Santa Monica State Beach is an iconic California state landmark. Millions of visitors from all around the world come each year to experience the renowned beauty of the 3.5 mile stretch of sprawling white beach, and explore the famous Santa Monica Pier.
There’s far more to do at Santa Monica State Beach than soak up the sun and swim in the ocean. It’s surrounded by shops and restaurants, and the pier is host to street performers, vendors, musicians, its own aquarium, and its own amusement park. The offerings are almost too numerous to list.
Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, basketball, volleyball, tennis, skateboarding, and biking.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail passes through Santa Monica State Beach. It runs 50 miles north to south, all the way down to South Bay.
Santa Monica Pier is home to Pacific Park Amusement Park, where you’ll find a number of games and rides, including the Pacific Wheel, the iconic solar-powered Ferris wheel.
Heal the Bay Aquarium, at the Santa Monica Pier, is an inexpensive aquarium run by a non-profit organization that contains over 100 marine species unique to Southern California.
The shops, restaurants, and attractions on Santa Monica Pier open and close at various times, but the pier itself is open 24/7.
Restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and lifeguards, as well as tennis courts, volleyball courts, a bike path, bike rentals, a grass park, and a children’s play area. Wheelchair accessible.
Nearby parking is available for a fee.
Dogs are allowed on pier, provided they’re leashed, but are not allowed on beach.
The Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which runs through Santa Monica State Beach, leads down to neighboring Venice Beach, another area with a wide array of shops, restaurants, and activities to enjoy. The two beaches are only two miles apart from one another, making the trip a walkable one, but bike rentals are also available.
Santa Monica Pier is considered the ending point of Route 66, America’s most famous roadway.
Santa Monica State Beach is the home of the original Muscle Beach. Installed in the 1930s, Muscle Beach was the site of frequent acrobatic and gymnastic exhibitions. It also served as a popular workout spot for famous bodybuilders of the time.
The original Hot Dog on a Stick was opened at Santa Monica State Beach in 1946, just in front of Muscle Beach.
Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Wheel is the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel.
Address: 2600 Barnard Way, Santa Monica, CA
Season: Year round