Recently we took a mega vacation to California, we had 2 weeks to fit in as much as possible! Of course, we needed to work in beach time but where should we go? We decided to fit this in after our trip up north to the national parks on our way south to Anaheim. We decided on Santa Monica. Here are my tips and tricks for a quick beach day to the best California beach to visit with kids!
Annenberg Community Beach House at the Santa Monica State Beach
We settled on the Annenberg Community Beach House at the Santa Monica State Beach. This turned out to be an excellent decision for a number of reasons:
- Parking – Coming from a small town parking is always a worry when visiting a majorly populated area. Three days prior to our visit I was able to purchase a reserved parking spot! These spots are limited and only held until 11 am but we had prime parking!
- Bathrooms – The Beach House has plenty of bathrooms to get your kids changed.
- Food – There is a quick service window for food to go or a full service restaurant right there! When traveling it isn’t always easy to pack a picnic lunch. Having food options convenient is perfect for a family on a road trip.
- Rentals – While we did not take advantage of this service, we did notice a kiosk with chair and umbrella rentals among other things.
- Other amenities including a splash pad, pool (the pool is an additional cost), playground and wi-fi.
- We visited on a Wednesday in July, arrived by 10 am. While I am sure the beach can get crowded, the beach was perfectly pleasant and not too crowded.
A little tip though, if you are spending only a day at the beach, save money on a hotel and stay in Santa Clarita. We saved quite a bit on lodging this way. The distance is not too far but with California traffic be sure to leave plenty early to arrive by the 11 am deadline for the parking spot.
Planning a trip to California? Be sure to check out my other posts about our trip to Yosemite National Park!