Santa Monica Sights
AMANDA'S TOP 3 CALIFORNIA 'MUST SEES'
#3: SANTA MONICA
I had already decided that I wasn’t a huge fan of LA and I was sort of beach town-ed out by the time we decided to visit Santa Monica, so my hopes weren’t high. But what a wonderful California day it was. We visited the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, the Santa Monica Beach, and saw a West Coast sunset. (Sometimes, I decided, you’re justified in having a full-out tourist day.)
Greatest thing about our day in Santa Monica:
The ocean! Daniel and I spent 3 hours (without suntan lotion) riding the waves and fighting the riptides. It was insane! I saw some waves while at the Mediterranean Sea and in Acadia, but the West Coast waves beat both. The temperature of the water, for September, was perfect and you could feel like a daredevil and wade about 50 yards into the ocean without the water even rising to your neck - the waves just got more intense. (Do be careful, though, because we did witness a lifeguard rescue.) For three hours, we were tossed by the waves, drank a lot of salt water and were burnt to a crisp, but we had an awesome time.
We also ate some of the greatest Caribbean food we’ve ever had. Those details coming soon.
Worst thing about our day in Santa Monica:
I spent $5 on a waffle cone soft serve chocolate “ice cream” and was sorely disappointed to discover it was actually frozen yogurt. Don’t be deceived by this madness! We couldn’t find real soft serve ice cream anywhere at the pier.
Definitely do while in Santa Monica:
Grab some churros and watch the sunset while on the pier! Beautiful.
Santa Monica Logistics:
- Parking at the beach ranges from $6-$15 depending on the season and time of day you arrive. If you are visiting on a warm evening, expect a long line when entering and exiting the parking lot.
- Things at the pier are not cheap. End of story. Take the ten minute walk up to the Third Street Promenade to find some more reasonably priced food, souvenirs, and activities. (Daniel liked the street performers there.)
- Bring freaking sun screen.
- There are some pretty dirty bathrooms right beside the parking lot, underneath the pier. Nicer changing rooms are available on the other (south) side of the pier.