Santa Monica Pier, 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. 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
13,985 reviews
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4.6
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  • Lots of shopping & food, street vendor shows as well....great place. Surprisingly there is also clean bathrooms!  more »
  • When in LA I park up on Ocean Park dr then walk down to the pier and to its end. Definitely people watching but please note the area is loaded with food trucks BUT lots of homeless on the walk overloo...  more »
  • Nice place! The ride on the dock is very nice well that crowded on Sunday. The rides are fun but not very sensational: quite expensive and the tour lasts really long! A Ferris wheel story to tell towers that we did... Restaurants are very popular at weekends so better to go in one of choice to book a slot.
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  • This a kind of face of Los Angeles. Whenever I visit this place I feel I am alive It is very nice before 10:00AM, there are not so many people around. You may feel the wisper of the wind and touch of the sunshine. The time around the sunset you may feel two emotions at the simultaneously. You can see the beauty of the nature when the sun set with the brilliance of the light around the mountains, clouds and the shore. You would feel the sad sentiment when the sun is set and the stuffs are merged into the dark.
  • If you don't do crowds, this place probably isn't for you. Finding parking was a big of a challenge. We had to walk a good distance through a large sea of people walking to and from the pier down a grade. The distance and grade may be difficult for folks with physical disabilities or in their senior years. The pier seemed a little dirty. Lots of performers and fishermen setup along the length of the pier. The historic Route 66 information and pictures at the end of the pier are neat to look at. We didn't ride on any of the attractions. The surrounding beaches were so packed with people, it was difficult to see sand.
  • FUN! Great place to go, day or night! Good food choices, and good food itself. Fun rides, laid back attitude, nice views, nice areas nearby to walk, sit, hangout, and beach walk has rental bikes, Segways, and miles of beach. 3 miles to Venice Beach is an added bonus! Rent a bike and be in Venice Beach in less than 15-20 minutes, and enjoy the views. Santa Monica beach is the fun cool beach in LA!
  • We went on a fantastic bus tour while in California this past December. The driver pulled over and parked...allowing all passengers to take a min 30 min to explore Santa Monica Beach. This was a huge highlight for us as all of us LOVE the beach and Ocean waters. My daughter and mom headed straight to the waters. Took off their shoes and walked around in the beach...dipping their toes into the water. Even though it was technically winter in December...the sun hit the beach and it was a very enjoyable 30 minutes soaking in the sun...even though it was only 18C. We had a blast. There was a theme park on the dock (which my daughter would normally automatically gravitate to)... but this time we just all decided take in the ocean...the sunshine and the beach. This is an amazing beach and we will absolutely be back...but next time...we will spend way more time and really enjoy it fully.
  • Such q great place to visit when you are a tourist! I do a lot of my photo shoots here because it is so iconic. I love the colors of the carousel and the beach is really clean and pretty. Definitely give stars..don't miss it.
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Plans to Santa Monica Pier by other users

13 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA December, relaxing, beaches, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM INDIA December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 23 days in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles & New York City BY A USER FROM INDIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA August, teens, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM BRAZIL July, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: November, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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