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Santa Monica Pier

Attractions, Historic buildings and sites Downtown Santa Monica Free
4 out of 5 stars
(16user reviews)
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier

Time Out says

Considered the focal point of Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Pier includes Pacific Park, a traditional set-up stocked with a Ferris wheel, aquarium, fairground games and cotton candy stands. On warm weekends, the stretch is busy with families, beach bums and gym bunnies, who work out in public at the original Muscle Beach just south of the pier. Lately, the Pier has played host to a number of outdoor film and music events, bringing a hipper clientele to the boardwalk.



Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica

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Users say (16)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
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While I truly believe that the best way to admire the pier is to stay off of it, it's a perfect place to take first time LA visitors. The Ferris Wheel is iconic, and worth braving the crowds if you're anxious to feel the Santa Monica breeze from up in the sky! It's a great place to watch the landscape of the mountains, ocean, and clouds collide. 


Touristy and a good place to spend some money but your dollars will be well spent. Santa Monica pier is like Venice boardwalk's older, more mature sister. It's an iconic LA attraction that is worth spending a few hours of your day. 

The very epitome of what LA has to offer... Santa Monica pier has all the touristy vibes and beautiful weather.

The pier can get touristy but if you go on an off day, riding on all the rides is a good fine and good times! Parking can be a nightmare on the pier so I recommend parking closer to 3rd street promenade and just walking over.  

Get ready for some fun times and fun in the sun! 

moderatorStaff Writer

It's always pretty busy with a great friendly atmosphere, a must when in LA!


This is an iconic spot to visit. When arriving in Los Angeles, many things aren't exactly what imagined, but Santa Monica Peer, isn't one of them: it is exactly what you see in movies! 

Crowded: yes, noisy: yes, not easy to get around: yes, but it is a really cool place to visit, because it connects directly with your imagination and memories! 

The diversity is great, so really embrace it! You will find all kinds of people, artists, and crafts around. Obviously, really close to the ocean, so a walk through the beach is also a good way to start or end a visit. 

Santa Monica Pier has earned its right as an iconic LA attraction. Sure it can be crowded and some of the games and things are a bit cheesy, but it wouldn't be the same without those characteristics. It's a great place to people watch and have a touristy day in LA. It's just one of those places you have to go to at least once.

Definitely a tourist infused area but hey, that only adds to the charm of this place. It provides endless hours of people-watching, there are a plethora of food trucks in the area to choose from, and if you walk to the end of the pier, you can almost always find eager musicians ready to serenade you with their cheery songs. The only thing I don't like are the gentlemen that stand at the entrance to the pier with giant yellow snakes. Fun for some, but terrifying to the rest of us!


On the one hand, the Santa Monica Pier is the end of historic Route 66 and a scenic spot to take in the Southern California coastline. But getting there, and navigating the hordes of tourists, is an awful experience no matter what time of year. It's still worth a visit, just to say you went, but maybe skip the amusement park portion; consider walking along Palisades Park instead or, if you're looking for a pier, try the more low-key Manhattan Beach.

How many places in the world can you ride a Ferris Wheel overlooking the Pacific Ocean while watching the sunset?  The pier combines carnival boardwalk fun on the pier while setting a backdrop for a perfect date.

moderatorStaff WriterTastemaker

Busy on a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon as you might expect. Great for people watching.

Obviously not disneyland, but a good place to go if you have a couple of hours in LA. The roller coaster isn't bad if not as ambitious as it could be and they do make an effort to give it a good marine park feel if that makes sence. It feels like something from the not to distant past but at its best a good verison of it.

0 of 1 found helpful

The pier looked a lot cooler from the outside than it did when we actually got there. We ended up driving so was a bi confused if we could drive in to the pier as there was only a sign for bikes, but ended up figuring it out and paying for parking. Thought that the rides and games would be cool, but they are better suited for younger children which was disappointing. Sat for a bit looking at the water, but it was pretty crowded so we ended up just leaving. Seems like your run of the mill pier.

0 of 2 found helpful

What a great article must of taken all of five minutes to write. Why bother, just make a page of ads.