Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

4.2
#1 of 49 in Things to do in Santa Monica
Experience the vibrant, timeless energy of southern California with a walk down Santa Monica Pier. The 100-year-old wooden wharf serves as the area's hub of entertainment and culture. This spot is home to the Pacific Park amusement park, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, an array of shops and eateries, and plenty of street artists. Rent bikes and spend the afternoon exploring the carnival-like atmosphere while enjoying the oceanside scenery. Kids love visiting the Playland Arcade, which has more than 200 games and attractions. The pier also is home to California's only over-water Ferris wheel. Plan to visit Santa Monica Pier and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Santa Monica attractions using our Santa Monica trip generator.
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4.6
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  • August 14, 2017
    Parked at Santa Monica beach and walked passed Muscle Beach to the pier, nice little walk and got to see the pier from a distance and up close. There is a fairground on the pier but we didn't visit it...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    Very busy but had lot's happening. Enjoyed Mexician bar at end of Pier, needed beer on a hot day. Good experience.  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    To see especially during the sunset, beware it's quickly cool. Cancellations and local wildlife in addition to the masses of tourists. To see
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  • June 19, 2017
    You never know what you'll see here. Street performers are in full bloom here, and there is always a good show. If you want to work out but not be at muscle beach, this beach offers many places to work on your fitness. People there are friendly and assist in showing you how to use the various work out options. I tried my hand at tightrope walking (which I would have never done if the guy doing it asked if I wanted to give it a try) and a person helped me learn how to get on the rope and begin to walk. Good people and great experiences. There are also various food options, bike rentals, and plenty of beach for fun in the sun.
  • June 9, 2017
    Stopped here on my trip from Minnesota. Nice beach, well maintained. Definitely a tourist trap. Cool little pier to check out though, I recommend checking out El Matador State Beach down the road, if you want something a little less populated.
  • June 28, 2017
    I love this place. Huge pier with restaurants, amusement park, fishing area, arcade. There are also food vendors and artists who sing/dance/paint. Restrooms are not the cleanest but at least it's there if needed. If you don't get overwhelmed by crowds, this place is amazing. Parking is not easy to find, specially on weekends. The pier public parking lots are the cheapest and the first 90 mins are free. Other private parking lots can go up to $20 upfront. The metro train station is very near the beach and the mall. There are metro buses that stop right at the beach as well.
  • July 2, 2017
    Love the pier views, had burgers at Pier Burgers(almost as good as In and Out Burger). Loved the local Pier Vendors. Had Ice Cream at the place near the bottom of pier called Ken's 50/50(Tasty)! You will enjoy yourself and they even Carnival rides for you.
  • May 17, 2017
    Take a walk, soak in the atmosphere, enjoy the view. I had a wonderful time at the pier, the last stop of route 66. But there is no need to stay too long. We walked up and down, listened to some music and took some fun pictures. There was a lively atmosphere and the view was great. Afterwards I highly recommend strolling along Ocean Avenue for some fresh beach air.

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Where to stay in Santa Monica

Santa Monica's hotels range from luxury to boutique, offering more than 3,500 rooms located at or near the waterfront. Staying at a beachfront resort can cost a bundle, so if you have a limited budget in mind, consider accommodations away from the water. Hotels just a few blocks from the ocean offer comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi and cable TV at a fraction of the cost charged by their beachfront equivalents. For an even more affordable stay, consider one of the city's inns or motels.
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