Santa Monica connects everything you love about the classic Southern California beach town with a vibrant cityscape full of adventure, art and style. View the Santa Monica Pier and beyond from atop Pacific Park’s shimmering ferris wheel.
Santa Monica has been one of LA’s most fashionable beach cities for decades. It’s easy to see why with its famous beaches, historic pier, balmy year-round weather and a trendy crowd that frequents the many cafés, boutiques and bars. Grab a towel and head to the well-maintained beach, which stretches for 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometres). The sand is raked daily and is shared by volleyball players, swimmers and sunbathers throughout the year. For a bit of fun, check out the historic Santa Monica Pier where all the family will enjoy the Pacific Park amusement centre. There’s also a small aquarium, shops and arcade.
Santa Monica Pier
Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean at the intersection of Ocean and Colorado, it symbolizes the heart of Santa Monica and is one of the most photographed locations in the world. Discover more than just a Pier, we are a destination where people come together to enjoy local culture and to reconnect with the Pier’s storied past. Whether you are here to take in the incredible views, ride Pacific Park’s Ferris Wheel, hosting an event, or joining us for another family-friendly activity, we can’t wait to welcome you to the Santa Monica Pier.
The Santa Monica Pier , which marks the end of the legendary Highway Route 66, is the symbol of the city, and beyond. In fact, we are talking about the most famous pier on the entire Californian coast: it is no coincidence that every self-respecting tour of California stops here.
Built in 1908, the pier is full of bars, clubs and restaurants; there’s the antique Looff Hippodrome carousel, established in 1916, a trapeze school, and the bustling Pacific Park amusement park (more on that in a bit).The calendar of events taking place on the pier – concerts, festivals, marathons, etc. – is particularly interesting: find the complete list on the Santa Monica Pier official website .
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Los Angeles, Santa Monica State Beach is a wonderful place more than three miles long.
The appearance of the iconic beach is different depending on the stretch you go along: there are undeveloped areas, ideal for being in close contact with nature, others where you can see groups of houses, and of course you can see the famous turrets viewing area with lifeguards, which the TV series Baywatch has abundantly represented!
Much of the beach is free, and you can practice different types of sports, from surfing to volleyball, from paddleboarding to swimming, there are also play areas for the little ones and you can have picnics in a special area. You can also rent a bike and get around using the cycle path.
Pacific Park is an amusement park that, from the pier, looks out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island.
Admission is free (unlike the other parks in Los Angeles), there are 12 rides and attractions with individual prices ranging from 5 to $10, and the Ferris Wheel stands out, an impressive Ferris wheel that is illuminated at night with colorful lights and is visible even away from the pier. Modified several times over time, today it runs on solar energy.In the park, the bravest ones won’t miss a ride on the roller coaster, and for those who intend to do many rides on the ride, we recommend buying a Wristband Unlimited Ride.This bracelet allows you to access all the rides in the park, whenever you want, for the whole day.
Third Street Promenade
This huge pedestrian street, clean, tidy and also known as the Santa Monica Promenade, is located in Downtown, the center of Santa Monica, and represents the heart of shopping and nightlife in West Los Angeles.In the Third Street Promenade, made up of three open-air blocks, in addition to shops, cinemas, restaurants, you will find a pleasant artistic ferment: in fact, there are many musical ensembles and street artists who perform at all hours of the day in this Californian “stage”.
This long street, which starts from Adelaide Drive in the north and ends on Pico Boulevard, runs through Santa Monica showing the ocean in all its beauty!Beautiful and well-kept, the street is full of pubs, restaurants, luxurious hotels, apartments, gardens, benches, and will let you savor a truly Californian atmosphere.It could not be otherwise: from the large avenue you can see the sea, the beach, the Pier with its Luna Park, Route 66.
With a small walk from Downtown you arrive at Montana Avenue , one of the coolest streets in Santa Monica, full of boutiques, offices, restaurants and places of interest such as the Branch Library , a small and welcoming library (with very kind staff), and the Aero Theater , a cinema that has been open since the 1940s.This hall was ahead of its time in terms of opening hours: in fact, it worked 24 hours a day, to allow those who worked shifts to be able to attend the shows.
Santa Monica Yacht Harbor Sight
When you arrive under the famous ‘blue and white arch’ which stands at the entrance to the road leading to the pier, there is only one thing to do: real tourists!You must therefore stop and take at least one photo to capture the image of this symbol of Santa Monica, before continuing and visiting the Pier.The arch is located at the intersection with Ocean Avenue, in front of the pink building “Del Frisco’s Grille”.
Original Muscle Beach
Not everyone knows that Santa Monica was the birthplace of the American fitness boom in the 20th century!
It all began in 1934, with gymnastic activities taking place on the beach south of the city pier. Gymnasts, acrobats, athletes met here, and the place soon became the most famous open-air gymnasium in the world. The Original Muscle Beach was a real kingdom of Body Building.
The park is a tree-lined promenade in front of the Pier, parallel to Ocean Avenue and full of palms, eucalyptus, pines and other well-kept plants: in all there are over thirty species.It is a pleasant and relaxing place, especially compared to the bustling atmosphere of other areas of the city (primarily the pier itself!).Thanks to its height above the road, the view offered by Palisades Park is particularly interesting: you can see the beach, the ocean, the pier, the mountains, and when the sky is particularly clear, even Malibu.
Tongva Park is a beautiful green area full of native plants, paths and fountains; it also includes an amphitheater, a small play area (the kids will never want to go down the slides again), and sheltered areas available for picnics. Thanks to its location, it also offers a nice view of the ocean and the pier. This small urban oasis takes its name from the ancient indigenous people of Tongva, who lived for a long time in this region, and seeing the park today it is hard to believe that until a few years ago it was a parking lot.
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