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Planning Your Time
If you've got the time, break your coastal visit into two excursions: Santa Monica and Venice on one excursion, and Malibu on the other.
The best way to "do" L.A.'s coastal communities is to park your car and walk, cycle, or skate along the bike path, known as "The Strand."
For this, of course, a sunny day is best; on all but the hottest days, when literally millions of Angelenos flock to the beaches, get started in the morning, either before or after rush hour.
Places like Santa Monica Pier, Main Street, and the Venice Boardwalk are more interesting to observe as the day progresses.
Try to avoid the boardwalk, beach, and backstreets of Santa Monica and Venice at night, when the crowds dissipate.
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