It’s easy to forget sometimes that L.A. is a beach town — maybe because most of us have to drive a ways before we see water, plus pay those exorbitant parking fees. And then there’s the June gloom. But now it’s finally heated up enough to play beach blanket bingo, so we checked out the shores of Santa Monica to see who’s stuffing those wild bikinis — and it does appear to be all about two-pieces this summer.

1 Olivia Wright Student

Bathing suit: borrowed from her sister, who might have bought it at Hot Topic; hat from Slow, a vintage store on Melrose

Tan line: “Sunscreen for sure — usually I wear 45, but today I’m wearing 15.”

Why this beach today? “Because it’s beautiful! It’s been pretty gloomy. I used to go to Santa Monica High School, and this is the beach where everyone comes and hangs out.”

2 Dawn McDonald (left):
Real estate investor, visiting from Houston, Texas

Bathing suit: Nordstrom

Tan line: “Right now I have on 50, but at least 30. I burned myself in Phoenix yesterday, so I’m doing 50 today.”

Why this beach today? “We are on a road trip — we’re here visiting friends.”

Lia Bockert (right): Industrial engineer

Bathing suit: Nordstrom

Tan line: “I usually wear a 4. I have pretty dark skin, not that that makes it okay, but I don’t usually burn.”

Why this beach today? “Santa Monica is close to us — we live in Westwood — and so it’s a logical place for us to go hang out.”

3Sveta Rudzina: Boutique owner, visiting from Belarus

Bathing suit: a shop on the boardwalk

Tan line: Bullfrog 36

Why this beach today? After working out with kettlebells (Russian weights), her cousins brought her to hang out. “It is,” says one cousin, “the best beach in L.A.”

4 Susan and Lundie Strom:
Clinical art therapist(Susan) and student

Bathing suits: Old Navy for Lundie and Canyon Beach for Susan

Tan line: “Sunscreen — 30 for Lundie, 30 for my face and 7 for the rest. It’s got to be Coppertone at the beach.”

Why this beach today? “My daughter likes the waves here — they’re easier for her to play in. We live down by Will Rogers, and they’re a little bit more aggressive there.”

5 Angela Farmer and her mini-dachshund, Brew:
Full-time housewife

Bathing suit: “I think I got it at Diane’s.”

Tan line: “I use nothing, nothing at all, swear to God. I’m out here about an hour and a half max two or three times a week, and then I get out of the sun. I’m one of the lucky ones. I get a little pink and the next day it will all be tan.”

Why this beach today? “It’s one of the best — for the scenery, for the people that come here. And safety also.”

6 Lydia Lassiter:
Photo editor, currently unemployed: “That’s why I got to come to the beach today!”

Bathing suit: “From the bottom of the hamper. Originally the suit was one piece, I got it at some store in San Diego years ago.”

Tan line: “I use a tanning lotion — SPF of 6 minimum. When I come out determined to get some rosy cheeks for a trip, then I lessen the SPF.”

Why this beach today? “I’m going on a trip to Seattle tomorrow and just packed everything, and at the last minute it got sunny down here and I’m like, ‘I’m going to get some more rays before it gets hazy again.’”

Richaun Riddick: Student

Bathing suit: Rampage

Tan line: “I’m wearing a 15, I think.” Why this beach today? “This beach was the closest to North Hollywood that we could think of.”

Tara Lizardi: Student, visiting from New Jersey

Bathing suit: Macy’s

Tan line: Uses tanning oil, Banana Boat

Why this beach today? “Richaun’s from here and she’s showing us around.”

Damaris Delgado: Student, visiting from New York

Bathing suit: H&M

Tan line: “I use tanning lotion first because I burn, but today I went straight oil.”

Is L.A. everything you thought it would be? “Yes, even better, even more. The world can’t go wrong.”

Rosa Swinton: Student, visiting from Philadelphia

Bathing suit: “I got it in San Antigua at a boutique when I was on a Royal Caribbean cruise.”

Tan line: “I use oil — just baby oil.”

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