1. Avoid the Santa Monica Pier at all costs. It is cool, don’t get me wrong, but just driving a few blocks away on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) gets you away from most of the crowds. You still see the pier from your beach towel and the world is a happier place.
2. Bring your credit card. Most parking is 10 dollars for the day, so come prepared! We usually park in the lot for one of the Perry’s Cafes. They have beach rentals and delicious food when you don’t feel like packing your lunch and it is super convenient.
3. Bring cash. The familiar sounds of vendors yelling “mango, mango, maaaanngo” has become a beach staple. For 5 dollars you can get fresh slices of mango, watermelon and cucumbers. Adding chili powder and lemon juice to the bundle is a must as well. Just be sure you have your water bottle handy! Avoid buying the fresh churros on the beach. Just trust me on this one. Need a boogie board or an umbrella? The beach vendors have those too.
4. Bring your towel, water, sunscreen, book, hat, and any other essentials you need to just enjoy the day. Don’t forget, you paid 10 dollars for parking so you want to be there for as long as possible (just in case the killer views didn’t convince you already).
5. Look both ways before crossing the sidewalks. Those bikers and rollerbladers mean business and you don’t want to be the idiot that causes a collision.
6. Don’t go barefoot. It is a bit of a walk down the sand to the water and it gets hot on your bare feet! Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you forget.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and pictures! This is where I will be every Saturday or Sunday for the rest of the year. Go have a great weekend!