Santa Monica State Beach
Location: 100-2900 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
How to get there
Take the 10 Freeway west (Santa Monica) to Pacific Coast Highway and head north.
One of the iconic beaches not just of Los Angeles but of the world the Santa Monica Beach, and the pier, has appeared in countless movies, song lyrics and cultural references. Often seen as the end of the old Route 66 there is a shop right at the end of the pier called Route 66 Last Stop Shop, offering bait and tackle for fishermen and themed souviners.
The beach itself continues to be a major draw for locals and tourists alike as there are few such clean straight stretches of sandy shore anywhere in the world. And particularly when you consider the other attractions around, from the Pier Aquarium to the original location of Muscle Beach (now over at Venice) this is a must see destination.
With several huge parking lots right on Ocean Front Walk, lifeguard towers spaced regularlly along the beach every 100 yards it is very family friendly.
On the western end of the beach there are numerous club houses, restaurants and other places to enjoy sitting down with a drink or a meal and enjoy the views.
With easy access by bike, bus or car the beach does attract a lot of people weekends and holidays but given how long and wide it is there is always room for everybody.
Over on the east side of the pier you will find the Dorothy Green Park which has green spaces, and a cafe where you can rent bikes to ride along the beach. Join one of their Legends Historic Bike tours! See http://www.perryscafe.com/ for details.
Across the lot from Perry's is the South Beach Park with a great little playground for the youngest members of the family with climbing frames and pretend surfboards to stand on!
Here is Santa Monica State Beach on the map.