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Road Trip Day 7: Santa Monica

Road Trip Day 7: Santa Monica

One of the first things on our to-do list while in Los Angeles was to visit the beaches and being a sunny Saturday afternoon, we thought we would head to Santa Monica for the day. Unfortunately for us, the rest of greater Los Angeles seemed to have the same idea and Santa Monica was absolutely crazy!

Parking at Santa Monica

The slightly crowded parking lot at Santa Monica Beach.

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach.

But instead of turning around and heading back onto the highway to Los Angeles, we braved the crowds and were determined to have an enjoyable day. So we parked the car in one of the nearby parking structures and walked down to the beach.

Santa Monica Beach

The main attraction at Santa Monica beach is the world-famous Santa Monica pier which includes the Pacific Park amusement park. It attracts millions of visitors each year and features 12 rides, midway games and an assortment of food and shopping options.

Pacific Park Entrance

Pacific Park Entrance.

The star attraction at Pacific Park is the Pacific Wheel, the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel. Unfortunately we didn’t get to ride on it but for those who are interested, the cost is $5 per ride. If you can afford it, then we’re sure it would be a great experience with fantastic views of the city and out to the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Park Santa Monica

Pacific Park Santa Monica.

Rather than pay to go on the rides at Pacific Park, we opted to venture to the nearby Santa Monica Muscle Beach - ”The Birthplace of the Physical Fitness Boom of the Twentieth Century”. We tried our hands at the rings, the parallel bars and even completed a chin-up or two. People who are serious about fitness would love this place – the two of us were just there for a bit of fun though.

After we were done with our mini-routine, we simply watched some amazingly fit people climbing high ropes in a matter of seconds and swinging on the rings like they were members of the ape family. Maybe one day we’ll be like that?

Chin-ups at the original Santa Monica Muscle Beach

Chin-ups at the original Santa Monica Muscle Beach.

Or perhaps not?

Third Street Promenade

The other famous tourist destination in Santa Monica is the Third Street Promenade, a vibrant shopping district that is full of action. If you’re into shopping, this is one of the places in Los Angeles you want to go with a variety of shops to cater for all tastes. There’s also plenty of fabulous dining options on the Promenade for the foodies among us.

Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.

Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.

One of the things that you must do while strolling along Third Street Promenade is watch the engaging street performers (and tip them if they entertain you!). These performers have some serious talent and we could’ve watched them all day!

Street Performer on Third Street Promenade

Street Performer on Third Street Promenade.

We only had a small taste of Santa Monica but it was enough to prove that it deserves its title as one of the must-see destinations when in Los Angeles.

We’re currently road tripping through California thanks to the generous help of Fox Rent A Car.


  1. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Oohh. Keep the stories coming!!

  2. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    My best friend lives like right down the street from there! But holy cow did that beach look different when I was there in early May!! It was practically deserted then. Lol.

    Did you go explore the Venice Beach boardwalk at all? That place is… interesting… haha.

    • Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      We went back there on Tuesday and it was eerily quiet compared to the weekend! We did go and check out Venice Beach and agree that it is what you would call interesting. Look for that post in a few days!

  3. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I can see my old apartment building in one of your pics! Hope you enjoyed SM, great time of year to visit!

    • Posted September 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      It was our second visit to Santa Monica and definitely not the last! Love the place!

  4. Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m well and proper jealous after yet another blustery rubbish British summer. Seeing pics of the actual sun makes me almost cry.

    Nice chin up action btw! :-) It’s amazing how hard they are when you go back to doing them after a few years break.

    Have a great time up the coast. Looking forward to the next installment.

    Josh and Mulan

    • Posted September 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I know how you’re feeling – our Aussie summer last year was miserable so it’s nice to be able to make up for it a little bit over here.

      Agree with the chin-up comment… used to be able to pull off 10 no problems but only managed to get through 2 or 3 at Santa Monica!

      Thanks for commenting guys, lots of great content from our road trip still to come. :)

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