As someone who lived in Los Angeles for almost a decade, I have discovered so many nooks and crannies of this dynamic city. The West Side of Los Angeles features many iconic sites, from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. The best way to see these sites via "The Strand", a 22 mile bike path that runs along the Pacific Ocean. Here's how to do it.
First, you can rent bikes from multiple locations along the Strand. They cost about $7 per hour, or $20 for the day. We rented our bikes from Sea Mist, which is located next to the Santa Monica Pier entrance. If you go north of the Santa Monica Pier, the bike path is much more relaxing with scenic nature and the Santa Monica Mountains. If you go south, the path is more crowded and you will see many famous sightseeing spots.
1. Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is a national icon. It was built in 1909 and now is home to Pacific Park, an amusement park that features a solar powered Ferris wheel with a light show at night.
Next to the pier are a few noteworthy spots. First is the "Singing Beach Chairs", which is a public art project and a great spot for a photo shoot. There is also the original Hot Dog On A Stick location, just south of the pier along the Strand. There is also an outdoor recreational area known as "Swings, Rings, and Ropes" where you can watch people do everything from the tightrope to the balance beam.
2. Venice Beach
Venice Beach is one of the most iconic places in Los Angeles. The people watching alone is enough to warrant a visit. The boardwalk is part carnival and part shopping experience, as there are many vendors and street performers along the route. The beach also has "Public Art Walls" where artists paint murals. There is also a renowned skate park where you can see skateboarders perform the coolest tricks.
3. Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach is just south of LAX and features boutique shopping, restaurants, and a pier. It's also the Olympic training grounds for many volleyball players.
4. Hermosa Beach
Remember that scene in La La Land where Ryan Gosling's character dances along the pier? That's Hermosa Beach. It's another iconic beach town, known for its pier, beaches, and historic bars. You may have to walk your bike through this stretch of The Strand as it tends to be quite crowded.
5. Redondo Beach
The bike path ends in Torrance State Beach, just south of Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach has its own harbor called "King Harbor" as well as a boardwalk with many eateries, and an arcade.
What are your favorite places to photograph along The Strand? Comment below!
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.