One of the most outstanding attractions on Santa Monica's ocean front is the pier, which as well as providing touristic entertainment, also lights up beautifully at night. The pier has appeared in many a movie, including the Titanic, Forrest Gump, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, the Sting, and a recent favourite of mine, Thank You for Not Smoking.
It's actually a combination of two piers, one a sewer pipe carrier built in 1909, and later a wider pier built in 1913 that brought the ocean side entertainment. It was almost destroyed in the 1960s, only for its destruction order to be rescinded in 1973, just in time for its appearance in The Sting.
Located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Since 2003, it is operated by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization. It was formerly known as the Ocean Discovery Center and was operated by UCLA.
As Heal the Bay’s marine education facility, it is open to the general public and attracts more than 65,000 visitors from around the world per year (approximately 15,000 are students). This facility offers educational programs, activities and special events dedicated to marine conservation, pollution prevention, and environmental education.
Opening times 2pm - 6pm Tues - Fri
12.30 - 6pm Sat, Sun
The acitivity at the Santa Monica Pier has a lot to do with the weather, what day it is and if it's summer break for school kids, I've been here when there have only been a few people but on a Sunday in April with temperatures in the 90s the place was hopping.
There's a carousel, Pacific Park, a small amusement park that has a ferris wheel (which I think they recently tried to sell on ebay) and a mini roller coaster, souvenir shops and a psychic adviser. It's right on the beach so you can come here to watch the beautiful sunsets over the ocean.
There are pay parking lots that range between $5 and $7 along Pacific Coast Highway 1, parking garages at the pier and along some of the main streets and metered spots along Ocean Avenue.
There's one place you definitely want to see ~ the famous Santa Monica Pier. It's open year round and the admission is free. They have playland arcade, carousel and many restaurants overlooking the ocean.
This is a centerpiece of any visit to Santa Monica. Grab a bite to eat, check out the (as expected) many souvenir shops & buy yourself something kitchy. There's plenty for the kids to do, including the Aquarium, and you'll get some really nice beach views too.
It's not the biggest pier in the world, but it's someplace you'll definitely want to visit while in Santa Monica.
Ok, its the pier. Cheesy, but oh so fun. Ride the thrilless rollercoaster or go on the ferris wheel, which looks very cool lit up at night! Great people watching spot and the food items are not that pricey for Santa Monica. A must for Santa Monica I suppose.
We went here (Pacific Park, Santa Monica, CA) to check out the beach quality and for the kids to enjoy more parks (we went to Magic Mountain, too).
It was near Carson where we stayed during our 2008 summer vacation in the US. We easily found parking (about $8) in the beach area since we went as soon as the park opened at 11am. There were no park entrance fees although the rides were about US$5-10 a ride.
What's a park day without sampling their funnel cake? Of course, we needed to check out if their funnels are good. I found it too loaded with sugar but at least it was crispy. My younger one ordered one with strawberry jam topping...Hmmmm....not entirely bad.
There was an exhibit going on right on the beach. Lots of small crosses. Turned a good portion of the beach like a heroes cemetery. Read one that says "In Memory of John something....who died in the Iraq war". There was even a guy who was denouncing the current US president's action (GW Bush).
We walked passed the restaurants at the end where a section of the pier is jutting out of the ocean and decided to enjoy the sunshine during the chilly May day.
I saw a lot of people with fishing poles and patiently waiting for that "bite" on the farthest end of the pier.
I found out that you will not need a fishing license here and the poles/baits can be rented/bought in the Santa Monica Bait and Tackle shop at the pier's end.
They said that you can catch any of the following: Perch, Mackerel, White Sea Bass, Leopard Shark, and Sting rays.
So much to do here although all of it was definitely aimed at tourists and a little tacky but hey we had fun. So much colour in the people around and the activities available. Our most enjoyable visit was the one at 6.30am on New Years Day just before we left when it was virtually empty and the sun had just risen. Very worth seeing. Take you time and enjoy this little bit of nostalgia.
This is Santa Monica's iconic landmark which, once you've been here, you'll recognize it in American movies and TV shows which might prompt you to be geeky like me and proclaim, "Hey, I've been there!" to anyone who'll listen.
Santa Monica Pier is a mini carnival-on-the-sea jetting out over Santa Monica Bay. It's free to stroll along the pier, although you'll have to pay to ride the historic carousel, use the Pacific Park amusement park, use the Playland Arcade, eat at the restaurants, or enter the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
We stumbled upon the Pier after exploring downtown Santa Monica and really enjoyed the old fashioned county fair atmosphere of it all. It's located high above the water, giving you great photo opportunities of the beach. We didn't really do anything on the pier other than admire the views and take photos. We did, however, choose to end our day in Santa Monica by eating on the patio of the Mariasol Mexican restaurant at the very end of the pier. What a great way to watch the sunset and the moon rise!
If you're in Santa Monica with the kids, be sure to check out the Amusement Park right on Santa Monica Pier (and if you forget, they're sure to remind you). It's actually quite small, but it's got enough rides to keep 'em occupied for a while. The ferris wheel is something of a landmark-when you see it, you know the Pier is near.
All part of a great family day in Santa Monica
SANTA MONICA PIER
This 100 years old pier is the landmark of Santa Monica.
It has been a favorite spot for filming: The Sting, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Cop, The Net, along with television programs such as Baywatch.
It also offers an amusement park with a ferris wheel and roller coaster, an arcade, an historic carousel, restaurants and a superbe view to the huge surrounding beach!
Go to St Monica Pier. All the way from enterande there are a lot of stalls with souvernirs, etc. Visit Playland Arcade. It offers all the favourite boardwalk-type coin-operated games, fortune-tellers in machines, and video games.
You have seen it on several TV shows and movies, it is the end of Route 66. Santa Monica Pier is an institution. It has a lot of souvernir stores and restaurants. A must see and a tourist trap at the same time.
Santa monica pier is an entrainment area, a place to relax and have a good time. It was built on 1909 but developped after that and now it's becoming as a must-see destination in Southern California. It's on the pacific ocean, just near the downtown, it's a nice place where from we can enjoy the view of the city, the ocean and the beach :)