Santa Monica Pier

This pier is the pier to end all piers. Restaurants! Shops! An amusement park! The Pacific Ocean! Mountains in the distance!

Santa Monica Pier is so well-known you probably haven’t just heard of it—more likely than not, you’ve seen pictures of its iconic ferris wheel. Share a goofy kiss with your significant other at the top of the wheel, and then play some arcade games and enjoy classic carnival-style food. You can even take a class at the Trapeze School—just wait until you’ve fully digested your fried dough before you take flight. After a day of adventuring, once the sun begins to dip behind the horizon line, venture under the pier for the iconic photos.

Best things to see at Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier has a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for some excitement, head to Pacific Park and Playland Arcade which is located on the pier itself. Spend some time trying to win prizes at one of many classic arcade games, grab a corndog, and ride the iconic roller coaster and Ferris wheel for some astounding views of the Bay.


Looking to learn more about the Bay? Visit the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and meet over 100 species of wildlife that inhabit the waters below. With a number of exhibits and educational programs that run throughout the day for kids, it’s perfect for the whole family. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, visit one of many restaurants with cuisine ranging from tacos and pizza to barbecue ribs and classic milkshakes. 

Santa Monica Pier directions and parking

Best way to get to Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica is a thirty minute drive or an hour public transit ride (from LAX via the Big Blue Bus) west from Los Angeles. The Santa Monica Pier is located right on the beach, past the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue. It near enough to Downtown Santa Monica that you can walk or bike, and the city highly encourages you to do so.


Best parking near Santa Monica Pier

There are three different paid parking zones located around Santa Monica Beach: the Southern Zone, the Central Zone, and the Northern Zone. The Southern Zone is Lot 4 South and Lot 5 South; the Central Zone is Lot 1 North, Lot 3 North, Lot 1 South, and Lot 3 South; the Northern Zone is Lot 4 North through Lot 9 North. Lots are generally open from sunrise to sunset, and many lots offer electric plug-in options. For real-time parking information, visit

Santa Monica Pier FAQs

What if I don’t really want to go to the beach?

That’s ok! There are plenty of things to do at the Santa Monica Pier. Visit the Playland Arcade or Pacific Park and ride the Ferris Wheel, or visit the aquarium—Santa Monica offers much more than just its beach.


Do I need a fishing license to fish at the Santa Monica Pier?

Nope! Plus, there are many places nearby where you can rent all the fishing gear you need.


Can my pets come with me?

Santa Monica welcomes furry friends, but they will need to observe the beach from afar. However, feel free to take them on a leashed stroll along the Santa Monica Pier and boardwalks.