Santa Monica State Beach Park. Three miles of beautiful beach along the Pacific coast in Southern California. This shot of the beach is from the popular Santa Monica Pier looking out towards the north.
Besides the pier, you’ll find lot’s of people walking, rollerblading and biking on the bike paths, beach volleyball games breaking out, lot’s of surf boards, great food stands along the sand and people just hanging out taking in the cool ocean breeze and testing out the cold ocean waters. Maybe you’ll get lucky and see the filming of a movie at this scenic destination.
Along the beach to the north you can head off on the coastline hugging Pacific Coast Highway (California State Route 1) towards Malibu and beyond. The beach and pier marks the western terminus of the historic Route 66. The beach is also the original location of Muscle Beach which extends south of the pier to nearby Venice Beach.
Have your camera out and ready as there are great shots to be had wherever you look at this must stop in Southern California. Do you have a favorite beach and/or coastline destination in Southern California?
While in Chicago recently I was standing at the corner of E. Jackson Blvd. and S. Michigan Ave. taking pictures of the Art Institute of Chicago, which I was waiting for to open, from across the street. Someone came up to me and asked if I knew of U.S. Route 66. Having just added the famous and historical route to my travel bucket list, to drive the length of, they peaked my interest.
They then said you might want to take a picture of that. I turned around to what they were pointing to and this is what I saw…
…the eastern end of the historical U.S. Route 66, also known as the Mother Road. If that’s not a travel sign (literally too of course) I don’t know what is. I was excited to go to the Art Institute and just like that, the traveler in me was saying get in the car and start driving the length of this route.
I didn’t on that day. After taking pictures of the sign I went on to the Art Institute which had opened by now and had an amazing experience. They have a great collection and lots of famous pieces.
Thinking still about U.S. Route 66 later that day, I realized just last year I was at the western end of the route when I was in Santa Monica, California and at the well-known Santa Monica Pier. I wish it would have dawn on me at the time the signage that was there too.
In your travels, what have you run into by accident that changed your travel thoughts right on the spot? Just adding the route to my travel bucket list and then running into this sign, I’m thinking hitting the open road on the historical U.S. Route 66 might just be in the cards. A travel sign indeed.