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One of the best (and eco-friendliest) ways to see the beaches of Los Angeles is to rent a bike. The public bike path stretches for 32 miles all the way from the Pacific Palisades down to Redondo Beach, and cuts through sandy beach the whole time. Some excellent hotel options for staying along the path are the Le Merigot, Casa Del Mar, and Shutters On The Beach hotels.
One great option is to start your journey in Santa Monica and end at Hermosa Beach Pier, making stops in Venice, Marina del Rey, and Manhattan Beach along the way. It’s an easy flat ride, surprisingly relaxing, and – best of all – you don’t need to be in tip top shape to do it! You can always turn around if it’s too taxing, but even a 10 minute ride is enough to give you an excellent preview of the L.A. coastline.
Santa Monica Pier has many bike rentals, and you can also find a bike rental about every half mile in Santa Monica at the end of the public parking lots (where the cement meets the sand). Prep for your ride with a lemonade from Hot Dog on a Stick, right in front of Loews Beach Hotel. Then head south (to the left when facing the water) towards Venice Beach.
In Venice, walk your bike and check out famous Muscle Beach. Continue on to see the various performers and maybe get your palm read. Have a bite to eat atop Hotel Erwin and take in the magnificent Venice Beach views. Next bike over to see the Venice Canals, which aren’t accessible by care so definitely not a sight not to be missed while on bicycles. Then head toward Marina del Rey to watch all the beautiful boats coming and going, a definite highlight of any vacation.
If you still have of energy (don’t forget, there’s a ride back, too!), continue on toward Hermosa Beach Pier, one of the best people watching beach towns in Southern California and the very definition of a beach city. Grab a cooling (non-alcoholic) beverage and some quick snacks at Hennessey’s Tavern before heading back north.
– Lesley Bracker
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