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Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier and Amusement Park


Santa Monica Pier Entrance

Santa Monica Pier Entrance

©Betsy Malloy 2005
  • Hours: Open 365 days a year
  • Reservations: Not required
  • Cost: No admission fee
  • Location: At the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, driving directions below
  • How Long: Allow a few hours for the rides
  • Best Time to Visit: Very crowded on summer weekends

Santa Monica Pier Review

Once known as the "finish line" of legendary Route 66, the Santa Monica Pier was built in 1916 by Charles Looff, the pioneering amusement entrepreneur who built Coney Island's first carousel. The crowning achievement of Looff's Santa Monica pier was the landmark Hippodrome building, a mix of California, Byzantine and Moorish architecture that has been featured in many films.

On summer Thursday nights, the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series attracts thousands of people to free concerts featuring popular musical performers.

We rate the Santa Monica Pier 3 stars out of 4 for its oceanside ambiance. Others may disagree. Tell us what you think about it:

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Santa Monica Pier Amusements

  • Pacific Park: Rides appeal to adults and kids alike, including the only waterfront, steel-railed roller coaster on the West Coast
  • Playland Arcade: This classic arcade features more than 200 games.
  • Santa Monica Pier Carousel: Built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922, this carousel from the old Ocean Park Pier replaced Looff's original merry-go-round in 1939.
  • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium: Located just below the carousel, the aquarium features interactive displays, touch tanks filled with tide pool animals and several large tanks featuring animals and habitats of the nearby bay.

Getting to the Santa Monica Pier


350 Santa Monica Pier
I-10 and CA Hwy 1
(310) 458-8900
Santa Monica Pier website

You can reach the Santa Monica Pier from I-10, I-405 or Pacific Coast Highway. Visit their website for driving directions.

Paid parking is available on the pier and nearby.

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