If you've called upon Ocean Avenue or Main Street in Santa Monica on pretty much any Sunday, even the chillier/foggier ones, you know that a lot of people are out, hoping to go to brunch, looking to go to the beach, or planning on doing a bit of both.
Many of those people, and maybe even you, happen to be in their cars, and strolling along, Sunday-style, is an activity that belongs solely to the sidewalk.
Except when an open streets event comes along. That's when people looking to leg it for an hour, or ride a bike, or push a stroller, or walk the dog take to the middle of the road, and not just the pedestrian-only areas to the each side.
What to do, where to go and what to see
And there's a big open streets gathering coming up on Ocean Avenue, from Wilshire Boulevard to Tongva Park, and Main Street, from Colorado Avenue to Marine Street, on the first of October.
The name? COAST Open Streets Festival.
The two central thoroughfares of the festival are mighty close, distance-wise, so you can cycle both, if that's your goal, or you can just visit one end of the map and soak it the unusual sight of a bunch of non-car'd humans ruling the street.
The Colorado Esplanade, by the by, serves as the car-free connector between Ocean and Main.
The Sunday, Oct. 1 cycle-tacular is free to join, and the entertainment and art that'll pop up over the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. schedule? That's a pay-nothing kind of situation, too. DJs, group karaoke, and collaborate drawing are just three of the many "look there!" moments due at the Oct. 1 event.
In the pay-something category, there's food, in the plentiful restaurants around the area and from food trucks, too. (And by "pay-something" we do mean pay the price on the menu, of course.)
And if your bike needs stowing? There's a free bike valet at Civic Auditorium, and bike repair, too, if some doohickey comes loose, due to all of your jubiliant, middle-of-the-road riding.
The City of Santa Monica is behind the sunbeam-laden, everyone-smile affair. How to get there? Two good recs: Expo Line and the Big Blue Bus.
And if you don't have a bike, you can check out a Breeze bike from a nearby station (there are 85 places to do so in the city, so yeah). Other bike renters'll be out, around Main and Ocean, so there are options.
Not biking is an option, too, so if you plan to be fully wheel-free, well, cool that. Stop on by either way and see a scene not often seen around the busy area come a bright Sunday afternoon.