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Santa Monica Pier

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The Santa Monica Pier was built in 1909 and since then the pier has become a center for pure leisure, with an amusement park, an arcade, an aquarium, and plenty of space for fishing. Visit one of the attractions, or take a tour to learn more about the history of the pier!
Anneliese O'MalleyBy Anneliese O'Malley
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4 tips for visiting the Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier | Photo: Matthew LeJune
Finish your Road Trip in StyleSanta Monica is the final stop on the famous Route 66, which stretched from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean. If you’ve been riding the route for days, reward yourself with some old-fashioned leisure time at the Santa Monica Pier.
Pacific Park | Photo: Shrey Gupta
Enjoy the Amusement ParkThe amusement park on the pier is called Pacific Park and it’s famous for its classic rides as well as its more modern thrills. This family-friendly attraction features the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel and the West Coaster, which races around the park’s perimeter.
Admire the Wildlife at the AquariumThe Santa Monica Aquarium can be found underneath the pier, making it another great attraction to see on a day trip to the area. It’s run by Heal the Bay, an environmental advocacy non-profit, and it focuses on education and conservation of local species.
Hit the BeachThe Pier isn’t the only place where you can unwind: its surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches where you can sunbathe and swim. You can even pay a visit to Muscle Beach, the home of body-building and the birthplace of physical fitness in the US.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Santa Monica Pier?

Santa Monica Pier is the center of tourism in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, Los Angeles. It marks the end of route 66, so it’s popular with tourists who have completed the famous road trip from east to west. The first pier was built in 1909 and was immediately a hotspot of leisure, despite being used to pump sewage into the ocean. The pier has become an icon over the years, featuring in movies including Forrest Gump and Hannah Montana: The Movie, and TV shows including Star Trek: Voyager, Gilmore Girls, and California classic 90210. The pier is home to an amusement park, an aquarium, a hippodrome, a trapeze school, stores, bars, and restaurants, so there’s something to do at any time of the day or night. Read more.

Do I need a ticket to access the pier?

No, the pier is free to access to all visitors, although there may be areas which need a ticket to access. You’ll need a ticket to get into the aquarium and each of the amusement park rides charges an individual fee. You can buy a pass that allows you to ride all 12 included rides an unlimited number of times. Passes are available for children aged 7 and under and for all visitors over the age of 8, and you can save time and money on the day by ordering them online in advance. Read more.

Are there combo tickets available?

There aren’t any official tickets that combine the different attractions on Santa Monica Pier, but some tour providers offer a local package that often includes a guided tour of the area plus some entrance tickets. Check out what’s available and book the option that best suits your interests. Read more.

Can I take a guided tour of the area?

Absolutely! The pier has an interesting history, with over 100 years of events and drama to capture your imagination. From the Roaring Twenties to the Depression, through catastrophic storms to its present-day success, there are lots of stories to tell, and there are plenty of local experts willing to fill you in on a guided tour. Read more.

Are there child-friendly rides at the pier’s amusement park?

There are six rides at Pacific Park which are specifically designed to be child-friendly including a seaside swing and a small-scale bounce tower. Very small children can also ride the Pacific Wheel, the Sea Planes, Inkie’s Wave Jumper, and Inkie’s Air Lift, which don’t have any height restrictions for children who are riding with a chaperone. Older children have a wider range of rides to choose from, and children over 36” tall (91cm) can ride almost all rides. Read more.

How long does it take at Santa Monica Pier?

You should plan in 1-2 hours for visiting the Pier and add one more hour if you plan to see the surrounding area. On beautiful days, you could plan to stay longer and have lunch in one of the sourrounding places. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The pier is open to the public daily from 6 am to 10 pm. The businesses on the pier have individual opening hours. Pacific Park’s opening times are currently not listed. The carousel is open Monday, Thursday-Sunday from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The aquarium is open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 12pm-4pm.


200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica
CA 90401


Official site:


Access to the pier is free. Tickets for the aquarium cost $5 for adults and children over 13, and are free for children aged 12 and under. Rides at Pacific Park are priced individually between $5 and $10, wristbands for unlimited rides cost $32.95 for those over 8 years old and $17.95 for children aged 7 and under.

how to get there

There are a number of bus stops along Ocean Avenue served by bus numbers 8, 101, 102, and 534. Parking is also available for those driving.
Anneliese O'Malley
Written byAnneliese O'MalleyAnneliese is a former Londoner, keen traveler, and total word nerd. As a Content Management Specialist she knows the TicketLens inventory inside out and curates, matches, and writes about the most interesting attractions worldwide.
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