People from all over the world flock to Santa Monica Beach in Southern California to see what all the excitement is about.
This very wide, sandy beach can be extremely crowded on warm summer weekends. If you enjoy people watching, you won’t be disappointed by the "show". Right in the middle of the beach is the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park, at the end of Colorado Avenue. This old pleasure pier holds plenty of action such as a ferris wheel, a roller coaster, an antique carousel and more.
Also on the pier are shops, restaurants and good old fashioned carnival games. People can fish here as well.
Just east of the pier is Carousel Park, a children’s playground. There is also an active chess park just south of the pier at Seaside Terrace. It contains 24 tables with boards to play on.
The original Muscle Beach with all its exercise equipment is just to the side of the pier. Underneath the pier is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, an educational exhibit on ocean ecology. Call 310-393-6149 for more info.
The South Bay Bicycle Trail goes along the back part of Santa Monica Beach and stretches from Will Rogers State Beach 22 miles south to Torrance Beach where the Palos Verdes Peninsula begins.
Santa Monica Beach also offers a snack shack, showers and restrooms, lifeguards, a playground, and places to play basketball and volleyball. Other activities include the favorite standbys such as swimming, surfing and boogie boarding. You can also rent beach equipment
Above the beach on the north side of the pier, there is a lovely bluff at the top of which is Palisades Park, where you can stroll down paths amongst the grass and palm trees while looking out over the sea. Or you can picnic at one of the benches. You can also find shuffleboard courts here, and a senior recreation center. Several paths lead from the park down to the beach.
Just north of Santa Monica State Beach is Will Rogers State Beach, a 3 mile long stretch of sand. The further north you go, the less crowded it is. Here, as at most state beaches, you’ll find lifeguards, a snack shack, showers and restrooms. There you can enjoy swimming, surfing and volleyball.