It is born in Chicago, at a crossing of Michigan Avenue in front of Millennium Park, and ends 3,862 kilometers to the west. Route 66 crosses the central plains of the United States, the Arizona desert, fertile California, and dies in the Santa Monica Pier, on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. After Manuel Antonio, in Central America, and Lima, in South America, this is our third American balcony to the ocean discovered now 500 years ago by the Spaniard Vasco Núñez de Balboa in Panama.
There may not be a corner in California that has not ever been featured in movies or television series. And Santa Monica Beach is no exception. As in many other places in this country, when you first arrive you think you have already been. The pier sounds familiar to you with its old amusement park, the multicolored lifeguard booths, Californians playing volleyball on its sand, even Bubba Gump's restaurant that launched "Forrest Gump" to fame located at the entrance to the pier.
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Santa Monica is a splendid balcony to the Pacific Ocean. Its pier goes a few meters into its waters and allows you to share the sunset with the fishermen without anything obstructing the view of the sun going down the horizon. Santa Monica is a family beach, quite different from the glamor of the nearby Beverly Hills. Those who enjoy the sand in good weather (it's sunny 328 days a year here) are a demographic of the Los Angeles population.
California is the land of dream seekers: Spaniards came here on the trail of El Dorado, Americans from the Great Depression cruised Route 66 hoping to get a job, aspiring stars were sniffing a hole in the movies, and now, Latinos south of the border are seeking their American dream. Los Angeles is a mestizo city and the last restaurant we find in a place as symbolic as the Santa Monica Pier is precisely a Mexican one, the " Marisol ", with its tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and guacamole.
You come to Santa Monica to sunbathe, to bathe in the choppy waters of the ocean, to have fun in your little amusement park, but also to play sports, to take care of your muscles on your gymnastics equipment, to listen to music with the artists. street. It is the friendly and relaxed face of this immense city. This beach is just one part of the spectacular Santa Monica Bay. Venice Beach, Malibu, Zuma ... are other beaches that we can find while driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. And a little further north, leaving the city, Highway 1 begins, the famous Big Sur highway., which travels 150 kilometers overlooking the ocean, between bridges and cliffs. A very different coast from the one the Spanish found when they arrived here on Santa Monica day in 1542.
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