Posts Tagged ‘Santa Monica’
Beautiful Views of the Bay on This Helicopter Tour of L.A.
We go on and on here about how perfect the Los Angeles weather is and how much our Los Angeles private tour guests appreciate the warm, clear days that greet them all through the year. What we have learned is that even on days where we complain of a little rain or fog our guests still think the weather is extraordinary. It is all relative. Our extremes of weather do not range very far so we see cool days as a threat to our existence. We have to wear jackets and caps? Oh, no. We need to find the umbrella. Heaven help us! Ok, admittedly we are weather sissies here in Southern California. Thankfully our guests bring some sense to what variations in weather mean. They are ready for a tour of Hollywood on a day when the thermometer in the SUV tells us it is only 64º by wearing shorts, t-shirts and sandals. They think it is beach weather. They look down from our luxury helicopter to an encroaching fog bank along the bay and only notice how beautiful the sight is. The Santa Monica Pier rises up where the fog seems to part and spread around but not over this funtastic beach entertainment center. They want to visit the pier when we complete our aerial tour to experience for themselves the attractions built on this local landmark. We will also take them to the Third Street Promenade to enjoy a city street turned into an outdoor shopping and entertainment mall. We are delighted they are enjoying the winter weather. After we drop them back at their hotel we can stop for a lavender hot chocolate at Demitasse.
Enjoy Quality Beach Time on a Luxury Private Tour in Los Angeles
Visiting Hollywood is great fun. Movie palaces, stars’ names along the sidewalk on the Walk of Fame, stars names in cement in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater, wax museums, historic hotels and the keen sense that Hollywood awards season is about to start. Beverly Hills, too, is exciting. We are talking about big celebrity homes with expansive manicured gardens, fancy boutiques, famous hotels, restaurants and bars. However, as the days have become short and the weather throughout much of the northern hemisphere has gotten cold and wet we offer our Los Angeles private tour guests a chance to do their sightseeing where the waves are breaking and the sand is warm. If you are planning a winter visit to Southern California be sure to bring your shorts and sandals. Oh, and your sunglasses. We can take you along Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood, through Beverly Hills and other ritzy movie star neighborhoods all the way to the ocean in Santa Monica. We like to park and walk along the palisades in a long park overlooking the bay just to point out some historic homes and buildings right on the beach as well as the somewhat well known beaches visible along the coast from this vantage point. From here we can head north to Malibu or south to Venice and Manhattan Beach (or we can go both north and south – it is your custom tour, after all) and find the perfect spot to enjoy the warm weather, fresh sea air, and the outdoors and beach culture that Los Angeles is famous for (Baywatch, anyone?).
Our Private Tour Guests Reflect on Families as the Sun Sets in Santa Monica
Wilshire Boulevard is the “Main Street” of Los Angeles. For 18 miles the wide roadway connects downtown Los Angeles to the ocean in Santa Monica. Traffic on this main road of a major city can often leave our guides praying for salvation as they bring their Los Angeles private tour families through Beverly Hills and West L.A. into Santa Monica, talking about the rich history, lucrative businesses and wealthy neighborhoods, telling stories and adding anecdotes, our guests never have any idea how fraught a particular journey has been. We have great guides who are all excellent drivers. But still, when they get to the end of Wilshire Boulevard there is a statue of Saint Monica, the bay spreading out behind her to the horizon, and our guides can offer up their thanks. The city is named for this patron saint of difficult marriages and wayward children but sometimes any connection to the sublime when arriving at Palisades Park is worth paying tribute to. Our guests on their custom tour often choose to walk along the palisades to admire the sea and the city, to look down over the beach and the homes of Hollywood stars built along the Pacific Coast Highway below them, to enjoy the sea breeze and, if they are lucky to be out late in the afternoon this time of year, enjoy a beautiful sunset. We are pleased to talk about the creation of the art deco Saint Monica statue by sculptor Eugene Morahan back in 1934 with money from a federal public arts project. As we parade along the cliff edge towards the Santa Monica Pier there are other interesting landmarks to pass by including a camera obscura. The lights on the pier come up to make it look like a dazzling scintillating jewel against the golden sky. Children with us are always attracted to the Ferris Wheel and the roller coaster. Thank you, Saint Monica, for having a fun and beautiful city on the sea.
Warm Summer Weather Continues into the Fall for a Los Angeles Tour
We do not experience a real autumn in Los Angeles. We are a two-season town. Some say summer and not-summer. Some say Dry Season and Wet Season. Still others refer to our weather periods as Green and Brown. However we might describe it we have perfect weather almost every day of the year with some days hotter, some cooler and an occasional few damp. That means that the beaches are open all year long and most days are good beach days. We encourage our private tour guests to dress casually so that when we get to the beach communities (Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu) we can explore the sandy regions and walk barefoot in the surf (OK, yes, the water is colder here than on east coast shores but we can take it and, in fact, rely on the cold water for natural air-conditioning). We can also rent bicycles on our tour and explore the miles upon miles of bike paths along the coast. Or skates. We are an outdoors-enjoying population and the beach is a central location for many activities. Get to know it as we know it when you visit and go sightseeing in Los Angeles.
