Beaches, Beaches and More Beaches….
Southern California is home of some of the most beautiful, best known beaches in the world, from Santa Monica beach to Malibu, Manhattan beach to Zuma, whether you are looking to surf or rollerblade, or perhaps just a place on the sand to watch the sun set over the Pacific, there is no better place than a Southern California beach.
The name itself Muscle Beach says it all: a mix of muscular torsosand physical fitness buffs right on the beach. And that’s exactly what Venice’smost recognizable landmarks is, an outdoor gym ‘The Pit’ – next to the sandwhere wanna-be Schwarzeneggers put on a show pumping iron. Nothing could be morenatural.
Venice beach is the second most popular California tourist destination after Disneyland and offers something for everyone. Just walk along the world famous boardwalk which stretches from Venice pier to Santa Monica pier, and provides any number of opportunities to pull off onto the beach and head for the water, hunt for bargains in the small shops dotted along this colorful promenade, or just kick back and people-watch LA¹s best and baddest.
Ever since Jim Morrison started up a band called ‘The Doors’ on the beach, Venice’s reputation for its mix of hip and bohmian has made its wonderfully eclectic mix of cafes, bars and restaurants, the perfect base for a Southern Californian holiday.
Like its namesake in Italy, Venice Beach, California was built around a series of canals that wound through the beachside community. Over the years most were filled in but in 1994, the City of Los Angeles refurbished the six remaining canals to their original condition. The canals are not Venice’s only attraction. Year around there are a number of special local events and walking tours, including ‘The Venice Artwalk’, ‘Venice Garden Tour’, ‘Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade’ as well a weekly Farmers Market. And for students of architecture around every corner there are plenty of examples of the architecture that made such icons as Frank Gehery and modern southern California architecture famous all over the world.
Santa Monica Beach
At the end of the Venice boardwalk is the century old Santa Monica pier stretching out into the Pacific. You can fish off the pier, drink margaritas while watching the sunset, or lose yourself in Pacific Park, an old fashioned amusement park compete with a giant roller coaster. Admission is free and rides are pay-as-you go. A perfect outing for the whole family!
A block away is Santa Monica’s commercial center revolving around the 3rd street promenade bars, cafes and restaurants as well a the largest cross section of shopping opportunities from boutique to brand name stores that you will find next to the Pacific ocean.
A short drive up the Pacific Coast highway will bring you to Malibu beach, L.A.’s best known beach for the rich and famous. A place where you too can shop or swim but don’t be surprised at who you might see next to you in the aisles of the supermarket or stretched out on nearest towel the sand.