West Coast Chronicles: Santa Monica Beach

The Philippines has some of the best beaches in the world so I’ve never really had the urge to look for one abroad.  And I definitely didn’t expect that the first beach that I’d actually step onto outside the country would be in the United States!  Here’s my first beach experience outside the Philippines.

Santa Monica

This is part of a series

Going to the beach is the last thing on my mind when going abroad.  But since it was sweltering hot when I was in California, I figured it wasn’t a bad idea.  Coincidentally, it was Labor Day when we went to the beaches of Santa Monica so it was naturally crowded.

Labor Day is considered to be the last day of summer and is the last day before school resumes so this is expected

The beaches of Santa Monica is very, very broad.  You can run from parking to the sea and it will take you a few minutes to get there.  The beaches are clear of any permanent structures except for the lifeguard station so there’s room for a lot of beachgoers.

A California gull.  You see a lot of them here, often just a few steps away from people.
A lifeguard station on the beach.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something this big in any of our local beaches.

What I’m impressed with Santa Monica is how empowered their lifeguards were.  That day there were big waves and currents that pull swimmers out to the sea.  You can see a lot of helicopters circling around the beach watching over the swimmers aside from those on the beach.  Quite impressive as I’ve never seen anything like it before.

There are of course a lot of very nice hotels fronting the beach
Selfie! 😀 (Haggard look, I know, I have yet recovered from my jetlag)

The temperature was probably in the triple digits (Fahrenheit) that day (high 30s Celsius) so it was a perfect day to go to the beach.  But since we’re no longer in the tropics, the water is cold—at least for my tropical skin.  As much as I wanted to take a dip, I settled to just having my feet wet as it felt like iced water for me.  The people around me seemed unfazed though.

Looks like they’re also having a party

Food selection in the few outlets that are near the beach aren’t that diverse but they do have some interesting items like this salad that I got to try.

2015-09-07 18.47.31
One of the most colorful and best salads I’ve ever tried!

Sunset over Santa Monica is pretty especially with the palm trees and the pier on the horizon accentuating the background.

Sunset at Santa Monica
Santa Monica Pier with the Ferris Wheel and roller coaster of Pacific Park

Santa Monica Pier is a pretty interesting place to visit.  For one, it’s the only place I’ve been where the parking floor is made of wood and the only pier I’ve seen so far with an amusement park.  Fishing is allowed at the pier and there are some pretty interesting items you can buy here.

Let’s take a closer look!
Looking back at the beach as the sun slowly sets
One of the street artists on the pier making some custom souvenirs

Santa Monica is a great example for us in the Philippines on how a public beach should be managed.  Here are the things that I observed that I really like:

  • Clear, wide, obstruction-free, and clutter-free beach
  • Equipped lifeguards
  • Free decent public restrooms
  • Free public showers
  • Dedicated areas for businesses
  • Ample parking

But as much as I admired and enjoyed your beauty, Santa Monica, your waters are too cold for me!  Still, thank you for my golden tan! 😀

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West Coast Chronicles:


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