Good morning everyone what a beautiful day to wake up in Santa Monica. Today is wonderful and the sun is shinning. Each year over 15 million people come to Santa Monica to play on the beaches. We should be able to see the beach and piers crowded today with families, fishermen, street performers, tourists, surfers, and sunbathers. There are many wonderful restaurants to enjoy your breakfast at. So after breakfast we will meet at the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor pedestrian mall. See you after breakfast.
Santa Monica Municipal Pier
The municipal pier found at the end of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. The pier divides into two sections: one at the foot of the pier is an amusement park with a carousel, bumper cars, arcade games, restaurants, and many other attractions. This area of the pier is made from old wooden plants is not too hard to roll across with your wheelchair. There are some areas the gaps are much wider and you catch your wheelchair caster in the gaps. Careful travel across this area and you will pass by.
The second section of the pier is the longest fishing pier that has a smooth asphalt surface which makes it pleasant for a stroll. This section of the pier is accessible from Colorado Avenue or a series of ramps further down the coast side of the pier. To arrive at the fishing platform it is difficult in a wheelchair. The fishing platform has high handrails which makes it difficult to fish in your wheelchair.
Santa Monica State Beach
The Santa Monica State Beach offers adventures for wheelchair riders. The South Bay Trails run along Santa Monica Beach making easy access for all wheelchairs. The lifeguard station has two handicap beach wheelchairs available to borrow. Along the beach you will find several bike rental shops found at the foot of the pier offering different three-wheel bikes to rent. I would like to suggest you try the bike before renting one. The owners of the shop do not mind you trying out the bikes first.
The Promenade is a pedestrian only sidewalk at the back of the beach The Promenade begins south of the pier and runs from Santa Monica to Venice Beach. Near the pier you will find plenty of restaurants and food stands for lunch or snacks. Many chess players sit around the picnic tables playing chess in the early morning and late afternoons.
The beach has an 11-foot wide boardwalk just up-coast from the pier. In the summer months the beach is at its widest and the boardwalk runs halfway to the water. Parking is available on the pier at the end of Colorado Boulevard or in the beach level lot up from the pier. Both offer handicap parking spaces. After spending the morning at Santa Monica Beach we head to:
The park found on the bluff overlooking Santa Monica Beach. There are plenty of benches and shade offering a pleasant place to sit back and rest, enjoy lunch, or take a stroll through the park. There is a two-mile paved path that weaves through the palm trees. The Palisade Park Shuffleboard Club and Senior Citizens Center found near Broadway. Most of the park is wheelchair accessible with occasional steep slopes and cross slopes throughout the park. The overpass access from Pacific Coast Highway to the beach has steps on both ends. Next we will travel to Ocean Avenue and Bay Street to visit:
Crescent Bay Park
The park is small and found half a mile south of the Santa Monica Pier. The lawns and yucca plants surround the picnic area shaded by a wooden trellis. The picnic tables are accessible though the four-foot-wide opening in the low wall.
The park has a smooth wooden boardwalk that begins at the bathrooms near the parking entrance and run about halfway across the beach. This boardwalk; less crowded than the one on the north side of the Santa Monica Pier. The paved boardwalk has separate lanes for pedestrians, bikers, skaters, and runners. The boardwalk runs the complete distance of the park and is a lovely ride and a place to spend the afternoon.
After your visit to the park and spend the afternoon on the pier of Santa Monica we will take our tour down south to Venice District. Here we will spend the rest of the afternoon and evening. Tomorrow we will visit Venice and enjoy the wonderful sights.
Our day ends in Venice District. In 1904 Abbot Kinney created an amusement park "Venice of America". In creating the park he dug a network of canals into 160 acres of marshland. In the 1920's the lands filled with stagnant waters and had become a health hazard. The city paved over all but 4 of the canals. In the 1950's Venice became the neighborhood filled with artists and bohemians. Today the quaint town remains but higher rents and real estate prices have driven many of the local artists out of this area. We will spend the rest of our afternoon and evening exploring the galleries and local scenery of Venice District. Tomorrow morning we will start our day off at Venice Beach and The Strand. Have a wonderful evening and we will see you tomorrow morning.