Santa Monica & Venice

From the Marina North to Sunset

Santa Monica
Sand, sun, glamour . . .

You’ve seen this stretch of beach in hundreds of movies and TV shows: folks on inlines and boards (both skate and surf) as well as bicycles, the flashy Marina and the oddities of Venice.

The path is about 8.5 miles, north from Washington Blvd., to Temescal Cyn Rd. Access is continuous.

Thos Guide pp 630, 631, 671.

Current Santa Monica weather conditions (click for full weather report):
Click for Santa Monica, California Forecast


There’s lots to do besides just riding bikes . . .


Viewer Comment:
“Many more rollerbladers are now using the path. Rentals of the wide, 3 wheel bikes are becoming more difficult to get around. Pedestrians & joggers now seem to shun running on the grass and also use the bikepath, many times in large groups. The minimally posted signs mean nothing. In lieu of building a beach club for everyone except for the people of Santa Monica, why not spend the money on widening the bikepath and posting more signs. Put officers out there to issue tickets. I see huge revenue potential here.”

Connect to South Bay trail
on the other side of the Marina.


Above: North end of path, where the Palisades rise;
Below: Nearing the South end, in Venice.



And don’t forget – we’re not far from Hollywood. (They’re shooting something over there . . . )

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    28 Comments

    1. One of the most beautiful and relaxing/interesting urban bike paths in the World! This is Coastal California at it’s finest!!

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    2. Just road this in February 2011. Beautiful but you’ll get no speed; the path is rowded with joggers, skaters, and kids on tricycles. Near the Santa Monica Pier you must be extra-careful because beachgoers stroll across the bike path without looking. It’s a lovely but frustrating jaunt – a bit like trying to sightsee on the freeway. Still, if you’re in no hurry, it’s worth the view.

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    3. rode this at 6am this morning and it was great, quite a few people about even at that time. walked along side the same route in the much busier afternoon, still great but for totally different reasons. The best people watching ever!

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    4. Is there a place to park free all day? We want to check out the Santa Monica/Venice and possibly South Bay rides?

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    5. I agree with Robert.. I ove this ride but the Pedestrians are all over the place… I’ll get a ticket for riding on the sidewalk, Why arnt they getting tickets for walking on the bike path… Very frustrating

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    6. Tela: If you’re on a bike, there is street parking away from the path. You just have to drive around. In Venice, in the mornings I can usually find on around Andalusia/Grand. For Manhattan Beach, you can try Highland but if not just take Rosecrans away from the beach and find a spot.

      Just in general….

      For the serious biker – better before 8AM as it’s mostly people exercising in some form and NOT “rookie hour”.
      For people watching/date/fun – 2PM thru evening.

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    7. WOw! I always wanted to find a bike trail along the beach that would be safe for the whole family to ride. I finally found it! The Santa Monica trail that runs from S.M to Redondo Beach is Excellent. Highly recommended for the whole family. Its a 20 mile bike ride of relaxation, and this is only one way. It took our family 7 hours to complete the round trip. We stopped a lot at different locations along the trail. This was completed just this weekend, 7/29/11. Have fun

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    8. Victor: What was the age range? I would consider the on-street section of Venice a little challeging for younger children on their own bikes. Other than that section, though, it is a great family run. Pretty flat and easy. Sounds like you had a great time.

      General comment: Prevailing wind is from the WSW, making southbound much harder than northbound, especially as the day wears on. Just something to remember, that’s all.

      Redondo Beach Police: Live there. Yup on the enforcement. I use Catalina Ave as an alternate to the bike path or Esplanade. Less police involvement than Esplanade and less crosswind. I still stop all the signs, though.

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    9. Is there a continue path from the end path of Venice to Redondo Beach? Is it safe?

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    10. Iris: I don’t exactly understand the wording of your question.

      The bike path goes from Will Rogers State Beach (North of Santa Monica beach) to Torrance Beach on separated bike path for most of the way. It is very safe, as long as you know how to bike ride for 22 miles each way, if you wanted to do the whole thing. It is very easy to do any part of it you wish. It all depends on where you start.

      In regards to the section between Venice and Redondo piers, it is about 13 miles each way and does have all the on-street stuff.

      From a riding perspective, the only real trouble is on Venice Blvd. It’s not that bad if you are used to on-street city riding, but can be daunting if you are not used to that. The rest of the ride is a smooth and easy as it gets, as long as you obey the flashing lights in Hermosa (it will make sense when you get there) and walk your bike at the Redondo Beach pier. The on-street stuff in Marina Del Ray and Redondo Beach is no big deal at all.

      From a personal safety perspective, as always, keeps your wits about you, lock your bike up when not on it, and pay attention to your surroundings. If you do the run on a sunny weekend day, you will run into crowds, but that’s about it.

      You will notice in Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches that there are tons of bicycles around. That’s because parking is at a premium there and removed from the sand. Many, many people use their bikes as their beach transport. That lends itseld to a safer bike enbironment, but you are still better off locking up your bike.

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    11. It’s a nice bike path to ride, but the people walking on it make it very frustrating. There is a walk way along the path specifically for people who walk and job, but these dummies insist on doing it on the bike path. Some even walk right in the middle of the bike path, blocking both directions for bikes. If you can deal with all the idiots walking the bike path, then it’s a nice ride. Pretty frustrating for me.

