Breathtaking Beaches in Santa Monica

Breathtaking Beaches in Santa Monica

A selection of Santa Monica's most spectacular beaches.

The city of Santa Monica is a place where people like to spend time. It's proximity to LA certainly doesn't hurt its ability to draw people. Anyone traveling to California will want to make sure that Santa Monica is part of the itinerary. In fact, Santa Monica is even featured as the title given by the rock group Everclear in one of their songs. but it has also been a pretty well known resort town for over 100 years. Located near suburbs such as Brentwood and Venice in addition to LA, Santa Monica has improved its downtown area which has resulted in more tourism and a better job rate.

Santa Monica Pier

There is no shortage of things to do at the famed Santa Monica Pier. The west end of the pier is popular for fishing, but other attractions include an aquarium, a video arcade, pubs, restaurants and entertainers. Santa Monica Pier turned 100 in 2009, and it offers the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome which is on the Newcomb Pier adjacent to the main pier. This national historic landmark currently is part of the two acre Pacific Park, which is a full scale amusement park.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

While visiting the beach, be sure to check out the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
The aquarium offers an octopus tank and a shark and ray tank as well as a rocky reef, sandy bottom and crustacean tank. For the ultimate experience try the three touch tanks!

Pacific Park

Pacific Park offers 13 rides, including the world's only solar powered Ferris Wheel. A roller coaster circles the majority of the park and you can see the Pacific Ocean and look out towards Catalina Island.

Santa Monica State Beach

Along the Pacific Coast Highway you can find Santa Monica State Beach. This 3.5 mile long beach was featured on the show Baywatch! Obviously because of the publicity created by the show, you do not have to worry about whether or not there is a lifeguard on duty!

This beach features picnic areas and parks. If you bring the kids, have no fear as there are playgrounds available. Swimming, volleyball, paddleboarding and surfing are among the common activities that people engage in.

One unique feature of the Santa Monica State Beach is the International Chess Park just south of the Volleyball Courts. While chess may not be the first thing people think of participating in when they are outside at a beach, it is worth a trip over there just to see the human sized chess board on the sidewalk! Of course, playing chess at a table is available as well.

In addition to the fun activities, tourists can also check out Arlington West which is a memorial north of the Santa Monica Pier. On Sundays crosses are erected for each United States military person who has died in the Iraq War. This area of the beach offers a chance for visitors to engage in peaceful reflection.

Muscle Beach

Usually people are extra nervous about how they look when they go out to a beach. Both men and women are aware that they are in a public area when they are out on a beach which causes them to be concerned about how they will look , when people see how they look in swimming suits. One area of the Santa Monica Beach just south of the Santa Monica Pier is set aside specifically for those who are physically fit. Muscle Beach has been around since the 1930's, so it is a historic point of interest. The buzz got all started with gymnastic and acrobatic exhibitions on equipment provided by the city. Many famous bodybuilders have been there including names such as Vic Tanny and Dave Draper.
Although the originally created establishment fell into a state of disrepair, it was rededicated in 1989. Children, gymnasts and acrobats currently utilize the area. If you are a newbie to the workout realm, training is available!

Palisades Park

Sometimes actually being on a beach isn't a necessity, but being able to overlook the beach area can be refreshing. Palisades Park is on top of coastal bluffs and offers views of the Pacific Ocean and the local coastal range. The park starts from the Southern End of Santa Monica Pier and goes to Adelaide Drive on the Northern End, stretching more than a mile and a half. The biggest draw here is the ability to observe nature at its finest, including more than 30 kinds of plants and trees, all while being close to the beach activity. For more information, visit:

The City of Santa Monica, California, USA

As you can see, there is more to do in Santa Monica than just visit a beach. Typically visiting a beach involves swimming or surfing or just lounging out in the sun, with perhaps the occasional sand castle getting built. In Santa Monica, there are attractions WITHIN the attractions and it seems like there are more than enough great things to do for everyone. There are more beaches out there that I have not even addressed, but these main attractions mentioned are a great starting point for tourists. Enjoy your visit to the Santa Monica area!

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