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Santa Monica State Beach

Santa Monica State Beach is a California State Park operated by the city of Santa Monica. See more



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Jan 11, 2023
My day to visit Santa Monica happened to coincide with the second wave of the storm of the century hitting California. It was not a pleasant day to be on the beach. The beach is huge and is probabl… Full review by jehenson81
Nov 5, 2022
So disappointed with this beach and all of Santa Monica. It’s as if the govt doesn’t care at all. It is overrun with homeless who not just sleep on the beach and parks but use it as an outhouse. Step… Full review by Scottfamilytravelers
Oct 23, 2022
Not much more to say. Nice place for sunsets and lots of sand. Interesting to view the waterfront of Santa Monica. Full review by BobN06


Right on the Edge of the Santa Monica Bay
Among the most iconic and beautiful beaches in the Los Angeles area, Santa Monica State Beach is a destination for locals and tourists looking for a broad variety of recreational opportunities. With its Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and carnival-style games and food booths, Santa Monica Pier is perhaps the most recognizable feature along the beach; while it may feel a little kitschy for some, any visit to Santa Monica State Beach would be incomplete without at least a walk down to the end of this venerable attraction. Once you've made that visit, however, be sure to budget a little time to explore the rest of this king-sized beach, because there is so much more to do. Santa Monica State Beach is 3 miles long, a perfect distance for a there-and-back walk or run right on the edge of the Santa Monica Bay. This bay has come a long way from its historically tragic levels of pollution stemming from urban sewage and storm runoff, and wildlife and water-based recreation are both returning to form. Surfing, swimming, and stand-up paddleboarding are all popular in the bay, and rental opportunities and lessons abound in the area. You'll see several lifeguard towers along the beach; these are manned somewhat seasonally and hours vary, but you can count on a consistent presence in the peak season. Beach volleyball is a huge tradition here, as are the games at the International Chess Park. A stroll or roll down the 5.2-mile bike path that stretches from Will Rogers State Beach to Venice Beach is a Southern California classic, and you can rent bikes and skates from the shops near the pier. And, of course, there is plenty of available acreage if your ambitions are just to spread out a towel and soak up some sun. Visitors will find public restrooms and showers available throughout the beach and open from 5 a.m. to dusk. Near the pier there are ADA-accessible paths leading onto the beach, and all-terrain wheelchairs are also available from Perry's Cafe as well.
Mostly Known for Its Pier
Santa Monica Beach is located off the Pacific Coast Highway. The beach is bordered with Venice to the South and Malibu to the North. Santa Monica Beach is mostly known for its pier. The Santa Monica Pier is loaded with carnival adventure rides at Pacific Park. A lot of the action takes place at the Santa Monica Pier. It is located at Colorado Blvd. and Ocean Ave. The park is open everyday and admission is free. You have to pay for the rides and games. The beach boasts 3.5 miles of sandy coastline and 340 days of sunshine. There is mild surf at this beach and is only permitted south of the pier, because of the heavy crowds during the summer months. Because of the calm surf, Santa Monica Beach is a fun place for swimming as well as bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Sunbathing is probably the most popular past time here. During the summer, it is hard to find a free space on the sand to soak up the rays. Many people like to fish off the pier. California fishing licenses are not required and if you are willing to put up with the heavy tourist traffic during most of the year, this is a great place to cast a line. Fishing rods and bait are for rent or sale at the bait shop near the ocean end of the pier. There are rows of free public beach volleyball courts south of the pier. Courts are also located in various spots north of the pier. LA beach goers love their volleyball. It appears most of the beaches in LA provide beach volleyball courts and most of the time they are full. The bike trail ends at Santa Monica Beach, or begins. That depends on you direction. The over 20 mile path provides a scenic ride through many of southern LA beaches. There is also designated space for rollerblading, skateboarding, running and walking on the path. This is a fantastic place to bring family and friends for an eventful and active Day at the beach or Pacific Park. There are a lot of amenities for the kids. The pier offers an aquarium and there are even a couple playgrounds; one south of the pier and another near the boardwalk, close to Ocean Avenue. If all day adventure is not your thing, you can play it mellow and lie out all day on the sand and catch the sunset at night. If you get bored of this beach, which is highly unlikely, you can tour the Getty Museum about 10 miles up the hill. There are also several farmers markets located through out town all through the week and usually from early morning to noon. They are usually a local hangout and a great place to grab something healthy for a beach picnic. Paid parking is available beneath the pier. There are also several lots available north of the pier which charge about $6.00 a day. Parking for free is really hard to do unless you are willing to walk the distance. Most of the metered parking downtown has a 2 hour limit.

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