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Santa Monica Pier

You'll find beachside kitsch, boardwalk ambiance and carnival fun at this sunbaked LA attraction that’s more than a hundred years old.

You can get plenty of kicks near the end of Route 66. Santa Monica Pier now marks the official western point of the legendary U.S. highway, one of the country’s first. This world-famous stretch of pavement originally ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, and was later extended to Santa Monica, where many travelers concluded their cross-country trek with a visit to this pleasure pier of fun and excitement.  

Though one of southern California’s last remaining vintage piers, this is no rusting relic of a bygone age. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, it’s a lively venue packed with musical and theatrical entertainment and activities for the whole family.  

Ride a roller coaster or sit atop the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel, which stands 130 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Munch on cotton candy, cast a line and see what you can catch or stroll along the planks to take in the salty sea air.

Other attractions include arcades, restaurants, artists and street performers. Learn highflying acrobatics at the trapeze school or hire a bike and cycle your way around the sights. An aquarium focusing on the local marine life sits below the pier at beach level. Kids will love interactive activities such as touch tanks and marine biology classes.

One of the most popular sights is the restored wooden carousel with colorful hand-carved horses. Built in 1922 and housed in its own building called the Looff Hippodrome, the carousel is most famously featured in the Robert Redford and Paul Newman film, The Sting.

You’ll find tranquil moments away from the crowds in the viewing deck on the second level of the hippodrome. Most people miss this part of the pier so it’s a wonderfully quiet spot to enjoy ocean views.

Santa Monica is about 18 miles (29 miles) west of downtown, just north of Venice Beach.


Guide to Exploring around Santa Monica Pier


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Best Lodging Options Near Santa Monica Pier

See all 3,517 Properties near Santa Monica Pier
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel CA $523
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 5-minute walk of Original Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade are also within 10 minutes. Downtown Santa Monica Station is 8 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 26 minutes.

    JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot CA $302
    JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot

    JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot

    1740 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Main Street Santa Monica and Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade are also within 10 minutes. Downtown Santa Monica Station is 9 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 27 minutes.

      Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica CA $212
      Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica

      Hampton Inn & Suites Santa Monica

      501 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach Boardwalk are also within 2 mi (3 km). Downtown Santa Monica Station is only a 2-minute walk and 17th Street/SMC Station is 16 minutes.

        Ocean View Hotel CA $197
        Ocean View Hotel

        Ocean View Hotel

        1447 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach are also within 15 minutes. Downtown Santa Monica Station is 8 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 25 minutes.

          Shore Hotel CA $247
          Shore Hotel

          Shore Hotel

          1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            With direct access to the beach, this Downtown hotel is in the city centre and within a 5-minute walk of Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Place. Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach are also within 2 miles (3 km). Downtown Santa Monica Station is 7 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 26 minutes.

            Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica CA $236
            Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica

            Courtyard by Marriott Santa Monica

            425 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. Santa Monica Pier and Original Muscle Beach are also within 10 minutes. Downtown Santa Monica Station is only a 2-minute walk and 17th Street/SMC Station is 18 minutes.

              Ocean Lodge Santa Monica Beach Hotel CA $178
              Ocean Lodge Santa Monica Beach Hotel

              Ocean Lodge Santa Monica Beach Hotel

              1667 Ocean Avenue Suite 1000, Santa Monica, CA
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown, this beach motel is within a 5-minute walk of Original Muscle Beach and Santa Monica Beach. Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade are also within 10 minutes. Downtown Santa Monica Station is 8 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 25 minutes.

                Wyndham Santa Monica At The Pier CA $221
                Wyndham Santa Monica At The Pier

                Wyndham Santa Monica At The Pier

                120 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown, this beach hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica Beach. Venice Beach and Venice Beach Boardwalk are also within 2 miles (3 km). Downtown Santa Monica Station is 5 minutes by foot and 17th Street/SMC Station is 23 minutes.