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Santa Monica moves you

Rediscover SoCal at your own pace

Cyclists on a tour with The Bike Centre in Santa Monica stop to enjoy a view over the broad swath of sandy beach.
Cyclistes touring at the Santa Monica Bike Center stop by to enjoy a wide range of sandy beach views. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

From the hotel window in Ocean Boulevard, you can see runners, rollerblades, cyclists and dog walkers in Paris Says Park. Incredibly wide sandy beach. 

On the water, two guys catch a small wave on the board and someone else puts effort into a smooth boat shell. increase.

Perhaps it's not surprising that Santa Monican always seems to be in motion. The city is one of California's most comfortable climates, not too hot, not too cold, and home to the original Muscle Beach that created the American fitness boom in 1934.

Santa Monicans of all ages find ways to exercise outdoors year-round, including boxing in Palisades Park.
Santa Monikans of all ages boxing at Paris Says Park I'm finding a way to exercise outdoors all year round. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

I'm not here to get in shape, but in a few days to rediscover SoCal for the first time in two years I'm here to get in shape. 

First, a bike tour led by Chad Reinhardt, an improvised comedy at the Westside Comedy Theater, following theBike CenterChad during the day and quiet at first. The next time I go along the streets of the city, the impressive 35km long bike path that locals call the Strand, it's only me and a family of five from Mississippi. To the north of us, the Malibu mansion embraces a winding bay. To the south is Santa Monica's famous pier, with attractions such as the Ferris wheel and roller coasters. 

Cycling under the pier, stop by and watch the skateboarders carve the sunken pool at Venice Beach Skatepark. increase. They really look like a dry pool, and Chad tells us that's how skateboarding began. 

The hand carved and painted horses at the carousel on the Santa Monica Pier will be 100 years old this September.
Hand-carved and painted Santa Monica The horse in Pier's carousel will turn 100 in September of this year. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

"There was a drought for a year and no one could fill the pool", so in the nearby San Fernando Valley The children started to dive. Instead of them on their skateboard.

We pass half a dozen production trucks and trailers. Chad points out that Hollywood is only 25km away. When he first moved here from Missouri, he worked one summer at a culture-shocked beach camp. "Bringing Bologna sandwiches and chips, the kids at the camp ate freshly rolled sushi," he laughed. "Then you know that this kid's mom is Diane Keaton or this kid's dad is Eddie Murphy." 

Wealthy developer Abbott turns inland to explore some of the canals dug at the turn of the 20century Kinney created the Venice district. At the grand opening, "he brought a gondola from Italy," says Chad.

Santa Monica’s Third St. Promenade is the place to head if you’re into shopping. Three pedestrian-only blocks of shops are anchored by the upscale Santa Monica Place.
Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade will bring you back to shopping .. Three pedestrian-only shop blocks are moored at the exclusive Santa Monica Place. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

A Mississippi mom who returned to Santa Monica at the end of her ride wanted her family to stay longer. She confessed that she was there. She said, "I love shopping, I love the beach, I love the pier." 

Certainly the pier is fascinating. But I wonder why 11 to 12 million people visit what looks like a small amusement park each year. Sure, the Ferris wheel has a lot of old-fashioned fun, but it also has a lot of history. When I met him at the pier one morning, Managing Director Jim Morris talks to me.  For example, a horse hand-carved and painted in a carousel will turn 100 in September of this year. 

There is also nostalgia. "People were once able to drive to the end of this pier, which was appealing to those driving National Highway 66," he says. highway. According to Jim, it's actually a few streets, but the ending is more romantic.

The Santa Monica Pier is always alive, especially at night when the roller coaster and Ferris wheel light up the sky.
Santa Monica Pier is always alive, especially at night with rollers Coasters and Ferris wheels illuminate the sky. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

Another thing Santa Monica has long known is its food, especially farmers markets. The Wednesday morning market spans four blocks and is popular with chefs throughout Los Angeles County. Today, the famous local chef Govind Armstrong, who runs a lobster at the foot of the pier, is tasting colorful seasonal ingredients. 

"I trust buyers who have great relationships with farmers, but it's good to come down [on your own] and feel and taste. "He says. With juicy red Juliet tomatoes in your mouth.

I'm hungry, so head to Fairmont Miramar's elegant and airy lobby lounge. It is just one block from where you are staying at the Oceana Hotel. Then thank the experienced massage therapist for a deep massage at Exhale Spa, known throughout the city. I certainly found a knot that I didn't know I had. 

Celebrity chef Govind Armstrong samples cauliflower at the Wednesday morning farmers market in downtown Santa Monica.
Famous chef Govin Darmstrong Sample Cauliflower at Farmers Market Wednesday morning in downtown Santa Monica. Photo: Suzanne Morphet

I ate atLobsterlast night. I'd like to see some cooked by Govind, but also want to enjoy the SoCal sunset from perhaps the best perch in Santa Monica. My main course is easy as it's the last night of the California spiny lobster season.

Restaurant service and beverage manager Ryan O'Connor stops by to suggest wine and says the sunset can be reflected in the large windows of Malibu's house. "And from a distance, the hills of the Santa Monica Mountains look like they're burning."

No flames, but this place is certainlyhotI feel it. It seems that the good times are back.

Oceana Hotel offers guests complementary bikes. The hotel is just minutes from the 35-km long bike trail that locals call The Strand.
Oceana Hotel offers its guests free bikes. .. The hotel is just minutes from the 35km long bike path that locals call the Strand.Photo: Suzanne Morphet

If you go

Oceana Santa Monica Hotelis the best real estate Real estate with 70 spacious suites overlooking the courtyard with pool. Some rooms have sea views.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel&Bungalowshas approximately 300 rooms, suites and bungalows, many with sea views.

The writer was a guest of Santa Monica Travel&Tourism. You did not review or approve this story.

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