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Santa Monica Pier Tips (51)

Check out the Santa Monica...

Check out the Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Pier's origins date back almost 100 years. The Pier is very large, 413,056 square feet (9 acres), and very popular, attracting some 3 million visitors annually. People come here from all over the world to enjoy the ocean breezes, spectacular coastline views, attractions, restaurants, rides, games and shops. The end of famed Route 66 and a National Historical Landmark.
Films such as 'The Sting,' 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills,' 'Beverly Hills Cop,' 'The Net,' along with television programs such as 'Baywatch' have used the Santa Monica Pier.

Nobbe's Profile Photo
Aug 24, 2002

Take a stroll down memory lane on the pier

Remember when you were a child. You begged and bothered to go play at the arcade, ride the roller coaster and eat cotton candy! Wait - you still want to do this, right? Well, here many live out childhood memories at teh Santa Monica Pier, walking down the wooden planks and hollering with glee along with the little ones !

Pictured here is Playland Arcade where I love to play skeeball!

marinarena's Profile Photo
Jun 14, 2005

Seaside Stroll

Santa Monica pier is a great place to take a walk and people watch. The Pier has a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment experiences including a fun fare. At the start of the pier, you will find a traditional Carousel from 1922. Dependent on the time of year of your visit, you will find a variety of lively street performers from musicians to artists.

The Santa Monica Pier is open every day of the year and admission is free.

Parking is available on both the Pier Deck and the Beachfront nearby.

In September 2009, the Pier celebrated its 100th birthday.

Gillybob's Profile Photo
Aug 31, 2011

Santa Monica Pier

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 Smoking. It even turned up in the latest Grand Theft Auto game.

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.

antistar's Profile Photo
Feb 16, 2014
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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

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

brilliantbeer's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Santa Monica Pier

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.

Dabs's Profile Photo
May 04, 2008

If you're in Santa Monica...

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.

Mar 20, 2003

On the pier in Santa Monica

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.

spgood301's Profile Photo
Jun 30, 2005

Top 5 Santa Monica Writers

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"~Santa Monica~"
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marinarena's Profile Photo


"I Leave My Heart in Santa Monica"
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"Santa Monica"
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THe Pier, a tacky necessity

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.

tvdandy's Profile Photo
May 25, 2011

Free park entrance, anyone?

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.

iclee's Profile Photo
Jan 19, 2009

Fishing for Moby Dick

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.

iclee's Profile Photo
Jan 19, 2009

Playing on the Pier

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.

amandajayne81's Profile Photo
Mar 23, 2008

Things To Do Near Santa Monica Pier

Things to Do

Santa Monica Pier

This 100 year old landmark on a large double-jointed pier The pier contains Pacific Park amusement park with its one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art, solar-paneled Ferris wheel. an original carousel...
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Things to Do

Santa Monica Beaches

Santa Monica State Beach is an iconic destination that draws visitors from around the globe. It is 3 miles long, covering 245 acres of sand along Santa Monica Bay. Residents and visitors enjoy broad...
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Things to Do


It's full name is The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome and it is located on the Newcomb Pier adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California. It was designed and built in 1916 by Charles I....
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Things to Do

Santa Monica Place

This is the mall at the south end of 3rd street promenade, it was renovated a few years ago to an open air mall, with trendy designer shops and restaurants. It is also a few block from the beach and...
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Visitors Center

Located along Ocean Ave within Palisades Park is one of three visitor centers. It is Open Daily 10am-4pm. We stopped here and grabs some maps. It is a great place to find any information you made need...
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Things to Do

Third Street Promenade

Good idea, leaving the beach, said Fernanda. Let's move to a better place. And that was... shopping area, of course. Do you believe that I supported the never ending series of malls, shops and...
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Getting to Santa Monica Pier


Ocean Avenue at Colorado


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