Santa Monica Pier North

There’s a massive parking lot just north of the Santa Monica pier. If you’re coming from the North, heading South on PCH, it’s a breeze to get here. Just take that ramp on your right before your turn East onto the 10.
PCH South into Santa Monica Pier

If you’re on the 10 heading West, you want to try to avoid the situation where you’re stuck on the PCH trying to make a left into one of the beach lots. Weekends are busy.
Left Turn Off PCH into Santa Monica Beach Parking Lots

Santa Monica pier offers these directions if you’re heading West on the 10.
From the north or south on the 405 Freeway, take I-10 West. Drive west on I-10 and exit freeway at 4th/5th Street exit. Go north on 5th St. to Colorado Ave. Make a left on Colorado Ave. and drive straight to the Pier at Ocean Avenue. If the parking lot is full (if the lot on the pier is full you’ll be directed to) make a left turn on Ocean Avenue and proceed two blocks. Make a right turn on Seaside Terrace. Follow sign to Pier/Beach parking.
Either way you want to end up here. Looking West from Appian Way.
Santa Monica Pier Parking Lot

Rates today were General $8. Buses $48. and RV’s $32.
Santa Monica Pier Parking Lot Rates

Let’s get our bearings. Looking North from the pier.
View From Santa Monica Pier Looking North
On the left is the Veterans For Peace memorial installation.

We’re less than a quarter mile North of the bike rental places we looked at in the last post. About a 1/2 mile further north is our final bike rental destination. Another Perrys! Where Arizona would meet the sand, if there wasn’t a cliff.

Perrys at Arizona
Perrys Arizona Rates

Santa Monica Pier

We’re in the area of the Santa Monica Pier. This smaller lot at 1670 Appian Way is at Pacific Terrace. There’s another smaller lot off of Appian Way at Seaview Terrace. These are both Pay by Space lots. Price at this time was $8.
Appian Way And Pacific Terrace

That’s very Santa Monica, to actually have a number to call if you have a problem.
(310) 345-6718. Pay by cell phone has recently been added.Pay By Space Parking Machine

pay by phone parking santa monica pier

Here’s where we’re at. The green space adjacent the sand is a favorite place for gymnasts to meet on the weekends. Lots of monkey bars to work out on. The ring swing.
Gymnastics Monkey Bars

Let’s get bikes! First up is Spokes ‘n Stuff. Located right next to the monkey bars. It’s that little storefront at the end of the ring swing. That’s Lowes hotel in the background.
Spokes N Stuff

In case you can’t read that, a crusier goes for $7.50 an hour or $22. a day.
Spokes N Stuff Rates

A little father north right next to the stairs to the pier is Sea Mist Skate and Bike rentals. 1619 Ocean Front Walk.
Sea Mist Bike Rental

Sea Mist Bike Rentals

Bikes or Blades $7 an hour or $17 all day. Are those the best rates we’ve seen so far? I am looking for best prices on the bike path.Sea Mist Rates

As long as we’re here let’s take a look around (though I’ll leave the pier for another time).
Here’s a view of the pier from the bike path.
Santa Monica Pier from the bike path

Rings, ropes, monkey bars.
Rings Ropes and Monkey Bars Santa Monica Pier

The gymnastics green.
Gymnastics Green at Santa Monica Pier

Volleyball at Santa Monica Pier

Kids PlaygroundKids Playground at Santa Monica Pier

The chess park.Chess Park Santa Monica Pier

A bite to eat? (There’s lots of food around here and on the pier. These are a couple notable for their uniqueness.) Hot Dog Stick
Hot Dog Stick at Santa Monica Pier

Big Dean’s ‘Muscle In’ Cafe.
Big Dean's Muscle In Cafe

Not a bad price for a beer!
Big Deans Menu

Hollister to Bicknell

West of Ocean Ave on Hollister is a Pay by Space lot. It’s separated by a fence from the rest of the larger lot and uses a machine to create a receipt to display in your dash.Hollister  adn Ocean Ave. Parking

1. Park your vehicle. 2. Note your space number. 3. Pay at machine.Pay Machine

Yet another Perry’s is nearby to server your food and bicycle needs!
2600 Ocean Front Walk.
Perrys Holister 2400 Ocean Front Walk

Perrys Hollister Bikes

Here’s the bike path, next to Perrys, with the Santa Monica Pier in the background.Bike Path Pier

There are a dozen volleyball nets available.

