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An early morning walk is invigorating. have in common – they’re sure to provide
A sunset stroll is relaxing and romantic. an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Funny how the same exercise can produce Take a look at our accompanying map for
two such different feelings! each location. One could begin in Santa
No matter where you may be staying while Monica and almost walk all the way south
visiting Southern California, there are plenty to San Diego along the sand, with the
of places to walk. Most would agree that the exception of a few rocky impediments or
most scenic spots are along the beach. The air private properties along the way.
is fresh and clean. The tangy sea salt aroma
permeates your surroundings. The juxtaposi- Santa Monica
tion of crashing ocean waves with gently The beach in Santa Monica stretches for
receding waters instantly brings about a feel- several miles. Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
ing of powerful tranquility. It’s mesmerizing as runs right alongside the sand most of the
you walk, jog or just gaze at the water. way. Although it doesn’t have a boardwalk,
Walkers can choose the sand (either soft you can certainly enjoy a walk on the sand.
or hard pack at the water’s edge) or the There are quite a few public parking lots,
boardwalk. Reward yourself afterwards and but most of the time street parking can be
choose a place to eat, grab a coffee, or enjoy found for free. Take the 10 Freeway west to
a healthy snack or smoothie. its end at PCH. You’ll drive through a tun-
Traveling from north to south, here are a nel and come out the other end to a spectac-
few suggestions along the SoCal coast we ular coastline view. Drive as far as you
think you’ll enjoy. Some are right on the choose, but immediately after you exit the
beach, some are along a boardwalk, and tunnel, you’ll see the Santa Monica Pier on
some are on the pier. One thing they all your left. It’s a terrific spot for people
12 W E L C O M E T O S O U T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A
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watching, places to eat, arcade games, and
its famous merry-go-round.
Just south of Santa Monica is one of the is 22 miles long and travels through popu-
most well-known beaches in SoCal. Venice lar Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches. Bike
Beach is famous for its body builders work- lanes are usually divided into northbound
ing out on the beach, including our famous and southbound lanes by a painted broken
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was line. The bike lane is a one-of-akind cycling
seen there regularly when he first came to highway that accommodates cyclists, as
the United States. It was also the backdrop well as roller bladers and skateboarders.
for Baywatch, the TV series, starring Pamela Pedestrians are better served to stay on the
Anderson and David Hasselhoff. An ocean- walking strand that runs parallel to the bike
front walking path follows the beach to the path, which is more like a bike highway.
Venice Pier at Washington Blvd.
Along the oceanfront walk are places to Hu ntington Beach
eat such as Figtree’s Café, Candle Café and AKA known as Surf City, Huntington Beach
Grill, On the Waterfront Café, and Venice almost always has a surf contest happening
Gelato Ice Cream and Café, among others. next to the Pier. It makes for great entertain-
Adjacent streets, Washington Blvd. and ment. But even when it’s quiet, a stroll along
Abbot Kinney Blvd., also offer a wide selec- the beach is equally fine. There is a side-
tion of eateries. walk, but it’s right on PCH and traffic can
interrupt your frame of mind for a nice
South Bay walk. Exit the 405 Freeway at Beach Blvd.,
Manhattan and Hermosa Beach have a won- and head west to PCH. Turn right and park
derful pedestrian-only strand that straddles at any of the public lots. There is metered
million dollar homes on one side and expan- street parking as well.
sive South Bay beaches on the other. “The There are plenty of places to eat
Strand,” as locals prefer to call it, is a very pop- along Main Street, (intersects the
ular place with families who love to get outside Pier at PCH), but at the end of the
and take a brisk walk or a last stroll of the Pier is Ruby’s, a 50s diner that’s a
evening. No bikes, skateboards, or any other perfect spot for families. Also try
type of wheeled vehicles are allowed, except of Zack’s Pier Plaza or Sugar Shack
course strollers, so there’s no fear of speeding Cafe - authentic surfer hangout with
roller bladders whizzing by. There are many traditional American favorites, For
great places at each Pier to casually dine, enjoy dog lovers, check out Park Bench
a latte or just sit and people watch with the set- Cafe in Huntington Central Park.
ting sun in the background. You’ll find plenty While this isn’t within walking dis-
of parking in designated parking lots or along tance of the beach, the cafe offers a
the metered streets. Exit the 405at Hawthorne menu for dogs and their owners,
Blvd. and go north 1/4 mile to Manhattan frisbee golf, and a number of activi-
Beach Blvd. Go west to the Manhattan Beach ties that are great for families.
Pier, park and get ready to enjoy.
The South Bay bicycle path starts as a N ewport Beach
separate, paved Class 1 bicycle path heading Next along the coast is Newport Beach with its
south from Marina Del Rey and ends at the very own boardwalk that stretches between
south end of Redondo Beach. The bike path the Newport Pier and the Balboa Pier, from
A Discount Theme Park Tickets, Visit w w w.We l co m eto So Ca l .co m 13
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Take A Stroll
Along th e Beach
32nd Street to I Street. In addition to a refresh-
ing walk, the people watching is great fun.
