Monday, June 22, 2015

Santa Monica: Where Route 66 ends

I am sure you have heard of ‘Route 66’! It is one of USA’s most iconic routes that has been made famous through an innumerable number of journeys, be it on motorcycle or in a car, van, camper, RV or a truck. Starting in Chicago, it weaves and winds itself through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, till it reaches the pacific coast at Santa Monica. While the route is exotic for sure, for the Route 66 travelers, the final destination is one of their trip’s highlights.

Gorgeous street stall at Santa Monica Pier, California
Santa Monica is the only beach destination on the iconic route and may be the perfect spot for a thorough celebration as it offers the sun, beach, sand and good weather after what has been a gruelling last ride through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. While. Santa Monica is heaven for Route 66 travelers, it is also a great beach getaway for all visitors to California and the Pacific coast.

Fishing, Fun, Beach, Eating, Route 66 and more at Santa Monica
Located at about 30 minutes west of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is a far cry from busy Los Angeles. It is laid back. It is blessed with lots of sunshine and great long beaches. Home to many Hollywood celebrities at Malibu, its northern extreme, Santa Monica offers a lot to the traveler looking for a quality beach holiday.

Historic Route 66 that ends at Santa Monica Pier
Most visitors start their Santa Monica trip with a visit to the Santa Monica pier, the final point on Route 66. Many restaurants, an adventure theme park, souvenir shops, budding painters and artisans and fishermen can be seen on this pier. On the northern stretch of the pier is the lovely expanse of sand called the Santa Monica Beach and to the south is the muscle beach that is popular with fitness aficionados.

Swinging about at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica
If you keep Santa Monica Pier as your bearings, Malibu lies to its north and is worth a visit if you want to see the beach getaways of Hollywood celebrities. To the south are the many surfing beaches. Venice beach and its boardwalk is one of the most popular beaches here and is known for its hipster look and feel and for its sensational nightlife. While you are at Venice Beach, don’t miss out the action at the true Muscle Beach with bulging biceps and insane bench presses.

Caricature artists at work at Santa Monica Pier
To the east lies Main street, which is famous for its various bars. Lying a couple of blocks from the Main street is Third Street Promenade, an up market shopping zone that is also a pedestrian only area. A good many restaurants and shopping malls adorn the promenade. The Third Street Promenade is packed with a great bustle all day long before it peaks during the night when the entire place is buzzing with lots of energy and lots of street performances.

Very impressive Wind Spinner designs on Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
What I like about Santa Monica is that it appeals to all kinds of travelers. The beach lovers can enjoy the surf, the sand, the sun and the drinks. The shoppers find a home at Third Street Promenade. Serious shoppers can make a trip to Beverly Hills. The nature lovers can head to Topanga State Park or the Santa Monica Mountains for some cycling or hiking. Bikers head to Venice beach for the bars and the nightlife. Surfers head to the Pacific Palisades and Malibu. Families stay at Santa Monica.

Visitors enjoying a leisurely stroll at Santa Monica Pier, California
In fact, I think one should make Santa Monica as a base while even exploring the Los Angeles metropolitan area. You might drive an additional 60 minutes while making a trip to LA, but I think the beach and the relaxed atmosphere offset the additional driving.

Route 66 ends here
Whether you are making a trip on the Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway or a trip to the Los Angeles area, you will find yourself a great beach holiday destination at Santa Monica. Totally love its diverse nature.

Trip Courtesy:
Discover America, the tourism board of the United States of America.

Trip Hashtags: #DiscoverAmerica #RoadTripUSA

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