Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Amtrak Adventure - Day 16 - A Day at the Beach

With only two days to explore Los Angeles and having spent the first in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, it seemed sensible to spend the second day relaxing at one of the many beaches.  We chose Santa Monica, partly because I had fond memories of a previous visit many years ago and partly because we could get a bus from near our hotel straight along Santa Monica Boulevard right to the beach front. How convenient was that in a town not known for its public transport?

Santa Monica is all you could want from a beach resort with its cliff top walk,

complete with wonderful views of the long, sandy beaches and distant mountains,

plus an abundance of tall palm trees. Just how tall?  Some almost as tall as an eight-story building, such as the one outside the blue-painted Georgian Hotel.

When we first arrived the beach was relatively empty, but what we found amusing was that as more people arrived by car they would sit on the beach near the parking lot next to the pier rather than move further down the beach to where there were fewer people. I’d heard that people in LA rarely walk, but this seemed to be taking things to an extreme.  Personally, I’d rather go the extra distance away from the crowds!

A parking lot on the beach - must be LA!

For those who don’t like sitting on the beach, the pier has a funfair, a trapeze school (wish I'd been brave enough to try it!), several restaurants, including a soda fountain which sells huge, delicious ice-cream sundaes (here I speak from experience) and some excellent musicians.

A little rock and roll to add to the atmosphere

This singer performed an excellent version of Hallelujah

It’s also the spot for some nice views back to the beach.

If you get bored with the beach and the pier, the town center boasts a pedestrian mall of shops, restaurants and an art-deco movie theater. 

Verdict: A nice place to hang out and relax on a sunny day and a great opportunity to see the locals at play without having to venture too far away from downtown LA. 

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