Santa Monica Beach
Adventures in the USA

What to do at a beach in Los Angeles

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Beach life in Los Angeles is a real thing. Some people literally live at a beach during the hot summer days. Mostly in the Venice Beach area, though. They have tents and suitcases, some have chairs, boxes and even surfboards. They sell their paintings and some other stuff they have made. We even saw two guys who were giving bad advice for $1.

Two guys giving bad advice
Two guys giving bad advice.
Venice Beach.
Venice Beach.

We mostly stayed in Santa Monica Beach area which is one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles. There were a lot of people on the beach. Many fully clothed even though it was so hot outside. They even swam with clothes on, even children. I didn’t get why. Some people were laying too close to the shore. One time there was a bit bigger wave that reached them and all of their stuff including the people got really wet. It was funny to watch, although I don’t think it was much fun for them.

Rides at Pacific Park

Since we had our Go Los Angeles Card which gave us free admission to Santa Monica Pier Pacific Park. We decided to use this for an entire day. There were many rides on Pacific Park. We got on almost every ride, except the rides for kids and 2 rides that cost extra. We thought we’d better start with easy and chill rides that are not that scary and then go on a roller coaster.

The most terrifying ride (to me) in Pacific Park was not a roller coaster. It was the dragon swing. This was like a boat-shaped swing with a dragon’s head on both sides. We got to choose whether to go at the ends on the “boat” where it is the scariest or in the middle. We went to the second seat from the end. At first, it was just fun swinging. Then it got scary fast, the swing went up until 90 degrees. When the swing went back down I felt like I could not breathe for a second and then it went up again and came back backward. And it went on and on until it got slower. I’m glad I didn’t eat before that ride or I would have thrown up.

There was another scary ride in the park but this one cost extra. It looked like they strap your feet and hands onto a circle and then it just swirls. I personally didn’t even want to try it. Some rides were simply enjoyable and fun so we visited some attractions more than once.

Lunch at the Santa Monica Pier

After that, we went to eat something at the pier. We bought some tacos. There were only a few tables so we had to join other people’s table. At the table next to us we saw children feeding doves with their french fries. For us, it looked very disturbing. Firstly, because there were doves flying everywhere above our heads. Sometimes they came so close to us that I thought they are going to attack me. Secondly, french fries are not what doves usually eat so you shouldn’t give those to them. I was surprised to see parents just looking at their children like they don’t care at all.

At the Santa Monica Pier there was also this house filled with different games you could play. I had seen this only in the movies. There was the dancing game where you would have to put your feet on the right arrow on the floor. You can dance alone and score points or play together with your friend. Since we had never played this game before we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves now. Each game cost a few coins. We played “Walking Dead” computer game in one cubicle. It was so addictive that we played it many times and spent a few dollars there.

Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica Pier.

The whole beach vibe at Santa Monica Beach was so lovely. There were a lot of people on the pier but everyone was having a great time just chilling around eating ice cream on a hot day and maybe even doing some souvenir shopping. There were a lot of locals there also. Some sang to earn some money from tourists, some made art and some played an instrument. No one was very intrusive. Most people just walked around and enjoyed the beach life.

Renting bikes at the beach

One day we had decided to rent bikes near the beach and drive on the bike road at the beach. Since we had our Go Los Angeles Card, renting a bike at Perry’s Beach Café and Rentals was free for us. We could have rented the bikes for free for the entire day. But since we were at Pacific Park for almost the entire day we had only a few hours to ride with the bikes. Those bikes were a bit different than the ones we are used to riding. They looked very American with the long handlebar.

The bike road along the beach went so far that it was really enjoyable to ride it. It felt like a vacation to just ride and relax. I was really enjoying this part of beach life. Of course, the riding didn’t go that smooth all the time. People coming in our direction didn’t always leave us enough room to past them and we had to slow down or stop to avoid a collision.

Santa Monica Beach
A road to Venice Beach.

Not all people rode with a bicycle on that road. There were also some who rode with Segways and some who were just jogging. At one point it seemed to me that I even saw Ryan Reynolds running towards me. For a long time, I wasn’t sure if it was Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling because they look so alike. It could have also been a totally random person who looks like them.

Anyway, first, we rode to Venice Beach as long as we could go. Then we decided to go see the other side of Santa Monica Beach as well. So we rode back and further a bit. Since it was the begging of July, there was some kind of 4th of July party going on near the beach area. It was a closed party though. But we could see the decorations and stuff. Although, guests weren’t there yet.

4th of July party
4th of July themed party on the beach.

I loved the beach life in Los Angeles. Wish we could have gone to Malibu Beach as well, but unfortunately, we didn’t have that much time. We also visited Long Beach one day but merely because we had planned to visit the ship, Queen Mary. From where Queen Mary was docked, the beach seemed wonderful. All those great cafés and restaurants near the beach were full of people. That shows how good the food must be in that area when people are willing to wait for half an hour to get a seat.

Long Beach
Palm trees at a beach in Los Angeles.

These were a few things that we liked to do at a beach in Los Angeles. I hope you got some ideas about what do if you ever find yourself at a beach in Los Angeles or anywhere else. What are the things YOU like to do at a beach? Tell me in comments.

Keep traveling!

PS! We actually went surfing in Venice Beach for the first time as well since California Coast is supposedly one of the best places to surf. More from that in another blog post. This one is getting too long already.

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