We’re about a half mile North of Hollister now at Bicknell. That’s the Casa del Mar hotel in the background.Bicknell Restroom

There’s often an attendant at the Bicknell lot. When there isn’t you pay at the machine. I believe it’s $5. Tip – exiting the Bicknell lot on a busy weekend evening can lead to being stuck in a long line. Turn around and exit at Hollister.
Parking Station Bicknell

Ocean Park Blvd.

We cross into Santa Monica when we cross Navy. There’s a large parking lot off of Barnard Way, just south of Ocean Park. Where Ocean Park meets the sand is another Perrys, this one with a cafe.
Perrys Ocean Park
Remember, bike rental rates are subject to seasonal changes.
Perrys Ocean Park Rates

One of the new Santa Monica restrooms. People who are complaining about the cost of the new facilities must not remember the old ones.
New Ocean Park Restrooms

Adjacent to the bike path here at Ocean Park is a kid’s playground. There’s also a green space (sometimes used for soccer) and Hey, is that another Perrys in the distance?
Ocean Park Playground

Rose Ave.

Nearing the North end  of the Venice Boardwalk now. Another city parking lot. Careful crossing the boardwalk! When there’s no attendant the price is $5 at the machine.
Rose and Ocean Front Walk Parking

What do you know, another Perry’s bike rentals. Right in the parking lot.
Perry's Rose

If you walk a little south you can find Boardwalk Bike Rentals.
Boardwalk Bike Rental
Boardwalk Bike Rental Rates

Or a little North and you can find Boardwalk Skate at Ozone.
Boardwalk Skate
Boardwalk Skate Rates

If perchance you’ve developed a thirst, you’re in the right place. Within stumbling distance of each other are The Venice Bistro (with live music on the weekends)…
323 Ocean Front Walk, Venice CA90291
The Venice Bistro

The On The Waterfront Cafe 205 Ocean Front Walk  (310) 392-0322
On The Waterfront Cafe

Get a groove on.
Groove On

and The Venice Ale House 2 Rose Avenue (at Ocean Front Walk) (310) 314-8253
The Venice Ale House

Got to give a shout out to my favorite eatery on the Boardwalk. A few blocks north of Rose at Paloma, Figtree’s Cafe. Nice food, great service and only a little pricey. You can’t beat the view. 429 Ocean Front Walk (310) 392-4937

Heading North we’re about to enter Santa Monica, but that’s where we can really get our ride on. Next stop is Ocean Park and yes, another Perrys.
North from Rose Ave

Drum Circle

Let’s roll. To get our bearings. About to join the bike path. Looking South from where Windward hits the beach.
Looking South From Windward and the bike path

And now North with the skate park as a reference.
Lookng North from the Venice Skate Park

And we’re off. On the weekends you’ll pass the drum circle. It can get a little crazy in there. The cops shut it down around sunset. Watch out for people crossing the bike path.
Venice Drum Circle

Onward!North From Drum Circle


Windward Ave.

Where Windward meets the beach is probably the center of Venice Beach proper.
There are a few park and pay spots right on Windward West of Pacific, but not many, and the lots here are expensive. There’s also no U-turn so your only way out is a turn South at Speedway and that gets ugly. There’s actually quite a lot of street parking East of Pacific in the residential streets around the ‘Venice Circle’ but they go quick on the weekends.

Windward and Pacific looking West

At the corner of Windward and Pacific is Café Collage a great place to grab an espresso as you head in. Next to the Cafe is a local market that features great sandwiches. if you need some cash, there’s a Bank America.
Pacific and Windard Cafe Collage

Artist Jonas Never’s ‘Touch of Venice, is a new mural. This parking lot charges $15. It’s on your right just before you have to make the left turn at Speedway'Touch of Venice' by Jonas Never

where you’ll find this lot. On this busy Sunday they were charging $20, but on a slower day I’ve seen it as low as $10.Speedway and Windward parking lot

Let’s grab a bike! Jay’s Rentals. NW corner of Windward & Speedway. P.S. You can see a bit of an R. Cronk mural on the West side of the Cotel. Worth checking out.
Jays Rentals Venice Beach

They got it all! By the way, you’re only about a block away from the bike rental places at
Speedway and 17th or 18th that we looked at back at North Venice Blvd.

