Santa Monica State Beach

sights / Other

Lonely Planet review

There are endless ways to enjoy this 3.5-mile stretch of sand, running from Venice Beach in the south to Will Rogers State Beach in the north. Sunbathing and swimming are obvious options, but you can also reserve time on a beach volley-ball court, or, for more cerebral pursuits, settle in at a first-come first-served chess table at Chess Park, just south of the Santa Monica pier.