A LAZY DAY EXPLORING VENICE BEACH AND SANTA MONICA
11.00 AM- BREAKFAST AT FLAKE
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why not make it a good one? Flake is a little street cafe that offers some pretty amazing breakfast items at a good price. Nothing is over $10 and everything is super fresh. Their breakfast bowls are to die for and you can opt for the basic bowl or build your own combo. In addition, we grabbed the bacon breakfast burrito with avocado-perfection. Wash it all down with one of their yummy coffees.
12.00 PM- EXPLORE
You don't come to Venice Beach without wandering around and seeing what it's all about. While the majority of Venice is beach and shops, you will find lots of little things to do that entertain you for a while. Start off heading east and checking out Muscle Beach, the infamous gym set on the sand, where Arnold Schwarzenegger used to bulk up. There are heaps of little beach front shops to purchase t shirts, sunglasses and all kinds of odds and ends.
12.30 PM - WATCH LOCAL SKATEBOARDING TALENT
If you haven't seen Lords of Dogtown then you probably have no idea how instrumental the Venice Beach area was to skateboarding history. World famous skate icons, Tony Alva, Stacey Peralta and Jay Adams were all part of the Zephyr skateboard team and frequently skated the area. The 70s saw a huge drought in LA which led to people emptying their swimming pools. The Zephyr skateboarders saw this new and dangerous challenge and paved the way for skateboard park designs today. Skateboarding is still happening in Venice, spend some time watching locals do their thing. You never know what you'll see at the Venice Beach Skateboard Park, everything from sun drenched veterans to ballsy youth.
1.00 PM- I LIKE LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH
It's not cheesy when it's Venice beach to Santa Monica Pier is it? One of the most fun beach walks you'll ever do, it takes as little as 35 minutes depending how fast you walk. We'd recommend taking an hour and a half at least, don't rush past the locals doing their thing. You will have hundreds of shops to explore, plenty of characters singing, dancing and just bumming around. Don't forget the Olympic gymnastic area on the way. You can't miss it, it's a big metal gym of rings and bars and other dangerous looking apparatuses. We witnessed a buff man in his 50s or 60s monkeying his way through the metal rings.
2.00 PM- SANTA MONICA PIER
There is a light at the end of the 2.5 mile walk and it's the Santa Monica Pier. Although it's super touristy, you can't help but get caught up in the atmosphere. If you walk to the end of the pier and you're lucky, you will see a seal begging for fish. Kind of a fake experience as a fisherman is feeding him fish for tips and it's probably ruining the seal's natural instincts however we've lived in Canada for over a year and never seen a damn seal so we were impressed.
2.30 PM- REVISIT YOUR CHILDHOOD
Santa Monica's iconic theme park is only small and a little pricey but overall it's a good time. Revert back to your childhood and enjoy the carnival vibe. Rides are not scary but you will get one hell of a view on the roller coaster and it goes slow enough to Instagram the whole thing.
3.30 PM- SEE WHAT SANTA MONICA IS ALL ABOUT
There is more to Santa Monica than the pier and the theme park. If you head towards Santa Monica BLVD you'll be greeted by a stack of shops sporting the latest fashions. A great place to head if you want to go shopping in one location.
4.00 PM- TAKE A BREAK
After a fairly long and adventurous day exploring Venice and Santa Monica you'll be in the market for a much needed drink. Don't just go to any bar, head to a roof top and enjoy some views with your cocktail. Bungalow at The Fairmont or Loews are good options for sipping drinks and sunshine, stay long enough and see the sun set for picture perfect views.