When you think of California, girls in hot pants on roller skates, fitness buffs working out on the beach front and long stretches of palm tree lined golden sand come to mind. I thought that was just a stereotype however when I visited the Santa Monica boardwalk that was exactly what I experienced.
Not only that but it had a really strange sense of familiarity for me as Grand Theft Auto V was modelled on the area – being a gamer it really was a case of already knowing exactly where everything was and what to expect, particularly on Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica fitness equipment
Beyond the most obvious tourist attraction (the pier and fairground) one of the key highlights is right next to the pier where there is an outdoor fitness area. Here, there are rings, parallel bars and plenty of other equipment for anyone to use – I had a go on the rings but could do with a bit more practice really to nail it, it was a lot harder than it looked!
Walking from Santa Monica to Venice
The boardwalk runs both on and in parallel to the beach between Santa Monica beach and Venice beach, alongside Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s quite wide in places and often made up of 2 painted lanes to allow for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians to share the space equally.
Along the route there’s quite a few things to do and see with endless stretches of sand. Many people hire bikes or roller skates to explore it however when I visited we took things a little slower and went by foot.
As you explore the boardwalk down towards Venice you come across a few different things including beach volleyball and plenty of interesting locals – it certainly gets more interesting the further you head towards Venice and as you approach the famous Muscle Beach gym.
What I loved about the boardwalk was that it’s such a chilled out place. It’s everything I expected of the California coast with sand, sea and health conscious people who care about their well being and appearance. A certain Katy Perry video pretty much describes the entire area quite accurately!
Throughout my time in America Santa Monica beach and the boardwalk was right up there as one of my favourite places. If you’re visiting the California coast, make sure you set some time aside and make a stop here, you won’t be disappointed.