Spring Break is kickin’ off around the country, and if the weather reports are any indicator, we’d say most of you deserve to trade in that winter storm for some water and waves. And with Disneyland still closed, if you are coming to Cali, it’s time to get back to basics: The Beach! Toes in the sand, sun on your face, open air and optimal space! I think we can all agree that social distancing is a bit more enjoyable with your toes in the sand.
California offers a seemingly endless stretch of sand to fill your f’un-in-the-sun’ needs. The beauty of the coast (apart from the obvious), resides in the unique features, and history found on at each respective location. From rock formations, Hollywood History, to optimal surf scene, there’s something for everybody. If you’re looking to trade in the snow for the SoCal swell, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorite beaches, up and down the coast, equipping you with not only the reason to check ‘em out, but some of local history and fun facts to think about while laying out.
SANTA MONICA BEACH
- Why? Because they don’t any more iconic that Santa Monica beach. 3 miles of pristine sand are an ideal spot for surfing, sunbathing, beach volleyball, and working on that tan
- Pier pleasure, of course! While a bit crowded, the Santa Monica pier is a fine place to grab a bite to eat, fish, ride a rollercoaster, or watch the surfer’s below (and perhaps be inspired to take a surf lesson of your own)
- If you’re looking to ditch the sand for some shopping, you need only cross the street and head to the 3rd Street promenade for a variety of stores and eats ranging from quick bites to upscale
- Built in 1909, the iconic Santa Monica pier is over 110 years old!
- Home to Looff Hippodrome, which opened its doors in 1916, (one of the earliest designated landmarks in Santa Monica)
- The Hippodrome was designed by Charles Looff, who was the Michaelangelo of Carousel carving of his time
- Although his original carousel was sold in 1939 and subsequently dismantled, the hippodrome still houses an operational carousel that was built in 1922 and relocated to Santa Monica in 1947
- Believe it or not, towards the end of her life, Marilyn Monroe, was frequent visitor to the hippodrome. She would come in disguise, sit on a nearby bench, and watch the carousel go round and round as a form of solace. At one point, it’s noted that the carousel operator approached her, asking why she came by each day, and suggesting she get a job. It was then that she removed her wig and said, “I do have a job. I’m Marilyn Monroe.”
- Because it’s Venice beach. When you get there, you’ll understand.
- Second only to Disneyland, Venice Beach is the biggest tourist attraction in southern California
- Apart from the obvious surf and sand, the Venice Bowl is an incredible pit stop for watching top-notch skateboarders do their thing in a variety of pools, halfpipes, and rail features
- Walking along the boardwalk, it is quick to see that Venice is as photogenic as is it eclectic. From breakdancers to disco dancin’ rollerskaters, you can pretty much count on seeing it all when setting out for the day
- The Doors formed in Venice in 1975
- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno regularly trained at the iconic Muscle Beach
- The students in the 1975 classic, Grease, attended Rydell High, which is actually Venice High School. Fun little spot to grab a photo
- Venice is the birthplace of modern skateboarding
- The name says it all, and when it comes to surfing, this beach does not disappoint. The smooth, long-breaking waves are frequented by surfers from all over the world
- Truly the “gold-standard” in point surf, the impact Surfrider beach had on 1960s surf culture can’t be overstated. You don’t have to surf to appreciate a day in the sun here, watching the surfers put on a clinic
- Malibu Farm Pier Café. For food and fresh, this is an idyllic place to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner
- Originally settled by The Chumash Native Americans
- They names it “Humaliwo” which translate to “the surf sounds loudly”
- Aa the “Hu” is not stressed, this is, in fact, the name from Malibu is derived
- The last true owner of “Malibu” purchased the land for $10/acre in 1892 (roughly $292/acre, adjusting for inflation). Wow.
- Often referred to as “The ‘Bu”
- One of the prettiest beaches around — from the incredible rock formations, to secluded coves, it’s well-worth drive for a beach day with a vastly different view than the Santa Monica stretch
- Limited parking which is both a good and bad thing: Bad because, you may to drive a bit to find a spot, but good because it helps with overcrowding, so when you do find a spot, you’ll never really deal with large crowds once you get down to the sand
- The fairly cheesy “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” scene from The Notebook was filmed here
- Incredible tide pools, sea caves, and reefs, Leo Carillo is a fantastic place to take the family
- The North Beach is dog friendly, but if you do choose to bring your dog, make sure they stay on a leash, as the fine is around $1,000!
- Pretty unique to Leo Carillo, is that you are allowed to have alcohol on the beach (as long as it is not glass)
- Feature Film History
- Karate Kid
- The Usual Suspects
- She’s All That
- That Thing You Do!
While embarking on your coastal cruise, we at johnnie-O want to help you do so in style, with the casual comfort you deserve. Whether hitting the beach, or the hotel mini-bar, our Spring collection will have you dialed in SoCal flavor. We're very excited to bring you our new collection, featuring prints, solids, and stripes to take you seamlessly from spring break to summer fun.