Last weekend we decided to hit another tourist spot in the LA area. This time we drove up to the Santa Monica Pier. The weather was perfect and it made for a lot of people, but it was still a fun day.
At the Santa Monica Pier a few things collide to give it a special atmosphere. The first thing is the ocean. You can see miles of shore line in each direction, wave crashing up on beaches and people dot the sand with different colors as the sunbathe, swim and play. I think the next thing to notice at the Pier is the mini-theme park set up on the boards of the pier, there is a small roller coaster, Ferris Wheel and a number of other small rides to make for a fun day if you are interested. If you are not interested in roller coasters there is still plenty to do. An old merry go round is situated at the entrance and a number of shops and restaurants line the pier. There were also a number of “free” shows by local artist. Some were doing magic tricks, others signing songs. And if you want to fish, there are plenty of places where you can drop a line.
The main tip I can give you is on parking. Parking is sometime difficult, especially if it is busy. We learned the hard way to steer clear of the hotels. They charge insane hourly rates or flat rates more than double of the pier parking. Some days the pier parking lots (either on the pier or at the base) fill up and are closed until new spots open up. There are a number of lots farther away along the beach that offers great day rates. Depending on how much walking you want to do and if you plan to spend time at the beach. It is definitely worth parking a little farther away to save some money.
Other Great Places To Visit Near Santa Monica Pier:
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