Construction Does not Diminish the
Ocean Views on Santa Monica Tour
We filled up our extra large luxury vehicle for this family tour all around Los Angeles and out to Santa Monica to visit the beaches. The clear day provided us with extraordinary views of the Channel Islands off the city coast and a chance to see a major construction project upgrading the ramp up and down from Santa Monica to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Kids love big dirt movers, cranes and pavers and there are plenty to be seen just above the great old homes that were first on the beach when Hollywood was still making movies without soundtracks or color. Back in those days the trip from Hollywood to Santa Monica could take a half a day. Today we get there much faster unless we stop at any number of historic and interesting destinations along the way (studios, art installations, celebrity homes, boutique shops). Los Angeles is dense with history interesting to our private luxury tour guests that has happened mostly since the beginning of the last century when the film cameras came to town. And for the kids there is the Santa Monica Pier.
A Stroll Along the Santa Monica Palisades
with Our Private Tour
The Santa Monica Bay curves in front and behind us as we walk along the palisades in Santa Monica. Beautiful residences, restaurants and hotels line the far side of the boulevard. The sandy cliffs on the other side lead down to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and the wide clean beaches running up to Malibu and beyond in one direction and down to the Palos Verdes Peninsula (about 40 miles) in the other. The bay is blue and full of life…both sea creatures and people. We easily convince our private Los Angeles tour folks why the movie stars in the new town of Hollywood back at the turn of the last century built their first beach homes right below us. As much time as it might have taken us to drive here from Hollywood with traffic it was a much longer journey back in the days when horses were still a form of conveyance and automobiles had to be hand cranked. Brand new street cars could be said to be rickety in those golden days of the first feature length movies and movie palaces but those trolleys rumbled from downtown and Hollywood to the beach so fully dressed residents could escape the inland summer heat and jump into the ocean. Homes still occupy the beach all along the Los Angeles coastline, some magnificent and others just ordinary homes (that cost a whole lot of money these days). Our guides stay abreast of local real estate and have many answers to the questions their guests ask when we explore the coast on a luxury tour.
Our Private Tour Guests Wish to
Walk in the Sand
California beaches are like no other and many of our Los Angeles tour guests when seeing the wide sand expanses in Santa Monica just have to have us park the SUV and take a walk. Early in the day the deep sand is perfect for the somewhat strenuous trek to the ocean but oh so worth it. The Santa Monica Bay is exquisite with mountains on the west (as seen in the photograph) and highlands to the east (the Palos Verdes Peninsula). We know it seems odd but most of the beach faces south. The bike path is busy with bicycles, inline skaters and joggers and the Venice Boardwalk begins not far behind where we were standing when this picture was taken. Up ahead is the Santa Monica Pier just getting started for another busy day ahead. The pier offers all sorts of carnival fun and a lively place for local fishermen to set their lines. We envy our guests staying at the Loews, Casa del Mar and Shutters hotels because they can simply step outside their rooms and they are here.
A Late Afternoon Private Tour Sees the Sun Set
Our Los Angeles coast is always beautiful and a real treat for visitors from inland communities especially if they live where warm sunshine is rare at this time of year. We in L.A. are spoiled that we have so many nice days even throughout the winter, our rainy season. Because we encourage our Los Angeles tour guests to begin their private custom excursions at any time convenient for them we are often out and about sightseeing late in the afternoon and into the evening. What makes that time special is that the southern California sunset is spectacular. If we can manage to get our group to the coast or to some high place where they can really see a wide beautiful landscape, we do that. In this photo we were perched upon the palisade in Santa Monica overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway and the bay. The lights of Santa Monica Pier illuminate the Ferris Wheel and rollercoaster. In the distance rises the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Now that Daylight Savings Time has begun our sunset begins later but it is still worth considering a late afternoon and evening sightseeing tour.
Our Private Tour Guests Wear Shorts in January
This is not global warming. This is typical January weather in Los Angeles. In fact, most of us who live here have on long sleeves and socks, maybe even a light jacket. But our private Los Angeles tour guests from colder climes find our low 70s temperatures to be downright balmy and they are dressing for their custom luxury tour in shorts and t-shirts and directing us to soda fountains for ice cream snacks. The beaches, while nearly empty during this off season, are perfect for strolling and just sitting and reading a book, catching some sun, watching the waves. Truly, it is perfectly comfortable being outside anywhere in the city at this time of the year from Santa Monica to Hollywood. The Grove and the Original Farmers Market are perfect outdoor shopping and eating destinations for all of us.
Like Our Los Angeles Tour Guests the Circus is in Town
Rising from the sand for a brief period are the whimsical blue and yellow tents of Cirque du Soleil. Once again in Santa Monica for a winter performance, their show this year, Totem, looks at the evolution of a species from amphibian to bird, a metaphysical journey from the water to the skies involving acrobatics, dance and humor. Entering its fourth year, Totem already has been seen by more than 2 million people and the next two months on the Santa Monica beach will add a significant number to the Totem total. With 19 different shows being performed around the world you can say that the sun never sets on Cirque du Soleil despite that being the subject of our private tour photograph today.