Los Angeles in Four Days, Part II - Venice Beach and Santa Monica

On our second day, we caught the free USA Hostels Hollywood shuttle to Venice Beach and then walked along the shore all the way to Santa Monica. We easily managed to spend the whole day just walking around - we didn't go back to our hostel until after sunset! While the distance between the two beaches is a mere 5 km, they are very different from each other - Venice Beach has a bohemian vibe and also many homeless people and drug addicts while Santa Monica is more family-friendly with its pier full of fun activities.

Venice Beach has a lot of street art, street vendors and skaters. The Boardwalk is bustling with quirky little coffee shops and boutiques, buskers and people of all kinds. The general vibe is very artsy, creative and free-spirited, and like in Hollywood, the smell of marijuana is lingering in the air everywhere. The place is colourful, thanks to the many murals and graffitis everywhere, including on palm tree trunks. See for yourself!

Venice Beach is also very LGBTQ+ friendly as well as the location of Venice Pride every June. To celebrate Pride 2017, one of the pale blue lifeguard towers was actually painted in the colours of the rainbow flag and named Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower. It was originally supposed to stay only until September 2017, but a petition was started to maintain it and, as a result, the lifeguard tower remains rainbow-coloured. It is so important to increase and promote LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion through random little things like this! We obviously had the best photo shoot with the tower...


The Pacific Ocean is obviously pretty gorgeous, too, and we fell in love with these tiny little birds we only managed to figure out the name for in Swedish (strandpipare!) that kept running towards the water when the wave withdrew, and then escaped as a group when it returned. So adorable!

Eventually we arrived in Santa Monica, hungry and exhausted. Walking on the beach without shoes is surprisingly good exercise! We had a couple of things in mind that we wanted to do - eating was obviously one of them (Bubba Gump!), but before that we wanted to see the End of Route 66 sign on the Santa Monica Pier. After all, we saw the Beginning of Route 66 sign in Chicago, too, so this was a must. The sign is really easy to spot - just follow all the people swarming around a specific pole. I'm so happy we managed to see both signs during our time in the US - you're welcome to call me a nerd, I won't mind!

Found it!

"Life is like a box of chocolates..."

It was a really good day - one of the best on this trip, in fact! Fun times, fresh air, LGBTQ+ sights, good food, the ocean breeze...what more could you ask for? These days, it's really easy to get to and from Santa Monica as well - just catch the Expo Line light-rail that runs between Downtown LA and Santa Monica. 

The next post will be all about Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, so stay tuned for that! In the meanwhile, you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram!