All you need to know about the Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica

Published: Mar 07, 2019, 12:44 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The Original Muscle Beach Santa Monica was well known for its athletes who practiced gymnastics

All you need to know about the Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica
Muscle Beach

A venue in Santa Monica to watch acrobats, gymnasts, wrestlers, stuntmen and stuntwomen practice their impressive acts for films being shot during the Great Depression (to distract people’s attention from their own financial crises), the Original Muscle Beach, located just south of Santa Monica Pier, rapidly became popular for beachgoers and athletes alike.

Santa Monica Beach

The Original Muscle Beach Santa Monica:
Not to be confused with close by Muscle Beach in Venice, the Original Muscle Beach began in Santa Monica in the early 1930s and has since been dubbed “original” to help distinguish between Muscle Beach Santa Monica and Muscle Beach Venice.

The name “Muscle Beach” did not become popular until later in the mid-1940s, the beach was known simply as one of Santa Monica’s parks that was owned and maintained by the Santa Monica Parks and Recreation Department. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) installed exercise equipment at what is now known as Original Muscle Beach where gymnastic and acrobatic exhibitions were regularly held.

As its popularity spread of a beach attraction that was bringing athletes from different disciplines like outdoor wrestling and even circus performers, the beach park at Santa Monica came to be known as the place-to-be for celebrities, actors, stunt people and of course, bodybuilders.

International fame grew around the park, and gymnasts and athletes from all over contributed to it by providing their own gym equipment like bars, benches, and weights, to help widen the breadth of activities that were offered at the park.
The Original Muscle Beach Santa Monica was well known for its athletes who practiced gymnastics. Visitors will still find plenty of retro gym equipment like parallel bars, rings, and ropes in the area that gave way to Original Muscle Beach’s fame.

By the mid-1950s, Muscle Beach had established worldwide fame and became the reason there was such a large fitness movement in Santa Monica spreading quickly to nearby cities in the region. The California fitness movement took off and in 1989, the City of Santa Monica officially rededicated the park as the Original Muscle Beach, which still serves gymnasts, acrobats, and youth today.

Georgian Hotel
The Georgian Hotel

Where to stay near Original Muscle Beach?

There are plenty of hotel options that are all within one-half mile to Original Muscle Beach Santa Monica, shopping and great food.

Shore Hotel in Santa Monica is a certified property that offers eco-friendly accommodation with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Having perfect views of Santa Monica Pier, Original Muscle Beach, and Third Street Promenade, apart from popular shopping districts, Shore Hotel is a great place to begin exploring Santa Monica.

The Georgian Hotel is one of the only places to experience true 1940s Old Hollywood glamour in the vicinity of one of the finest beaches in Los Angeles. Enjoy signature cocktails from the Veranda Restaurant as you look at the beautiful Southern California sunset — you won’t be disappointed by the beachfront views, great food, and great music.

For other luxury hotels in Santa Monica right next to the beach, visit Viceroy Santa Monica, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, Shutters on the Beach, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot, or Hotel Casa del Mar. These seaside beach havens offer expansive pool terraces and spacious rooms that provide sophisticated guest comfort. If you want to be close to everything you could want in Los Angeles, choose one of these luxury accommodations.

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