Stretching along Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue from Colorado Avenue to San Vicente Boulevard, this outdoor, cliff-edge promenade overlooking the Pacific Ocean is one of Santa Monica’s star attractions. A meander of paved paths, rose gardens, fenced overlooks and grassy expanses, this is a great spot for Westside people watching.
Home to a senior center, you’ll find lots of adorable elderly folk playing shuffleboard and walking tiny dogs, but this is also Ground Zero for outdoor yoga classes, vigorous trainer sessions and well-heeled trophy wives taking in the sea air. You’re bound to see artists behind their canvasses, capturing scenes of the nearby Santa Monica Pier and yawning ocean views.
Just a short lawn away from the bridge to the Santa Monica Pier, be sure to stop into the Visitors Center, which houses Santa Monica’s only Camera Obscura. There are picnic tables here, but as they tend to be magnets for (non-threatening) homeless people and runaway teenagers, you might be better off taking your lunch down to the beach itself.