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Old January 13th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #24
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF bay area
Posts: 62
Talking Re: Skating at Venice Beach

Venice Beach has always been one of my favorite places on Earch to skate, or to bike-ride, or to just be. Mild weather, good pavement, long trails, and a smooth dance circle, just to name a few. Lots of other entertaining distractions along the way just add to the fun. The new, state-of-the-art skateboard park (across the bike-path from the dance circle, near Windward Plaza), is a must-see. And a ton of funky little clothing and accessory shops to entice you to part with your money. (Lots of really cute beachwear, too). More pizza/hamburger/smoothie/etc. shops than you can count. There is always some sort of free entertainment by street performers. I enjoy grabbing a slice of pizza, parking myself where I can watch people, and trying to guess which people are the Calif. natives, and which are midwestern tourists out stretching their legs on their very first visit to Cali. Usually the slightly confused/surprised/shocked/intrigued looks on their faces give them away as tourists. Crossing the pedestrian bridge over PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and climbing the steps to the top of the cliff takes you within a short walk (or skate) to more upscale shopping at Santa Monica's 2nd St. mall area. More good food there, as well. A walk out onto the wooden Santa Monica Pier allows you to look back at the shoreline and get more of a surfer's-eye view. There's a giant ferris wheel to ride, and also an old, restored, INDOOR carousel that's a fun, inexpensive ride (but they'll make you take your skates off, first). Although maybe not "nice" by 5-star-hotel standards, it's still one of my favorite places to be. It's true California, the way it's depicted on TV and in movies (because so many of them are filmed right there!) Mid-winter, when much of the country is shovelling snow, the Calif. coast is often blessed with mild, sunny weather, without the summer fog. Venice may not be everyone's cup of tea, but is sure is mine - I never go to Southern Calif. without my skates, and without visiting Venice Beach.
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