Hullo hullo and welcome to the start of the California section of blog posts! Now there’s so many ways I could talk about this awesome state but I think one of the most enjoyable ways I spent my time was at the beach or many as it turned out! So I’m going to share some fun memories and blissful pictures of it all!
The first in my beach life in California was Manhattan Beach, I went here on my second weekend and it really cemented that I was actually in California. The hot sun, in January, the crisp ocean smell, soft sand and the most expensive houses ever. It was just like how the TV said it would be! Haha, Manhattan beach has the coolest, biggest and weirdest summer houses overlooking the beach and the saddest fact was that most of them were empty. Maybe it’s because I’m not rich (ugly crying) but it’s January, even though it’s supposed to be “cold” it’s around 25 degrees Celsius out, the view is breathtaking and the area before the beach is vibrant. You have your usual shops, the boutiques, delicious sweet and ice cream parlours, open patio restaurants and a really big library. So there is a mix of ages from students, families and older people all doing their thing – the older ranged people are normally found whizzing by on roller blades beside the beach! I came here twice and wished I had gone one more time, the pier in the middle of beach extends into the ocean so you can watch surfers playing on the waves as well as having a great view of the whole beach. So if you want to have a cool place to have a friend date, regular date or play with a good group people, definitely hit up Manhattan Beach!
Long Beach – So the reason why I was out in California was because I doing an internship for 4 months and our office was situated on Long Beach, no bad right? So it only makes sense I was on this beach a lot. On the weekends, the grassy part before the beach known as the Bluff hosts free yoga sessions starting at 11 am! If you’re into yoga, doing it outside in the sun with the sea breeze to help mediate your breathing is amazing and if you’re not into yoga it’s a great introduction into the practice. Or if you need more encouragement to do exercise a lot of people bring their adorable puppies and dogs to the park as well! So just bring a towel/mat, water, an open mind and you’ll have a great time. Why this became so special for me is that two of the other interns and myself made this our Sunday morning routine but after the hour long class, we’d head down to the beach to go swimming! Yes even in winter! Another first that just became my thing was just to go swimming fully clothed any time I was at a beach – which was frequently. It was either I didn’t care about getting soaked or I think it was because I was trying to shake off this need to be ‘ready’ to do something when I could just do it now as I am. Even though the ride back, I would be cold or my clothes were sticking uncomfortably to me it was oddly freeing like even though I didn’t appear to be ready I was still able to have a great time being nothing more that I was.
Another thing you’ll notice if you go to any of the beaches along the coast of California is that they will have volleyball nets! I played back in High School so I knew I had to play beach volleyball at least once and I did with most of the people in my office for like 3 hours. Haha, it was great fun and such a good team sport to play to build relationships with each other…it was just a shame this only happened like a week and a half before the internship was due to end! So top two activities to do when visiting a beach in California: go swimming fully clothed and play beach volleyball yes, excellent!
The good thing about the beaches in California is that you don’t really have to travel far to find them so the next beach on the list is Redondo Beach! I was staying in Harbor City, a small suburb of Los Angeles, and Redondo beach was only about a 15 mins drive away so in terms of location I should’ve been here a lot more that just once haha. However I only came here because one of the interns and my roommate was leaving early and I knew she liked the beach so it was special because it was our one last hurrah! Redondo beach is surrounded by residential areas – one can only imagine the prices of those apartments! So there isn’t much else to do apart from the beach but the views are no less amazing and if you’re someone who enjoys being near water then it’s a quieter beach to relax on for sure.
For a more lively scene, hit up Venice Beach just west of LA. The sand is white and the ocean is so blue, my friends and I came here to tan a few times. This beach is noticeably longer as it’s easier to see how far it stretches off into the horizon. One end you have all of your summer houses as standard and the other is Santa Monica. With it’s huge pier with amusement rides and ferris wheel it’s easy to spot so when you’re done tanning you can wander down – though it is a long walk so I’ll leave it to you to decide if you want to do that or try and find a parking spot closer by! As you walk towards Santa Monica the pathway is lined with tall palm trees that reminded me of the opening of the TV show 90210, the remake not the original and again it was another marker that I was actually walking through California! Once you’ve reached the pier the amount of people will have increased substantially, just before the pier there is the ‘Muscle Park’ with outdoor gym equipment, more volleyball courts and bars and restaurants. The throng of people bottlenecks at the pier as there are arcades, different concession stands, rides and gift shops, the pier also leads up onto the city of Santa Monica. So if you’re in that area make sure to check out Third Street Promenade for all the high end shops, restaurants and street performances! My friends made me try chicken and waffles whilst we were here and it was good but I can’t say I’d have it again – I like my waffles sweet like a true European!
Ok the last beach I’m going to mention, because I feel like I’m just repeating the word beach far too many times haha, is Malibu Beach. This is the next beach up from Santa Monica’s Venice Beach and with a coast line of 21 miles the beach has something for everyone. Whether you’re there for swimming, tanning, paddle boarding, wind surfing, canoeing or eating Malibu has got you covered. To me Malibu feels like the classic California beach scene in that it’s so picturesque with its palm trees, powder white sand and blue sea. However that sounds like all the beaches I’ve described so far haha! The surrounding area to each beach to me changes the feel of it and in Malibu the architecture of buildings are different – almost has a Spanish charm to them and it has tall green hills as its backdrop. Before you ask I did go swimming fully clothed here and I had a presentation to give at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) so I was determined not to get my hair wet. The waves however had a different plan for me haha, where we were on the beach the shallow water was full of shells and rocks – so not the best place to walk or play. However walk a bit further in you’ll find the soft sand and ditches… So here I am trying to not look like a complete mess before my presentation, I not only face strong and tall waves but repeatedly stumble into the ditches. Leaving me soaked head to toe, I was sad for all of 2 seconds but I just thought when in Cali right? Haha! (Aaaaaaaand I totally don’t have a picture but you can imagine rightt? If you want to see what it looks like give it Google – I’m sorry I’ve failed you!!)
So that concludes some of the beaches on offer if you go to California but it’s by no means comprehensive though with the amount of times I’ve said beach maybe it should be! Let me know in the comments below which beaches you’d like to visit, have been to or just to let me know how many times I’ve said beach haha.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll see you in my next post!