Did you see how I put a play on words? Oy vey.
Alright, so the running joke here in LA is that we live close to the beach but we rarely go visit it. I'm one of those people. However, I did go to both Venice and Santa Monica so I can definitely check them off the list!
Let's start with Santa Monica cause it is the cleaner and more active of the two beaches. One of my go-to shopping spots in LA is the Third Street Promenade. Since the remodel, it includes stores such as Louis Vuitton, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, CB2, 7 For Mankind, Kitson, and Barney's NY. It's an outdoor strip mall that includes several blocks where you can just walk around, eat at restaurants, or enjoy the street performer's acts. One of the many restaurants you should go to while you're there is Border Grill (by chef Susan Feniger; whom I met). It's a Mexican restaurant essentially with her twist to it. I thought the decor was very orange colored, but I didn't mind it since the food was good. I believe they have great brunch specials too. After lunch, might as well head to the beach. Now if you go towards the beach, you'll come across the semi-attached Santa Monica Pier. I like coming here for dates once in awhile cause it can be pretty romantic at night/sunset. And how cute would it be to play carnival games in Pacific Park with your significant other! For those who don't know, Pacific Park is a mini carnival area on the pier that includes a ferris wheel, arcade, mini roller coaster, kids rides, and carnival games.
Now if you go further down south, you'll hit the other sister beach, Venice. I would say the cutest thing about Venice Beach is Abbot Kinney (few blocks of cute shops and restaurants) and the Venice Canals. If Santa Monica Pier is the cute date spot at night, Venice Canals would be the day version. If you've seen the movie Valentine's Day with Ashton Kutcher, you'll be able to see what I'm talking about. The actual Venice Beach strip though is kind of dirty and full of homeless people, skaters, henna tattoo artists, weed shops, and tarot card readers. I'd suggest that you make a brief stop at Muscle Beach to see those big bodybuilders lift heavy weights and then just head back to Santa Monica.