Santa Monica beaches are unforgettable.
We began visiting Santa Monica when we moved to a neighboring Los Angeles city. Our frequent visits found us exploring all 3.5 miles of glistening beaches by day, and savoring the city's eclectic restaurants and beach hotels by night.
Then we moved here! What drew us again and again is still what defines Santa Monica: the beaches.
Santa Monica activities include more than just laying in the hot sun with a refreshing drink and devouring fish tacos, however.
Though that is a lovely place to start and one of my favorite ways to spend the day. Thankfully you can also start your day with a spin - and then indulge in the fabulous fish tacos, guilt free.
Besides lounging on Santa Monica State beach, there is of course that other famous attraction you won't want to miss - the iconic Santa Monica Pier and ferris wheel. And the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
You can also get the blood flowing with a beach bike ride south to Venice beach, swimming, surfing, parasailing, paddle surfing, playing basketball or tennis ... the list goes on and on.
There's even the original Muscle Beach (the Muscle Beach to the south in Venice Beach) came after our city's original, outdoor, gymnastics-based equipment workout area. In short: There are plenty of activities to choose from that will keep even the most active of bodies busy.
You've probably heard about the scary prices hotels in Santa Monica charge. If you're on a limited budget, you may feel like you'll be left out in the cold (or, instead, the warmth) in Santa Monica.
While Santa Monica is famous for its expensive beach hotels with ocean view rooms, the truth is that there are cheap hotels to be found along Santa Monica beaches too - and some are even steps from the sand. Many have ocean view rooms as well.
Nightlife here is more laidback than the scene you'll find in downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood or West Hollywood (WeHo). And frankly, we like it that way.
We keep it real here (for the most part), and our nightlife reflects that. Sure, you'll still have to queue-up occasionally - after all, is there anywhere worth going to that isn't going to attract a good crowd?
Whether you're looking for a rooftop bar, live music, a dance club, or just a cool place to hang out and grab a drink - nightlife in Santa Monica delivers.
Our very first impression, the beaches, is still what defines our city. Here is just one example...