Exploring Beaches in LA
I landed at LAX with a couple hours to spare before checking in to my Airbnb. My plan was to visit the Santa Monica Pier, buy a hotdog at Japadog,a Japanese-style hot dog stand on the pier, and walk around the beach for the afternoon. Unfortunately, things definitely did not go as planned, but I still had a chance to see some of the beach.
Santa Monica Pier is known for this restaurant Bubba Gump, a seafood and shrimp spot with some of the best crab on the coast. To the right is the north entrance to the pier, which leads you up to the dock filled with food, amusement park-style rides, and a great view of the beach.
It was at this moment that I realized I was a) very hungry and b) running out of phone battery. I still needed my phone in order to navigate to the Airbnb in Koreatown, so I had to quickly find food and look for an outlet or charging station. And of course, there were no outlets.
Japadog only takes cash, which was the biggest blow to my mood, but I settled on Pier Burger, which was actually a quite good burger. I was beginning to stress about the phone a bit, so I left the beach and pier in search of a car charger. Unfortunately, due to my frustrations, my experience at Santa Monica beach was less than desirable, but life happens, things don’t always work out the way you plan, and it’s best not to get discouraged when things don’t work out.
My brother James goes to school in San Diego, so he took a train up to LA to meet up with me and visit Venice Beach to watch the sun go down. The first thing that I noticed about Venice Beach was that it was extremely windy, serving up probably the most wind I have ever experienced in my life. When you look across the beach, you can see a wave of sand gliding across the surface, and when you turn around, your footsteps slowly fade away in the wind.
One of my favorite things about California in general is the tall, slim palm trees that add character to every scene. When viewed from afar, they give a perfect silhouette to the landscape, and up close they move together in the wind in an outstanding and somewhat menacing ensemble.
Normally, I’m not a beach person. This is probably due to the fact that I have very limited experience with beaches, having only visited Galveston beach which is a crowded, murky-watered place that doesn’t please me much. Venice Beach showed me the beauty of a clear, vast, seemingly endless ocean, which is a much more captivating experience.
My brother & I explored Venice for an hour or two before the sun was due to set, finding street art gems and a small coffee shop to rest at for a while. For some reason, none of the restaurants or shops have public restrooms, so we were forced to return to the beach to use the outhouses.
The sun sets in Venice Beach around 4:40 PM, so around 4 we made our way to a pier, getting up close and personal with some seagulls and hefty waves.
I love the way the sun touches the water, adding that warm glow to its surface. The view was mesmerizing, and despite the wind and the rapidly dropping temperatures, it was a great experience.
As the sun set, some fishermen began playing music on the pier and preparing their rods for their nightly catch. James & I began to feel too cold (bless our Texan souls) to stay any longer and headed back for the car.
Venice Beach restored my faith in the natural beauty and tranquility of beaches, and I highly recommend visiting if you plan to come to LA.