The renowned Ferris Wheel and Santa Monica Pier protruding from the tempting waves of the Pacific Ocean mark the entrance to Santa Monica, California, for motorists traveling the Pacific Coast Highway. The Santa Monica Pier, located at the westernmost tip of Santa Monica, is an integral part of this gorgeous seaside municipality. The pier is among the various activities available in Santa Monica.
The Pier is brimming with family-friendly activities, lively street performers, restaurants, and stores, and also offers breathtaking views and almost a century of history.
The Background of the Santa Monica Pier
The historic Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast when it was built in 1909. It immediately developed a reputation as Santa Monica’s premier fishing place.
Fishing remains a popular sport at the Santa Monica Pier. The Looff Hippodrome, which is now a National Historic Landmark, debuted in 1916, followed by the opening of the iconic carousel in 1939. The iconic Santa Monica Yacht Harbor neon sign was unveiled in 1941 and remains one of Los Angeles’ most favorite selfie locations.
Directions to Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is situated at Santa Monica State Beach in the neighborhood of Santa Monica Pier Area and Ocean Avenue. There are numerous hotels nearby, as well as Ocean Avenue and Downtown Santa Monica attractions.
Depending on the season & time of day, Santa Monica Beach’s parking lots fill up quickly. The closest parking lot is located at the bottom of the Pier’s ramp. Lot 1 North, located just north of the Pier, provides additional parking spaces. The pier and beach of Santa Monica are easily accessible via alternate modes of transportation. Walk, hire an electric bicycle or scooter, or take use of Santa Monica’s free, on-demand shuttle service to reach Santa Monica Pier without difficulty.
Attractions at the Pier
Yahoo Travel voted the family-friendly Pacific Park the best amusement park in California. The Pacific Wheel is the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world, and it is located in the only amusement park on a pier on the West Coast. In addition to the West Coaster, a 55-foot-tall roller coaster that towers above the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Pier rides feature games, dining, and shopping. Pacific Park is accessible throughout the year, though seasonal hours change. Read “How to Spend a Day in Pacific Park” for more information.
Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier features wooden horses and sleighs. The famed carousel was constructed in 1939 in the Looff Hippodrome, a National Historic Landmark & one of the few remaining structures from the original Santa Monica pier.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Take the ramp located at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue down to the Pier if you are driving to the Pier. You can access the same location on foot via the pedestrian access sidewalk. Simply proceed west on Colorado Avenue to reach the 3rd Street Promenade and Downtown Santa Monica from the Santa Monica Pier ramp.
From anywhere along the southern California coastline, you may cycle to the Pier! Take the 22-mile-long, paved Marvin Braude Bike Trail (the Strand) along the coast from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades to Torrance County Beach. Rent or valet bicycles at the Santa Monica Bike Center or by the beach path to the south of the pier.
Big Blue Bus provides direct service between LAX and Santa Monica through Route 3 or Rapid 3 Big Blue Bus provides service between Downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Santa Monica. Check their schedule for updated timing information. Santa Monica is accessible via the Metro Expo Line from Downtown Los Angeles, Culver City, and other Westside Los Angeles locales.