Everyone knows Santa Monica for the famous Santa Monica Pier that has appeared in many cinematic works including, Forrest Gump, Iron Man, Hancock, A Night at the Roxbury and Hannah Montana: The Movie. However, those of us who grew up here see this iconic location as something simpler: home. Growing up in Santa Monica is an adventure for everyone with the myriad of activities that are consistently available for its residents. Here are some things that only people who grew up in Santa Monica, CA will truly understand.
Tourists are great for a cities revenue, but not favored by its residents. Going to the beach, mall or pier is a nightmare when surrounded by hordes of confused and lost tourists. It’s hard to maintain your cool when someone stops suddenly in front of you on the sidewalk to take a picture of a palm tree. Regardless of the mass amounts of tourists though, it’s still exciting to know that you live where most people vacation. If you grew up in Santa Monica, CA, this one probably stresses you out just reading it.
Late Night Swinger’s Trips
The famous Los Angeles diner, Swingers, is the best place to go for late night food with friends. Everyone has been to Swingers hundreds of times for its atmosphere, service and good food. All the teenagers love that it’s open 24-hours. Swingers is located a few blocks from Santa Monica High School, so you can catch groups of hungry teens flocking to swingers after late night sports practices, music rehearsals or dance concerts. If you grew up in Santa Monica, CA you definitely joined up with a group of friends for this late-night tradition.
The best thing about living in Santa Monica is the warm summer nights that remind you of a teen RomCom. Every summer, people will get together with their friends or family and head to Dockweiler Beach, where there are fire pits spread out along the sand. Middle school and High school kids come here with groups of friends for all day visits at the beach, (and to get one of those fire pits early before they are all taken up!) The excursion starts with a swim in the ocean earlier in the day, some pizza, some music, a fire when it gets later followed by delicious s’mores. After the fire has been built, everyone takes out their homework from their bags, that they have been patiently saving all year to throw into the fire in the summer night.
A big attraction for California is, of course, Disneyland, but have you ever seen someone 110% obsessed with Disney. Growing up in Santa Monica means you will meet people who are SERIOUSLY obsessed with Disney. There are people who go there at least once a month dressed up from head to toe in Disney attire. Too many Disney ears? What do you mean? There’s never enough!
Everything Is Expensive.
Money, money, money. A nine-dollar sandwich? I think not. One of the biggest downfalls of growing up in Santa Monica is how expensive it is. Of course, you can find places that are reasonably priced, but to find reasonably priced good food is a hidden gem. Whether it’s going out to lunch, on a ride at the pier or shopping at the Promenade, you better get a summer job.
An Abundance Of Healthy Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants
You want healthy food? Santa Monica is the place. Growing up in Santa Monica gives you a large variety of yummy food that is also good for you. Urth Cafe, Flower Child and Tender Greens are some of the best vegan restaurants to explore some tasty food. Becoming a vegetarian/vegan is super easy with all the available options here.
Murals On Every Building
We really like to find as much beauty as we can in Santa Monica. All the buildings from print shops to restaurants have murals on the outside done by local artists. Growing up surrounded by so much beautiful art in everyday places gives a great appreciation for artworks and their creators.
So… Our Beaches Aren’t The Best…
We are typically known for our beaches in California, however people who actually grew up in Santa Monica prefer to travel a little farther to have a day in the sun. The Santa Monica beach is packed with tourists and noticeably polluted. Although it is better than no beach at all, most of us would rather take our chances going to the beaches in Venice, Hermosa beach or a little bit farther to Malibu.
Famous YouTuber Sightings
Famous YouTubers have become a big thing in the past 5-7 years or so and in Santa Monica you’ll run into them all. Shane Dawson, JC Caylen, Ricky Dillon, Jenna Marbles, Connor Franta, Tyler Oakley and Hannah Hart are some big names that are commonly spotted in downtown Santa Monica. Any day of the week you have a good chance of spotting some of the big YouTube creators strolling down the street with their friends.
We’ve All Been To The Top Of The World…
That’s right. We have all been there. You can see everything and it’s gorgeous. Okay, maybe not the real top of the world, but the view is just as breathtaking. The top of the world is a small hike to an overlook of the entire city of Los Angeles. This beautiful overlook is visited by many people, night and day, to hang out, take photos and admire a stunning view of city lights. Everyone who grew up in Santa Monica has frequented this space that really puts into perspective how big the world is.
NO Plastic Bags
Saving the environment one bag at a time. Plastic bags are illegal in almost all major grocery stores in Santa Monica in order to keep plastic out of our oceans. This law was put into effect in 2011 with a push done by the Heal the Bay club at Santa Monica High School. These students testified and ultimately got plastic bags banned from use. Paper or plastic? Better use paper in this city!
Last but not least…seagulls. In Santa Monica, you should prepare for a seagull attack at any moment. They are seriously everywhere. Walking around town during lunchtime is like throwing yourself into the movie The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. Maybe that’s a little intense. Although the seagulls aren’t entirely malicious, I would at least cover your head when a flock flies above you.