Santa Monica Pier protruding over the Pacific Ocean is an iconic landmark in Santa Monica, if not in California. The Pacific Wheel and The Carousel at the Hippodrome Looff are recognizable in any brochure. Santa Monica Pier guarantees a family-oriented fun experience, with exciting rides, arcade games, a food bonanza, fishing opportunity, or just a chilled walk on the beach.
Pacific Park is a small Amusement park on the pier, encouraging any adult to unleash their inner child and enjoy the moment. Soak in the aerial views from the top of the Pacific Wheel, the world’s first solar-powered Ferris Wheel. The West Coaster offers a thrilling experience as it moves around the park at 35mph, heading up to 55 feet before it rushes down passing through a double helix just for a good measure of fun. Try not to get seasick aboard the Sea Dragon as it swings passengers 180 degrees. For Adrenaline junkies, the Pacific Plunge offers an exhilarating free-falling experience from a 44-foot high tower. The park also offers milder rides such as Shark Frenzy and Inkie Scrambler. While entrance to the Pier is free, tickets to the rides can be purchased individually or an unlimited rides wristband can be purchased for $32.95. Additionally, there are close to 200 arcade games at the Playland Arcade with prizes to be won, offering fun for all the family. Of course, going hungry is not an option at the pier, with ample food stalls to choose from.
The Carousel dating back to 1939 is another world-renowned attraction also listed as a National Historic Landmark. This carousel still remains as part of the original pier. Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast built in 1909, attracting lots of fishermen, in fact, it remains a popular fishing spot today. Visitors can go fishing on the pier, as no license is needed, and gear can be rented out on location. For visitors who prefer watching fish, rather than catching them, the Heal the Bay Aquarium may be a better solution. The aquarium provides informative exhibits about marine life, featuring more than 100 species of marine life. Tickets are $7
Street Performers keep the atmosphere alive at the park, it is recommended to check the event calendar before visiting as entertainment events, such as concerts and festivals are held regularly. Visitors can also sign up for a 2-hour trapeze class. On weekends there are free historical walking tours including Muscle Beach, between 11 am to 12 pm. Parking can be a struggle especially during peak season, there is a parking lot close to the deck but it tends to fill up quickly.
Offering an all-rounded family outing the Santa Monica Pier is definitely worth visiting. Sunsets at the pier are remarkable as the sun slowly sinks on the Pacific Ocean Horizon, inviting all lovers for a romantic walk on one of the nearby beaches.