40.5 Things to Do in L.A. Without Your Car, Pt. 2

07/15/2011 03:54 pm ET | Updated Sep 14, 2011
  • Jennifer Ketcham Author, mindfulness-practitioner and social worker, and a retired pornographic film actress

This is a continuation of my previous list, however, this list covers things to do between Lincoln Boulevard and the Pacific Ocean.


  1. No matter where you are, from LAX to Brentwood, you can find your way to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Incredible fresh farm products from incredible California farmers and growers. Eat blackberries until your mouth turns purple. Capital Yum. They also have cool bands, art, and pony rides. Yay pony rides!
  2. If you're near Marina Del Rey, ride your bike down Fiji past Shanghai Red's and there is a bike/jogging path (Ballona Creek Bike Path) that will take you to the ocean. Go watch the boats come in and out of the marina for the day. In fact, if you are stuck on the 405 at Culver Boulevard, because you forgot the world was ending in Carmageddon, park your car, and take the bike/jogging path west -- it's the very same path. Amazeballs.
  3. GO TO THE BEACH! Having lived at the beach off and on for the past ten years, I admittedly take that big, blue, salty cup-o-water for granted and rarely put my toes in the sand. But the beach is awesome! (Even if my beach bod is not.) If you're south, hit up Dockweiler, for some surfing, bonfires and sunshine. Venice? Keep your hand on your wallet and face the crowd. Santa Monica? Get out your wallet and have a little fun.
  4. Go to the Venice Canals and walk around. The residents probably won't like it, but it's as close to Italy as L.A. gets! And it might be gross, and perhaps illegal, but I haven't seen any "No Swimming in the Canals" signs. Just a thought.
  5. Hit up Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and spend an afternoon eating, shopping and eating again. Super tasty spots, like Gjelina's (OMG Marinated Beet and Avocado with Citrus, Sherry and Hazelnuts) and The Tasting Kitchen. Just off the boulevard is Sauce On Hampton, where the quasi-attentive service (are they stoned?) only slightly subtracts from the delicious food. You will pay, but Carmageddon only happens twice. (We hope.)
  6. From Abbot Kinney, "we're gonna walk down to Electric Avenue." No, seriously, it's parallel to Abbot Kinney. You can totally walk down to Electric Avenue, singing.
  7. Get your cannabis card! You can walk in and get an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor right on the Venice Beach boardwalk. (Don't quote me on how legit the guy is, I went elsewhere for my pot card. When I had it.)
  8. If you don't own a bike, you can rent one at the multiple bike rental shops along the boardwalk. Take that two-wheeled, brilliant piece of machinery, and ride her all the way to the Getty Villa. Bit of a hike, but the physical and intellectual rewards make the long ride worth every pedal. You'll find it alongside the parking lot that will be formerly referred to as PCH.
  9. If you live on the Westside, can prove you live on the Westside (and are willing to get in the car and leave the Westside,) contact The Hunnies L.A., these two, super-cute hair chicks that work at The Parlour on 3rd. If you call and book an appointment by Friday's end, the haircut is FREE! I know the salon isn't on the Westside, and this article is all "Westside is the best side," but a free haircut and cute girls? Sweet deal.
  10. If you can't stand being away from the Hollywood club scene, hit Wokcano. Did you know they have a club upstairs? Outside dining on a beautifully lit patio area, a VIP section if you're a very important person, and tables that all glides away for DJ after 10:30p.m. Open until 2 a.m. Oh, and they serve bomb sushi and Chinese food until 1:30 a.m. Go to the bar and ask for Kevin or Tony. Tony's Special roll is insane, kind of like if Italy and Japan had a baby. A delicious edible sushi baby.
  11. Watch a the sunset. Living in the land of Entertainment, we've seen enough movies to know that "watching the sunset" is a set for a romantic/magical/awe-inspiring experience. But actually watching the sunset? Alone, with someone you love, with a group of homies? There is a reason it's movie magic.
  12. Throw a Carmageddon Theme party at your casa. Some suggested themes? Malibu Beach Barbie Party! Come dressed in your favorite Barbie outfit! Or 3rd Street Prom Party where you come dressed as your favorite street performer! I'd be the chick that always belts Celine Dion jams.
  13. On Olympic Boulevard, only a few blocks east of Lincoln, you'll find not only Tacos Por Favor (YUM), but also Memorial Park, with two different little league baseball fields, an additional field for the big guys, and then an awesome skatepark, where you can do super sick ollies all day or nervously watch your kids turn into one of the Dogtown's Z-Boys. Siiiiiicccccck bro.
  14. At Santa Monica Boulevard and 7th St, for five bucks, you can take "A Journey into an Extraordinary Past" and visit the Santa Monica History Museum. Which will be slightly educational, but substantially interesting. Always nice to do things that make us better people, right?
  15. Voted L.A.'s #1 yoga studio, Hot 8 Yoga is clean, friendly, and has great deals for new students ($30 for the first week, unlimited classes.) Now, $30 might not feel like a great deal, but for a hot yoga studio -- Bikram is $20/class! -- it's a steal. And you'll get a chance to see if you're into the hot thing. They say "some like it hot," and this is the kind of work out where you will literally watch your fat melt away from your now super-sexy yoga bod.
  16. Invite your friends over for some rain gutter goldfish races. You'll need rain gutters, cheap from Home Depot, a large amount of goldfish, and straws. This is usually played as a drinking game (add in flip cup; this is the grand finale), you put a goldfish in water filled rain gutter, and blow bubbles behind him, forcing him to swim to the other end. First one across the finish line wins. Keep the goldfish when finished; they will make great pets.
  17. Hang out on any of the piers. Washington Street Pier, Santa Monica Pier, you can watch surfers, hang out with fisherman, go on rides (on SM Pier), either of these piers can take up a good amount of time. No cars allowed.
  18. Shop on 3rd Street or the new mall, which feels sort of like a space ship. There. I said it. It's architecturally spacey.
  19. I hate revealing my super secret breakfast spot, but Cafe Vida in Pacific Palisades has the most unreal blueberry cornmeal pancakes I've yet to taste. Walk, run or ride there. You will not regret it.
  20. Go to a park. Again, there are so many wonderful parks that sit empty most days, grab a blanket and a book, pack a lunch, and go hang out in the park. This simple yet elegant way of spending time with yourself or the ones you love most will make the kind of memories you cherish.
  • 20.5 If you're solo and a chess fiend, Chess Park in Santa Monica will rock your queen and king.
  • We pay up the wazoo to live here. Why not get out and enjoy what is readily available on this, our beautiful Westside? Which is most definitely, the best side. Yay Carmageddon.


    Parks between Lincoln and the Pacific Ocean, from LAX to Palisades: Vista Del Mar Park, Trask Triangle Park, Westchester Recreation Center, Titmouse Park, Del Rey Lagoon Park, Culver Marina Little League, Burton Chance Park, Park, Linnie Canal Park, Venice Beach Park, Triangle Park, Venice of America Centennial Park, Westminster Dog Park, Oakwood Community Center, Venice Beach Recreation Center, Ozone Park, Ocean View Park, Dorothy Green Park, Crescent Bay Park, Hotchkiss Park, Los Amigos Park, Joslyn Park, Chess Park, Christine Emerson Reed Park, Palisades Park, Goose Egg Park, Potero Canyon Park, Pacific Palisades Park, Temescal Canyon Park