Monday, April 9, 2018

Where to Be Merry: Biking @ The Santa Monica Beach / Venice Beach (The Marvin Braude Bike Trail / The Strand)

The Merriment: 22 miles of paved path along the Pacific Ocean, stretching from the Pacific Palisades to the north and Torrance to the south

The Location: The Beach

The Vibes: Liberating, relaxing, invigorating

Good for: Alone, dates, groups (small and large)

When-To-Go: Morning to evening

The $$ Factor: Beach cruiser rentals average about $12 - $15 per hour

The 4-1-1:
Be sure to pack snacks and lots of water, and to wear layers and comfy shoes. Also ask for a beach cruiser with a basket

Parking Situation: Parking by the beach can be pretty gruesome and expensive, but every now and then, you can luck out and find free street parking — just be sure to read the signs!

I’ll Be Back…: To ride into the sunset on a sunny, spring Saturday afternoon!

I don't know about you, but I’m beyond excited for some warm weather to finally peek through all of these clouds and cold fronts!

In fact, the rising temps got me thinking about different outdoor activities to once again enjoy, such as pedal boating in Echo Park and exercising at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (perfect way to get that body ready for the summer!), and, also one of my favorite L.A. activities to do: bike riding at the beach!

While I may have grown up here, it took me befriending non-locals for me to first venture into biking on the beach. But once I started, I simply can’t stop. It’s so much fun!

The official name of the bike path that stretches up and down L.A.’s coast is the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, or The Strand, and it has a 22-mile long bike lane that extends from Torrance in the south to the Pacific Palisades in the north.

I most certainly haven't biked the entire route. Instead, I’ve typically parked off Washington Blvd. and rented a bike from one of the handful of nearby bike rental shops. I can’t say that I’ve found the perfect place for bike rentals — that one special store that has bikes in pristine condition and super affordable prices — but here’s a quick Yelp search of shops within the area. I’ve typically rented a beach cruiser and made sure that it has a basket to carry my things and a lock in case I want to wander off for a bit, which, always happens.

Beginning at Venice, you can either go left on the bike path, which will take you down towards Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey, where you can actually see planes and massive jumbo jets take off from the nearby LAX airport, pictured below.

That’s usually a quieter, less crowded strip of beach than taking a turn to the right if you're at Washington Blvd. and heading north through Venice and up towards Santa Monica. This part of the path is definitely livelier and quite exhilarating, as it’s jam packed with locals and tourists, all vying to enjoy all that the beach has to offer. Personally, I like taking this route because there are so many different landmarks to see, including Muscle Beach, the famous Venice boardwalk and the Venice Skate Park, pictured below. It’s here that I love to park my bike and watch talented skaters of all ages soar into the air on their boards. 

Heading even more north into Santa Monica, there’s also the Original Muscle Beach, pictured below, with free gymnastics exercise equipment that’s always open to the public to use. You can test your might climbing up ropes, balancing on beams and swinging on gymnastic rings.

And just a few steps north of the Original Muscle Beach lays the Santa Monica Pier, pictured below, which you can actually ride under. 

After leaving the pier and continuing north, the beach seems to widen and become less populated, and you can cruise up towards Will Rogers State Beach. Vast stretches of glistening golden sand sparkle underneath the bright sun, as the enormous Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean extend ahead for as far as the eye can see. 

Aside from all of the breathtaking ocean views to take in, what I love about bike riding on the beach is that you can go at your own pace. Quicken the tempo for a nice workout or opt for a slow and steady cruising speed. Regardless of how fast or slow you go, the lovely ocean breeze will be there to cool you off as well.

So the next time you’re looking for an outdoor adventure that won’t break the bank and gets your heart rate going a bit, head on over to the Marvin Braude Bike Trail at the beach.

I’ll see you there soon!

For more information: 



  1. I need to go to California. This looks like a blast.

  2. Nice! I'll be back on your blog when I visit LA this summer!

  3. LA is so amazing! I’m in SC and we don’t ever see or experience anything this beautiful. I’m planning to take a trip to LA with my significant other once he decides to find me lol

  4. I love LA! I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m out there!

  5. Pleasant to peruse your article! I am anticipating sharing your enterprises and encounters. Best Mountain Bikes Under 500