You’ll see bicyclists, roller bladers, dogs and
their owners, beachgoers and more. In the fall,
however, the crowds are greatly diminished.
Check out the Crab Cooker for lunch or
dinner. It’s a casual, local favorite known for
having the freshest seafood in town. It’s
located across the street from the Newport
Pier on Balboa Blvd. Be sure to get a famous
San Clem ente California Modern. Every element of the
restaurant was completely reimagined to
The San Clemente Pedestrian Beach Trail is a
Balboa Bar (square vanilla ice cream treat on offer a chic, modern experience, however,
newly constructed two and one-half mile trail
a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in the restaurant retains the location and
that spans North Beach to Calafia. The five-
candy or nuts) at various locations on the atmosphere that made it a local favorite.
to-ten foot wide path parallels the beach and
Balboa Peninsula or Balboa Island. You can
get to the boardwalk in Newport by taking
the train tracks with several spots to safely
cross the tracks to the beach. The trail is con-
San Diego Harbor
the 405 Freeway to the 55 South until it An energizing walking path takes you along
structed entirely of natural materials, making
dead ends into Newport Blvd. Continue on the Embarcadero at Seaport Village with a
it environmentally very friendly. And the
Newport Blvd. for several miles and you’ll beautiful and close view of the Harbor. It can
bonus, its proximity to the ocean provides a
soon see the ocean on your right. be reached by driving in either direction on
spectacular view along its entire length.
Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego and
Lagu na Beach After your walk, enjoy the best seafood
in town at the Fisherman’s Restaurant, locat-
turning south into Seaport Village, which is
Offering a bluff top walk on Cliff Drive as well right next to the Hyatt San Diego.
ed on the historic San Clemente Pier. Or if
as breathtaking beaches, Laguna Beach’s repu- Just steps from downtown San Diego’s
you’re in the mood for some awesome
tation as an artist’s colony is confirmed by its PETCO Park, Tin Fish is a casual seafood
Chicago pizza, check out Selma’s Pizzeria,
picturesque walking spots. Whether you’re restaurant offering fried and grilled seafood at
located at 218 Avenida del Mar, just a short
strolling through town admiring the windows a modest price (grilled halibut tacos $5.50
walk into town.
of art galleries or walking along the beach with each and a four-piece fried cod sandwich,
crashing waves, you’re sure to feel invigorated $6.95). At Café 222, the pumpkin waffles are
by the sights and sounds. La Jolla as legendary as the friendly service. Located in
Las Brisas sits on the bluff with a gor- The walking path in La Jolla is unofficially downtown San Diego, the restaurant is tiny
geous view and tasty Mexican fare for the called the Coastal Walkway. Visitors can and filled with fun, creative touches like
entire family. Also check out Cafe Zooloo, reach this point from La Jolla’s main teacup and sugar spoon chandeliers – a fun
Laguna’s quintessential neighborhood café; avenue, Prospect Street. From there, drive spot for the family with tasty items like peanut
Zinc Cafe & Market, featuring outdoor seat- or walk down to Scripps Park (which is butter and banana stuffed waffles, homemade
ing in a garden setting or The Cottage along this walkway) or turn west on Coast granolas, fresh tamales, fluffy pancakes, and
Restaurant with homestyle California cui- Boulevard. tasty corned beef hash. Perched above the
sine in a landmark home. After your refreshing walk, enjoy lunch waters of San Diego Bay is Anthony’s Fish
or dinner at El Pescador, located on Pearl Grotto, a family-owned restaurant known for
Dana Point Harbor Street. Serving fresh seafood salads and great seafood for over 60 years. The restaurant
A variety of walking opportunities awaits in sandwiches for more than 30 years, guests harkens back to San Diego’s fishing tradition.
Dana Point. Choose from the sand, the boat can enjoy unique specialties for minimal Today, diners love to watch passing boats
harbor or the bluff overlooking the blue prices. A local landmark since 1941, The while sampling signature hand-battered or
Pacific. Each is accessible from PCH, just off Marine Room in La Jolla is famous for its grilled seafood plates and delicious pasta dish-
Golden Lantern Lane. location nestled on the sand of La Jolla es. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, located in downtown
The Dana Point Harbor boasts a wide Shores Beach where waves crash against the San Diego’s Little Italy, is another familyowned
range of selection of restaurants, including windows. George’s at the Cove, one of San restaurant that has been satisfying families
the Harbor Grill, El Torito Mexican Rest- Diego’s most beloved restaurants, is located since 1950 with hearty pizzas and pastas in a
aurant and Cantina, Proud Mary’s, The Wind above La Jolla Cove. The restaurant, after festive setting featuring red-checkered table-
& Sea, Jolly Roger and more. These are all delighting visitors and locals for more than cloths and hanging Chianti bottles.
family friendly spots. For a dessert treat or 20 years, underwent a major renovation We hope you enjoy your walking and din-
coffee, the Chocolate Soldier is sure to satisfy. and reopened in February 2007 as Georges ing experience along the beautiful SoCal coast!
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