colorado Avenue and Ocean Avenue meet. You can pay to park beneath the pier, and in addition to enjoying strolls on it, you can also check out its amusement park. The Pacific Park is found near the end of the pier and doesn’t cost money to visit. You will have to pay to enjoy the rides and games at the park, however, and it’s recommended that you consider riding the Ferris wheel for the views that it affords. The Santa Monica Pier’s amusement park is open daily, so regardless of when you plan vacations to Santa Monica, it is something that you can include on the itinerary. When you’re not hanging out on the Santa Monica Pier and riding the rides or doing some fishing, other activities that you can enjoy at the Santa Monica beaches include sand volleyball, surfing, bicycling, and of course, swimming. The Santa Monica beaches are known to have rather gentle surf conditions, so you might head further up the coast and hit some of the Ventura beaches if surfing is your aim. Also, since the beaches in Santa Monica California get crowded in the summer months, surfing is often only allowed at certain points.
Fishing off of the Santa Monica Pier is free for all to enjoy, meaning that you won’t need a license, and fishing equipment can be rented at the end of the pier if you are without. As mentioned, bicycling is also something that you can do at the beaches in Santa Monica, as there is a paved bicycle trail that runs along the coast here. Known as the South Bay Bicycle Trail, this trail is 22 miles long and starts near Malibu to the north and extends south towards the city of Torrance. In addition to cycling, it is also ideal for walking, jogging, rollerblading, and skateboarding. You’ll likely see people enjoying all of the aforementioned activities at the Santa Monica beaches on most days, and when folks aren’t spending time on the beach when in town, they are likely enjoying the other attractions in Santa Monica. Among them is the 3rd Street Promenade, which is a pedestrian-only section of town that is known for its eclectic shops and its street performers. No visit to Santa Monica would be complete without a visit to 3rd Street, that’s for sure.