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Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica

Must see · Pier / Boardwalk · Historic Walking Area
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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. For Santa Monica Pier and beyond, use our Santa Monica trip itinerary planner to get the most from your Santa Monica vacation.
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Santa Monica Pier reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
19,164 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • The Santa Monica Pier doesn’t even let rain stop it from being open for business. It was a miserable day, but I wasn’t going to let it deter me from visiting and it gave me a unique perspective on... 
    The Santa Monica Pier doesn’t even let rain stop it from being open for business. It was a miserable day, but I wasn’t going to let it deter me from visiting and it gave me a unique perspective on...  more »
  • Visited with the family on our last day in LA. I had low expectations and they were not exceeded. There is an air of desperation and decay about the place - the rides are tame and over priced, food....  more
    Visited with the family on our last day in LA. I had low expectations and they were not exceeded. There is an air of desperation and decay about the place - the rides are tame and over priced, food....  more »
  • Iconic location but can get super crowded. Had a hard time doing rides because of huge crowds and long lines but kids had fun in the midway games. Park by the pier, not the promenade! The earlier you....  more
    Iconic location but can get super crowded. Had a hard time doing rides because of huge crowds and long lines but kids had fun in the midway games. Park by the pier, not the promenade! The earlier you....  more »
Google
  • Had a great time here! Be ready for the crowds of people that come here and bring your jacket because it can get pretty cold. There are many great spots to take pictures and spend time with family and friends here. We enjoyed the views entering the pier area and leading down to the actual pier. There are a variety of food options and many vendors providing custom gifts. We had some amazing funnel cakes and bought souvenir pictures for our group. This is a great spot for a day or night experience.
  • We went on a Sunday. Beautiful weather and plenty to do. It was just a day trip, so we only spent a couple hours there. I can't wait to go back so we can take our time and experience more. Great place to spend the day. Very kid friendly, we took our 10 year old. The beach is clean and wasn't too crowded. It was really nice and worth seeing, even with limited time.
  • Lively place, full of entertainment with so many fun activities nearby happening. Amazing place to roam around in the evening time specially. Always remains crowded, mainly due to the pacific park in the pier which is super cool with tons of rides and games to enjoy. Ample parking places available nearby, so parking is not a problem here. Probably one of the most happening night beach in California. Highly recommended to visit while in LA.
  • Santa Monica Pier is fantastic place to visit both for tourists and locals. I'm sure locals don't come here on a busy weekend evening but our friends who live in Malibu come here quite a bit when its not crowded. It really is a fun and historic place... from being the last stop on Iconic Route 66 to the food shops available, street food, street performers and fantastic sunsets, this pier is huge with tons of life and activities.. You can easily spend 4 hours here so plan accordingly. The parking can be tricky as the weekends are very very busy but there are many underground nearby parking lots and if you don't mind taking a walk there is lots of parking deeper into Santa Monica away from the beach. The pier is just lots of fun and easily top destination when visiting Southern California. Also, the cost of trinkets and souvenirs is not that high since there is a lot of competition. Overall people are very friendly and patient.. everyone is here to enjoy themselves and eventually wait for the beautiful sunset.. so plan to get your spot on the pier to record an amazing California sunset.
  • This is a neat place to visit. There weren't many people when we came because it was right after the tsunami warning expired. It was nice to casually tour without too much foot traffic. Parking costs, so be prepared for that. We paid $10 and parked across the street in a garage. It's a nice place to see if you're a tourist.

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