You made it! You’re here!
Venice Beach Boardwalk

Before we leave Windward, I want to point out a couple of spots in case you’re in need of food or drink. There’s Danny’s Deli, 23 Windward Avenue. With the Venice Beach Cotel upstairs – it’s a hostel right on the beach!
Danny's Deli Venice Beach Cotel

A little more upscals is Larry’s 24 Windward Avenue which sees a lot of action at night too.
(I’ll have to go back and get a picture of Larry’s). Next door is The Cairo Cowboy, which is new but I’ve been hearing great things. At 46 Windward Avenue
Cairo Cowboy Mediterranean Grill

Next door is The Townhouse. A real bar that will make you feel like you’re stepped back in time. 52 Windward. Cocktails.
The Townhouse Venice

Let’s get back to our ride!


What To See at Venice Beach

Looking West from the Venice Blvd parking lot. That’s the Venice Breakwater in the distance, where the locals surf. Lifeguard tower 19.
Venice Breakwater

Looking North. In the distance you can see the handball courts.
North From Perrys Venice Blvd

Venice Handball Courts

Adjacent to the handball courts are the workout bars. With the paddle tennis courts in the background.
Venice Workout Bars

Muscle Beach (closed on this Easter Sunday but usually full of iron pumpers).
Venice Muscle Beach

Basketball courts,
Venice Beach Basketball Courts

Kid’s playground. You can see the back of the police substation in the background.
Kid's Playground at Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a park. Here are the rules.
Venice Beach Rules

The park has its own LAPD substation.
Venice Beach Police Substation

Mark di Suvero’s 60-foot-tall sculpture Declaration, 1999 – 2001, next to the Venice Art Walls (graffiti by appointment).Venice Beach Sulpture 'Declaration' by Mark di Suvero

And finally, the Venice Skate Park. You’re seeing the backs of people watching the skateboarders do their thing. On this side of the bike path is a place to dance! Sometimes it’s the hoola hoopers and sometimes it’s the roller bladers.
Venice Skate Park

This is actually the trickiest part of the bike path to navigate. People are crossing over to the skate park and they’re not realizing they’re crossing a bike path. Horn recommended.
Dance And Hoop
All of this has happened  in  the space between the parking lot at Venice Blvd. North and where Windward meets the beach.


North Venice Blvd.

North Venice Blvd. runs right into this lot. It’s a large lot and costs $5.N. Venice Blvd. Beach Parking Lot

When it gets busy, it turns into a real bottleneck.
North Venice Bottleneck

You’ll pass another lot on your way in. This one’s just East of Pacific at Dell. A hefty $15 on this busy weekend.
Venice Blvd. North and Dell

Look south from this lot and you can catch a glimpse of the Venice Canals.Venice Canals

Or get lucky! Street parking. Here I’m looking West down Venice Blvd. South.Venice Street Parking

Venice Blvd. Parking Sign

Okay, we’re parked let’s get bikes. Hey, there’s another Perry’s, right in the N. Venice parking lot.
Perrys Bike Rental North Venice

Rates and Procedure.
Perrys North Venice Rates
In case you can’t read that…
You have to fill out and sign a waiver. You need a credit card or debit card, a driver’s license or a passport. Payment is cash only and rates range from $8 an hour to $25 a day for a cruiser, mountain bike or rollerblades.

Let’s have a look at a couple of other out of the way bike rental spots nearby. The main Venice Boardwalk is actually Ocean Front Walk. This bike rental spot is just East on 18th Ave. just about a block North of the North Venice parking lot.
Oceanfront 18th Bikes
Ocean Front 18th Bikes Rates

And another on 17th Ave.
Ocean Front Walk 17th Bikes

Ocean Front Walk 17th Bikes Rates

If you’re stuck in traffic in that last block of Venice North, West of Pacific, check out a couple of Venice landmarks. Here’s the R. Cronk Abbott Kinney mural.
Abbott Kiney by R Cronk

Or a favorite nightlife watering hole (with great food), James Beach, located 60 N Venice Blvd. 310-823-5396
James Beach Restaurant

North From Washington

The Venice Pier, where Washington Blvd. meets the beach.

The bike and pedestrian paths merge at Washington and it gets a little crazy. Looking North, bikes to the left.
Washington Bike Path

Heading North now.

Coming up on the lot at Venice Blvd. Note the lifeguard station on the left. If you’re going to swim, watch for the signs that separate swimmers from surfers.
Venice Bike Path Almost at Venice Blvd