Stan and Ann in the Fifth Wheel travel blog

The Famous Pier

Lots of People

Muscle Beach

Crowded Beach

Flying Lessons on the Pier

Today we decided to check out Santa Monica. After driving around we found a parking lot fairly close to the pier. Parking was $1 per hour but was limited to 2 hrs. Max. This seemed better than the $12 all day parking since we wouldn't be on the pier that long. This lot was just under a mile from the pier with beach stretching as far as you could see. It was a nice day to walk enjoying the sights and sounds of a crowded holiday beach.

Santa Monica Pier is different from the other piers we have visited so far in that it has an amusement park on the pier. It hosts several rides such as a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, name a few. It also has many more shops and restaurants. Despite this, we both decided we liked San Clemente and Huntington Beach much more than Santa Monica. When our hour was up we hoofed it back to our truck and moved into town for the Promenade. This is really what had attracted us to Santa Monica.

There are several parking garages surrounding the promenade. As we drove around we found most were full. When we finally found one open it had 14 spaces left according to the digital sign out front. We eased our large pick-up into the small 6'5" clearance and breathed a sigh of relief when we passed under the bar. Once we were parked and down on ground level we walked thru a hallway and found ourselves in the middle of the promenade . This is an area downtown where the city has blocked off about 5 blocks of one street and made it pedestrians only. To keep traffic flowing the cross streets have traffic lights that allow pedestrians to cross safely. There are all kinds of stores and restaurants as well as 2 movie theaters. There is an Apple store, Old Navy, J. Crew, Brookstone, Barnes and Noble...a wide variety of stores. In the middle are kiosks selling all kinds of things. A few street musicians entertained the crowd as we walked. We had a grand time people watching and window shopping.

We stopped at the Cabo Cantina for dinner and drinks and realized quickly it was a popular 20-something bar. But the food was good although there wasn't much in the way of entrees. We had our parking ticket validated so parking was only $2.50 for 4 hours. Very reasonable. It was a fun day.

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