Kids who visit Los Angeles, especially tweens and teens, want to hit the beach and the beach towns are guaranteed to please — no town more so than Santa Monica with its world-famous pier, which has been drawing visitors since it was built in 1908 — the first pleasure pier on the West Coast.
When I go for a before dinner walk on the beach, there are adults—and kids—doing yoga, playing on the swings and the gymnastics equipment. (There is an area for the kids to climb mini ropes!) They are inline skating, riding bikes, swinging and jumping in and out of the surf and squealing with laughter. They are lining up for fresh lemonade and tacos, playing games in the arcade on the pier.