It was entirely too cold to swim in the ocean, but that didn't mean we couldn't go wading!
The Santa Monica pier has entrances to the beach proper, which we did after we had lunch at Bubba Gump's on the pier. The day was beautiful, sunny, and breezy, and the waves were such a fantastic blue that you definitely don't see on the Atlantic side of the States.
The pier has restaurants, shops, a small carnival with rides and games (and similarly overpriced for being what it is), and even places for buying bait and tackle so you can fish off the pier, if that's your sort of thing. A few people had cast their lines off the end of the pier and we're waiting to see if they could reel in some fish.
The pier itself wasn't too crowded, which was nice, because we weren't all crammed in. I wish the weather had been a bit warmer so we could've hung out on the beach and not been blown away. The wind was fierce. But it was such a beautiful place to be.
East Coast Beaches? West Coast Beaches? Which do you like better?