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Las Tunas State Beach, the southernmost beach in Malibu, is far less populated and much more easily accessible than most of its neighbors. This spot is more popular with fishermen and scuba divers, although swimmers and surfers seeking some private space may flock here as well. The drawbacks are the close proximity to the road, making it rather noisy and the lack of amenities. There are restrooms and lifeguards do patrol the beach, but primarily in summer, so call in advance if that is a concern. Parking is on the street. Call the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors for details.
Covering an expanse of 17 miles of coastline, Will Rogers State Beach is a good all-around beach. It stretches from the star-studded Pacific Palisades all the way into Malibu. Along with lifeguards and the usual amenities, the beach features good conditions for surfing and swimming, as well as volleyball courts and a playground. Lush picnic areas are provided within walking distance. Parking is chargeable per vehicle and cash is the only payment accepted.
From fun outdoor activities to historic architecture, Will Rogers State Historical Park has it all. In 1944, actor Will Rogers' family donated his 31 room house and the 186-acre surrounding grounds so that it could become a state historic park. Take a tour of the ranch, watch a polo game, go on a horseback ride, or take a two mile scenic hike. This is a rare chance to see how a star of the Silver Screen lived.
Santa Monica State Beach is the closest beach to the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. As one can expect, it is well equipped with the usual amenities plus volleyball courts, picnic tables and good swimming and surfing conditions. In addition to attracting the typical beach combing crowd, this spot seems to be a magnet for special events, most notably a semi-annual performance run by the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. Just be advised that summer crowds—especially on weekends, can be monstrous.
Camera Obscura, the term is a scientific mechanism. On your trip to Los Angeles visit this 108 year-old edifice in Senior Recreation Center which introduces you to this fascinating device. Standing in the dark rooms of this building, it is truly delightful to watch the outside scenery projected on a four foot disc. Don't miss out on this one, as this is one of the very few devices that are still running in the world!
Third Street Promenade is a dazzling shopping destination with clothing boutiques, bars, bookstores, restaurants, movie theaters and more! The upscale chains have begun dominating the street, but there are still many local boutiques and specialty stores. As you walk along the street take the time to enjoy the street performers who create a fun atmosphere. Make sure to visit during the weekly farmer's market for tasty fresh food.
Palisades Park is a great place for a picnic overlooking the ocean, or to watch the sunset with a loved one. There are all kinds of people here, from young teenagers to elderly couples to homeless people. Everybody likes to relax under the tall palm trees. Within the park are Santa Monica Visitors Information Center and Camera Obscura, where images are projected on a wall in the Senior Recreation Center.
This mini-amusement park provides the centerpiece of the Santa Monica Pier. The park itself comprises a large ferris wheel, a dragon swing, a small roller coaster, an action ride theater and a number of other rides geared towards children. Take a refreshing ride on the carousel, ride the giant wheel or enjoy a nice meal at the food arena, either way, you're sure to enjoy yourselves! A host of free shows can also be seen at Pacific Park, including concerts s, karaoke, animal shows and more. Built in 1988 after a storm destroyed the end of the pier, the park has been the center of pier activity ever since. It is also an ideal venue for your private events and parties. Check website for more details.