Malibu-Santa Monica-Venice Beach-Marina del Rey (SoCal)

When we’re not in our RV or scuba diving, we love exploring and enjoying our local Southern California beach communities.

Malibu beaches are famous for surfing, but there are also some great beach walks and restaurants to enjoy. We think that Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a wonderful place to beach-walk. It’s where Malibu Creek joins the Pacific Ocean, and it provides terrific bird watching. The Getty Villa is another excellent Malibu experience, specializing in art from ancient Greece and Rome.

Solstice Canyon at the Intersection of Corral Canyon Road and Solstice Canyon Road (still in Malibu) is a beautiful, fairly easy, hike back to the remains of the Keller House.

And Duke’s is always a favorite restaurant for celebrating birthdays and our 30th anniversary!

Heading south we next encounter Santa Monica, whose iconic beaches are perfect for enjoying bike rides on a paved path, breakfast on the beach, and clear views of Catalina Island.

The Santa Monica Pier has amusement park rides and games, plus it’s been the site for the filming of numerous movies over the years.

Venice Beach is weird, and we don’t tend to spend much time there, but lots of tourists love to go to Muscle Beach or walk the boardwalk to buy crazy, overpriced junk. The skate park is a great place to people watch.

The Venice Pier provides a lovely walk and an excellent vantage point from which to watch surfers. It’s also terrific for sunsets!

 A few blocks inland are the Venice Canals, modeled after the originals in Italy, and now an entertaining place for walking and bird-watching. At Christmastime, it’s well-decorated, but anytime works!

Finally, we get to Marina del Rey, which has a huge uncrowded beach, lots of birds, and a terrific view of the main channel, where boats enter and exit, and where sea lions, dolphins, and even an occasional whale sometimes visit.

We recently got to see several oystercatchers, a black skimmer (a new sighting for us), and a California brown pelican. Soon the California least terns will show up for the summer.

We also love to walk along Ballona Lagoon, where we see regular visitors, like the great blue heron and great white egret, plus those who migrate here for the winter.

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