The Real Deal:

What once was a hidden gem nestled within a quiet Santa Monica neighborhood, has now become a workout hot-spot for outdoor fitness fans.  The biggest draw of doing the Santa Monica Steps or “The Stairs” (either name works), is that they are free to the public and open 24-7, 365 days a year.  There are two sets of steps, wooden ones that are wider across and offer a straight shot up, and concrete ones that are more narrow and wind back and forth like switchbacks on a trail.  Most steppers keep to themselves and obey an unspoken “etiquette” that involves allowing those a bit quicker than you to pass freely on your side on their way up and down.  Many bring along an ipod and quietly design their own workout, whether it be the standard one stair at a time, two at a time, side-ways, or even running and/or jumping.  The steps are for everyone, so enjoy this free workout!


Know Before You Go:

  • The Steps can be found on Adelaide Drive (which is one block North of San Vicente) between 4th Street and 7th Street
  • It is best to park along San Vicente near the top of the stairs, around 7th Street
  • Be aware of parking restrictions as there are many
  • The steps are smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood, so please be respectful and keep your voices to a minimum
  • You will see patrons at the steps year-round (and usually a celeb or two), but the “peak times” are early mornings and evening during the summer

Julie says:

On the one hand, I LOVE the steps because I get a great lower body and cardio workout, but on the other hand, I find them a little boring!  I prefer going with Kacie early in the morning (when the steps are less crowded and we can actually walk side by side and have a conversation), but I will sometimes venture out during busier times.  The steps DO take a little getting used to.  You will have to go several times before you feel comfortable walking down them without feeling a little dizzy, and after your first trip, you’ll be lucky if you can walk the next day!  But, once you become a Santa Monica Steps pro, you’ll get to the point where you’ll want to mix it up a little by bringing small hand weights to add extra resistance, and may even choose to break up the monotony of the up and downs by taking a jog around the neighborhood in between sets.


Kacie says:

Don’t be afraid, anyone can do this…it just takes some practice and dedication.  My first time I managed four round trips in about 20 minutes, and let me tell you, it was NOT easy.  My legs were shaking like crazy and it made driving afterwards very difficult.  I recommend going with a friend or bringing your ipod because it can get a little repetitive.  Going down can be tricky in the beginning, especially if the leg trembling has kicked in!  The flight of steps closest to the bottom can blur together, but after a while you get used to it.  I prefer the wood steps, because the others are a bit too windy…but that is a personal choice.

-Thanks for reading!
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Santa Monica Steps