Hit the Beach
Is it just me or is this summer flying by? I can’t believe August is already here. While Southern California weather stays warm well after Labor Day weekend, now is the time of year when days are the longest and I always try to soak in as much time by the ocean as possible. Today we are talking about Santa Monica Beach. Our go-to spot for quick and easy parking is Lot 4 South (2030 Ocean Ave). One of the great things about parking here is there is both short-term and long-term parking available and I’ve never seen it full. But just to be sure before you head out, Smgov.net links to real-time parking availability and rates for all of the city parking in Santa Monica. Say what? Genius. Another thing about parking here is that is puts you right next to Perry’s Cafe. We always rent beach cruisers from Perry’s to take a leisurely ride North just past the Santa Monica Pier and then back. BUT, whenever I am able to convince everyone to make it a full day of bike riding, we start at the same point but take the bike path South all the way down to Manhattan Beach. There are endless places to stop and have lunch in Manhattan Beach before making the trek back. This trip is 13 miles each way. I’m not going to lie, if it’s a day with strong head winds you are in for quite a workout! But it’s such a great experience to ride through Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey and Manhattan Beach. It’s definitely worth it to try at least once.
On the other end of the spectrum, Perry’s Cafe also has Beach Butler service! We have lived here for almost 10 years and I don’t know how I only became aware of this recently. While I adore spending a day on the actual beach, schlepping all of the beach equipment from the car to the parking lot and then across what feels like miles of burning hot sand and then back again when it’s time to go home sometimes makes me want to skip it altogether. The struggle is real. 😉 We first tried this last Labor Day and it was amazing! Make reservations ahead of time, let them know what time you plan to arrive and your Butler will have your beach chairs, tables, umbrella & wind protection all set up and ready to go. They leave you with a walkie-talkie and a cooler full of bottled water. When you are ready to order lunch or need anything at all, you just radio it in. $50 for two people without lunch; $100 for two people including lunch. There’s 8 Perry’s locations (5 in Santa Monica and 2 in Venice) but only 3 of them offer the Beach Butler service. Check them out at perryscafe.com and let me know in the comments if you’ve tried the bike ride to Manhattan Beach or the Beach Butler service. I’d love to hear.