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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Santa Monica Pier

Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier is one of the many standout piers in California. Here's your complete guide to visiting Santa Monica Pier. Team


2 min read

November 16, 2023

Nestled along the sparkling coastline of Southern California, the Santa Monica Pier is a vibrant hub of entertainment, history, and cultural significance. It's one of the several excellent piers in California that have become essentially seaside amusement parks. Whether you're a local or a tourist, the Santa Monica Pier offers an array of experiences that cater to all ages and interests. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about visiting this iconic pier.

What to Do at Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is a treasure trove of activities. From the world-famous Pacific Park, with its iconic Ferris wheel and roller coasters, to the interactive aquarium, there's something for everyone. If you're wondering what to do at Santa Monica Pier, start with a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk. Here, you'll find a variety of street performers, local artists, and vendors selling unique souvenirs.

Established in 1909, it has witnessed significant events and cultural shifts. The pier's historical significance adds depth to your visit, as you'll be walking through a century-old landmark that has seen the evolution of the Californian coast.

For those seeking thrills, the Santa Monica Pier rides are a must-try. Pacific Park's rides range from family-friendly carousels to adrenaline-pumping roller coasters. The Pacific Wheel, a solar-powered Ferris wheel, offers breathtaking views of the coastline and is a favorite among visitors.

A common question among visitors is, "What time does Santa Monica Pier close?" The pier is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The parking deck is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Another key time for you to know is that the merry-go-round, one of the historic attractions at the pier, is open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Things to do and where to eat

Dining at the Santa Monica Pier is an experience in itself. With a range of restaurants and food stalls, you can indulge in everything from fresh seafood to classic American snacks. The shopping options are just as varied, offering beachwear, handcrafted jewelry, and unique gifts.

You can check out Pacific Park, an expansive amusement park. There's also the playland arcade to play some fun games such as skeeball or other arcade favorites. Then check out the end of Route 66 trail and the awesome Heal the Bay Aquarium.

For food, there are plenty of places to find a diverse range of bites. There are 16 food places at the pier, from simple snacks like churros and tamales to more robust dining options like The Albright and Mariasol Cocina Mexicana.

The iconic Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier is a major centerpiece of the park.

Santa Monica Pier Parking and Accessibility

One of the practical aspects to consider when visiting is Santa Monica Pier parking. There are several parking lots and structures around the pier, including a dedicated lot on the pier deck. The beach lot can be found at 1550 Appian Way. There are also lots at Bicknell and Ocean and the Downtown Public Parking Structures.

Santa Monica Pier Events and Entertainment

The pier hosts numerous events throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, movie screenings, and seasonal festivities. These include awesome events like the Santa Monica Classic Car Show, a monthly Locals' Night, and a weekly walking tour. These events add an extra layer of excitement to your visit, allowing you to experience the local culture and community spirit.

The Santa Monica Pier is more than just a destination; it's a vibrant, historical, and entertaining experience that caters to a diverse range of interests and ages. Whether you're there for the rides, the food, the culture, or simply the stunning ocean views, the pier promises an unforgettable experience. Plan your visit, explore all that it has to offer, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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