It’s not snowing at LA’s beaches, but the sledding’s still great! Recently erected sand berms up and down the coast—and as high as 15 feet—are intended to protect areas from flooding during winter storm surges. For parents seeking a little fun with their kids, or for kids at heart, the berms stand for something different: sand sledding! With boogie boards or toboggans in hand, kids joyously tire themselves out by repeatedly running uphill and then riding back down again.
The hills slope up gently on the ocean side but are purposefully built to be as steep as possible on the inland side, making for a good, fast ride. This also makes it extremely satisfying to simply run down the steep side of the hill (it’s eerily cool the way the roar of the surf abruptly drops away once your head drops below the level of the top of the berm). You can find the berms on either side of the Venice fishing pier at the end of Washington Boulevard in Venice Beach. Additional berms can be found nearby in Playa del Rey at the end of Culver Boulevard (although they aren’t quite as high), and at certain beaches in Malibu as well. The berms typically stay up until the end of the winter, but the sooner you visit, the higher they’ll be. Berm, baby, berm.
To reach the Venice fishing pier, follow Washington Blvd. west from Culver City to where it ends at the beach. A pay parking lot and metered parking are available. No dogs.