After my company transferred me to California’s Inland Empire, I purchased a bicycle as a way to commute to work. Besides saving me money on car payments, insurance and gas, I get an extra work out each day. An added bonus is that I can also use my bicycle to explore other areas of southern California.
My first outing was to the beach at Santa Monica. I began my trip by boarding the Metrolink with my bicycle to Los Angeles. At Union Station, located in Downtown LA I transferred to the subway at 7th street and boarded the lightrail to Santa Monica. The lightrail ends about a block from the beach. As you can imagine, Santa Monica is busy during summertime and there are lanes dedicated just for bicycles down to the pier and Palisades Park.
I chose to explore Palisades Park first before riding down to the beach itself. The park sits atop a bluff overlooking the beach area.
Benches, palm trees line long paths throughout the park. A fence runs along the edge of the bluff where you can lookout over the beach and boardwalk as well as the Santa Monica pier.
Taco trucks lined the street that runs along side the park. People strolled along enjoying the view, getting a bite to eat and photographing the view. Having a bicycle allowed me to explore more of the park than I would have been able to do on foot, leaving me with enough energy to explore the beach area.
The path in Palisades Park leads to the Santa Monica pier. There is a ramp down to the pier for pedestrians and bicycles. Souvenir shops, restaurants and an amusement park can be found on the pier. A ramp leads down to the boardwalk on the beach. Once on the boardwalk I rode down to a cafe on the beach where I stopped for a drink. Many people travel the beach by bicycle allowing one to really expierience the entire beach.
People leave their bicycles at designated areas and head for the water on foot through the sand, stop and eat at one of the many cafes, rent a surf board to ride the waves or walk with their family to enjoy the scenery.
Santa Monica by bicycle is the only way to go. By taking the train with my bicycle I avoided LA’s traffic jams and was able to see more of Santa Monica than I would have been able to on foot. I got some great exercise in without it feeling like exercise. And I spent time at one of my favorite places, the beach.