Santa Monica is located between Malibu and Venice Beach in sunny southern California, and is known for its insane beauty and budding creativity. National Geographic dubbed this gorgeous coastline city as one of the top 10 beach cites in the world. This area is home to the Dogtown Movement of extreme skateboarders so expect to see people shredding once the Coronavirus guidelines are lifted! What was once a packed pier is now looking rather abandoned amid lockdown concerns. That doesn't mean we can't reminisce on past trips and plan new ones though!
The famous Santa Monica Boardwalk is fun for everyone. I for one can't wait to go back when it's safe to travel again. Santa Monica has been known as the perfect beach getaway for years and has also been the setting for many famous movies like the Titanic, Iron Man, A Night at the Roxbury, and so many more.
At the beginning of the pier, you can find the sign marking the end of Route 66. Santa Monica was chosen as the end of the infamous Route 66 that connects the west coast of California to Chicago, Illinois. It has been a tradition for many people to travel from start to finish down this historic road.
Looking for some fun? Head to Pacific Park for some games and rides on the boardwalk. Pacific Park also boasts the first and only solar-powered ferris wheel. It is also the only over-water ferris wheel in California. Another well-known attraction at Pacific Park is the Looff Hippodrome Carousel, which was Santa Monica's first National Historic Landmark. You can also ride a 55 foot high rollercoaster, bumper cars, ride in a drop tower, and try your hand at carnival games.
If virtual games are more your speed, you may know that Santa Monica is part of the area quickly becoming known as Silicon Beach, dubbed after the infamous Silicon Valley further north. This techy area of SoCal is where you can find offices for YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Google, SpaceX and many more big companies.
There are a ton of places to stop and get food and drinks on the boardwalk and surrounding areas, including Bubba Gump Shrimp! This restaurant chain based on the hit movie Forrest Gump is a great place to fuel up before hitting the beach.
Although Venice is often credited as the home of Muscle Beach, it was originally established right down the coast from it in Santa Monica. Workout equipment was set up outside back under Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration so people could have access to workout equipment for free.
Eventually, the regular weightlifters drew fans to watch them perform and work out. From the 1930's through the 1950's, Muscle Beach was thriving in Santa Monica before it was eventually reestablished in its neighbor city, Venice Beach, where Muscle Beach became known as one of the most iconic gyms of all time.
The Santa Monica area is a great place to go fishing off the pier, hang out on the beach, or explore the shops. The pier is over 100 years old, having a grand opening back in September 1909. There was even a ballroom on the pier known as the La Monica Ballroom. When it opened in 1924, it was the largest ballroom in America, holding more than 10,000 dancers and hosting many dance shows and radio broadcasts. La Monica Ballroom also was one of America's biggest skating rinks in the late 50's and early 60's before it was torn down.
Another interesting fact about Santa Monica is it's where volleyball went from solely being an indoor sport to being played on the beach in the early 1900's. Yep - volleyball on the beach started right here and has been a huge staple in society ever since. Santa Monica is a great place to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities year-round.
The Santa Monica area is an awesome place for people of all ages and interests to enjoy. This will be a sweet spot to go get some fresh air once it is safe to travel again. I hope you enjoyed my blog, thanks so much for reading!