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    12. please help
      i will be in santa monica on thursday 09-23
      i want to ride my bike with my kids along the beach we don’t want to be near car traffc we want to ride from 20 to 30 mile streach please help with a starting point
      and driving directions thanks again

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    13. I ride this trail starting at 7am every Saturday morning. When you start early you avoid all the congested traffic of pedestrians/rollerbladers/etc that flock in starting around 9am. I start from Venice Beach Ocean front/Windward plaza Circle and ride all the way into Will Rodgers State Beach and back. Sometimes, I’ll ride up the Santa Monica Pier to the upper trail and ride along the fence overlooking the beautiful scenic beach from above till it ends at the famous Totem pole that is a much touch for goodluck for all fitness people taking this route! You will not go wrong when you take either route because it’s a win-win ride! Tranquility of it all is priceless! Happy trailing!

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    14. We are from Australia, and recently rode this bike path on our holiday in California. It was excellent.
      It is probably the best bike path we have ever ridden, including Australia and Europe (Amsterdam included).
      This was actually one of the favorite, most fun parts of our trip.
      The scenery is fantastic, the weather was beautiful (we were there in September) and there were bike trailers for babies, which made it a lot easier with our 2 year old boy.
      We loved the diversity of the people who were around, the quality of the bikes we hired (I think the company was called sea-spray or something like that?) The hire guy was really nice and relaxed (we went to the other company first, but the cashier was RUDE, and they were more expensive)
      The beach was very clean, and despite the amount of dogs around, there was no poo to watch out for, which let us observe the scenery rather than having to look at the path (unlike in France, where it was EVERYWHERE – gross)
      Absolutely loved it. Would recommend to anyone. Only negative was that when people wanted to get past us, we accidentally moved to the left, rather than the right, as we are used to driving on the other side of the road, and one woman got cross with us.

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    15. If you want a great ride, leave the pier in Santa Monica and ride to Manhattan Beach. If you can’t make the ride back, have someone pick you up. I have ridden this numerous times (round trip) and it’s the greatest riding anywhere. Nothing like beautiful surf, beautiful homes, beautiful people and a perfect breeze to make your ride the best ever.

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    16. Just got back from a ride on the path from Pacific Palasaids to South Venice, with a stop in Venice to get a smoothie and watch the folks buying their “medicine” at the many dispenceries in Venice Beach. Fun ride, but a bit congested at times. Definitely will do it again. I thought the path went all the way down to Hermosa, but it ended in Venice.

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    17. Bruce And Mindy, at the Venice pier you will go east on Washington for about a mile until you find the path againassing through some trees on the right. It is we’ll visible. Continue on this path and it will lead you to aath along the river back to the beach in Playa Del Rey. Once you cross the bridge you will easily find the path to Redondo/Hermosa.

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    18. A nice place to relax and unwind. But how about accommodation? I hope that it has the likes of blue mountains accommodation. I would gladly stay for a week here if I can find a good place to stay.

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    19. Ride the path but not the streets. I was hit by a guy that ran a red light July 1, 2012 & SMPD sain in the police report I was @ falt because I entered the intersection on a green light. It don’t make since, but the SMPD has never liked cyclist.

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    20. amazing bike path. if you come here on a sunny day during weekend don’t expect to gain much speed. its more a leisure ride then.

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    21. This bike path is for every mood. If you want to be with people, watch and listen to street performers, and shop, than you take the northbound from the Marina.

      If you want the serene quiet, speed riding, take the southbound from the Marina. In couple of places it’s hilly for a great workout. There are no kids, skaters, joggers or walkers for the most part.

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    22. never been to Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach and I’ve been in the U.S.A since 1990. I need to get a life and start riding my bike. I’ll let everyone know of my new life at the bike trail.

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    23. First rode these beach bike paths in the early 80′s. Since then, have ridden from Santa Monica to Redondo beach nearly every year. Marina del Rey is a great midway point for a quick break and regrouping with the stragglers. Gets very, very busy on summer holidays like Memorial Day or Fourth of July. Great fun, don’t forget sunblock!

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    24. I have ridden this path for years. There’s nothing like getting on the path just as the sun comes up. I know the sun rises on the other side of the country, but as the sun peeks over the mountains and hits the water, it’s absolutely pristine! It is busy on holidays, but try and ride on an ordinary weekday, especially first thing in the morning. There are just the right amount of riders out, and the early sunshine and fresh air are wonderful.

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    25. So what I’m confused about and cannot tell from just doing a map recon, is how do you get from one side of the marina to the other on your bike? There doesn’t appear to be a bridge that spans the inlet of water. I’m trying to figure out if there’s a safe way to bike with a family from culver to SM. maybe ballona creek path, but that only seems to connect to head south.

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    26. I am new to the area and want to experiance this bike trail to hermosa beach. I can’t seem to fiqure out where to start this trail at all. I live off Washington blvd & lincoln. Should I just start at washington blvd ( veince pier) & head south, and will this bike path take me straight there or is there a street detour inbetween? Please help..

      Reply

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