My current hometown is Los Angeles, California. LA is all about who you know, what you wear, what you drive, and where you eat. It is about being at those hip and trendy places: the places to see and be seen. Exclusivity is definitely a luxury that not everybody can afford, but still everybody strives for it.
LA is pure entertainment. There is always something exciting and fun to do. There is never a dull moment in this city. I have been living here for more than five years, and I still discover new restaurants, new bars, new people, and new activities. It is the never-ending adventure. My friends and I have hundreds of stories, and they are never the same. When we go out we always expect the unexpected.
Los Angeles is so much more than Universal Studios, Disneyland, or the Kodak Theater. You will be surprised of how many hidden gems you will find just by talking to the locals: Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, Main Street in Santa Monica, and the Farmer’s Market in Beverly Hills, just to name a few.
But, one of my favorite things to do in this city is rollerblading from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. It is relaxing, liberating and unbelievably fun!! (Plus it is good exercise! We are talking about more than six miles total). So, come and join me on this ride.
First, do not start your journey at the Santa Monica pier. Try to start from further north. If you do this you will skip all the tourists and truly see the locals enjoying a beautiful sunny day: playing music, having a picnic, sunbathing, running, doing yoga, taking their dogs for a walk, etc…. There even is a rose garden!
Now, it’s time to come down the hill and get in the biking/rollerblading track. There are several ways of doing this: at the pier or by taking some of the very steep stairs. My personal choice: the stairs! Once you are down you will be able to find different places where they rent rollerblades or different styles of bikes (single and doubles). Choose your transportation method wisely. And off we go!
Another suggestion: try not to use your iPod. Pay attention to your surrounding: cute guys playing volleyball, kids playing the sand, families enjoying their weekend at the beach, etc.
When you cross the border of Santa Monica into Venice Beach, you will notice immediately. These two cities are so different, and each has their own personality. Venice Beach is an ongoing party. It is very colorful and very busy. Santa Monica is snobbier. In Venice Beach you will find kids practicing their skateboard skills, while others play basketball. In Santa Monica, you will find a pretty girl tanning at a private club.
Also, while in Venice, you might want to get some souvenirs. You will be able to find the traditional keychains, t-shirts and sweatshirts, but you can also be more original and buy unique art from local artists.
At the end of the bike road you will find paradise!! This street is called Washington Boulevard, and you will find many restaurants/bars where you can just chill and recharge with a cold beer and some fish and chips, or perhaps you would like to get a margarita and a burger. My personal recommendation: The Terrace. They have amazing food and drinks. Try to have brunch there: coffee, mimosas, and gourmet omelettes. Simply delicious!
Now is time to go back! Check out all the crazy houses on your right. Each of them is different, and some of them are for rent over the summer.
This time you know the way, so perhaps you want to stop and get some pictures at some of the landmarks: the V of Venice Beach, the Ferris Wheel in Santa Monica, the graffiti art, etc.
Also, every Saturday and Sunday at 5pm Venice has their famous Drum Circle. They start gathering at around 3pm. Everyone that wants to play and has a drum is welcome to play it and join the circle; and, everyone else is welcome to stop by, dance and have a good time.
If by the end of your rollerblading trip you are hungry and thirsty (which you probably will be if you are anything like me), your choices of a wonderful and delicious dinner are endless. Third Street Promenade is right there, and it has many options for you to finish your day with style. Next time you are in LA, try this fun adventure!! And please do not forget to share your pics and story with me. I would love to hear everything about it!