Santa Monica Pier Walking Tour

Santa Monica, CA • started by densefogg Bookmark and Share

Let's walk from one end of the pier to the other.

Santa Monica Pier Sign
Santa Monica Pier Sign

At the corner of Colorado and Ocean blvds is the world famous Santa Monica Pier sign, where we begin our tour.

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The Lobster Restaurant
The Lobster Restaurant

Immediately to the left of the sign is The Lobster, a seafood restaurant with some great views.

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The Bridge
The Bridge

Our journey begins by crossing the bridge that sort of goes over Pacific Coast Highway and Moomat Ahiko Street. The pier entrance is up on a bluff, far above sea level.

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Beach to the left
Beach to the left

Looking left (south) you see some apartment buildings and hotels, and of course, the beach!

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Beach, PCH, Malibu
Beach, PCH, Malibu

Looking right (north) you see Pacific Coast Highway, which takes you to Malibu, it's a little hazy today, but those hills off in the distance head toward Malibu. There's also a beach/pier parking lot.

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Half Way There
Half Way There

Coming down the bridge, the pier is now in full view. Yes, you can actually drive onto the pier, there's a parking lot, though on busy weekends it fills up fast.

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Beach Parking Lot
Beach Parking Lot

If the pier is full, the next closest place to park is the north lot, also known as Beach Level Parking which is right near the sand.

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Eats and a nice path
Eats and a nice path

Looking left is a small strip of restaurants, and a walking/bike path that goes all the way down the coast. It's about a 25 min walk to Venice Beach from here.

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Pier Carousel
Pier Carousel

The first building you'll see on the left houses the historic 1922 Carousel, which small children enjoy. The Soda Jerk snackshop is inside.

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Carousel
Carousel

Let's take a peek inside at the carousel.

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Soda Jerk
Soda Jerk

Snacks and sugary treats inside the Carousel building.

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Rusty's and SM Pier Seafood
Rusty's and SM Pier Seafood

On the left are 2 restaurants, Rusty's has live music and SM Pier Seafood has, well, seafood.

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S M Pier Seafood
S M Pier Seafood

Dining area inside

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S M Pier Seafood Crab Tank
S M Pier Seafood Crab Tank

What would a seafood restaurant be without live crab and lobster tanks at the entrance?

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Pier Parking
Pier Parking

If you are able to park on the pier itself, here's the lot entrance. $7.00 on entry (subject to change)

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Hat Vendor
Hat Vendor

The pier has a few "kiosk" style vendors sprinkled throughout. Tourists need hats cuz it's sunny here.

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Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

On the right is the seafood restaurant, popularized by the movie Forrest Gump. Yes, you can buy the DVD here, and it plays on a TV all day. Gift store and restaurant with nice views.

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Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals
Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals

You actually can't ride much on the pier because there are too many people, but Santa Monica has bike paths up and down the beach, which is a nice way to get some exercise and see the beach.

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Santa Monica Info Desk
Santa Monica Info Desk

There's lots to do in Santa Monica, you can get info on the city here.

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Oatman Rock Shop
Oatman Rock Shop

Jewelry and other touristy trinkets.

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Churros Cart
Churros Cart

A nice cinnamon sugary stick of bread, tasty when toasted warm.

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Marlene's Beachcomber
Marlene's Beachcomber

Ok the pier isn't exactly known for it's shopping, but Marlene's has souvenirs, T-shirts, flip flops, and other various beach needs.

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Head Sculptor
Head Sculptor

Want a mini sculpture of your head? There are a few of these guys who will do it for you, so you can put it on your piano or fireplace mantle back at home.

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PlayLand Arcade
PlayLand Arcade

Ok now we're getting somewhere. Pretty decent arcade with a good variety of games for all tastes. Pinball, classics, skeeball, shooters, dance dance and more.

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Trapeze School New York
Trapeze School New York

On your left, you can actually try the trapeze, or brush up on your cirque du soleil moves. Lessons daily. Now that's something you don't get to try everyday.

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Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach

On your right, this is a good place to pause and check out the beach views, we're fully on the sand now. This is looking north towards Malibu. Even on busy holidays, there is plenty of sand for all.

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Looking Back
Looking Back

We're about half way down the pier now, let's take a look back and see where we came from.

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Pacific Park
Pacific Park

On your left is the entrance to Pacific Park, where there are games #93 and rides #92, including the famous ferris wheel. Also here are some eats: Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Coffee Bean, and Funnel Cakes.

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Take Your Pic with Parrots
Take Your Pic with Parrots

This guy has 4 parrots, you can hold one on your arm or shoulder, and take your picture. They're quite human-friendly. It's free, but please give the guy a cash tip!

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Beach Looking South
Beach Looking South

We haven't been able to look south much cuz of all the rides and buildings, but further down the pier it opens up. This is the view south towards Venice Beach.

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Harbor Office
Harbor Office

We're now at the end of the pier, where there's a beach patrol office on one side...

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Mariasol Restaurant
Mariasol Restaurant

...And on the right side is Mariasol, a mexican restaurant. As you can imagine, Mariasol has great ocean, pier, and city views. They have some outdoor seating too.

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Your Name on a Grain of Rice
Your Name on a Grain of Rice

Here you can also get: Your Name on a Grain of Rice!

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Almost to the end
Almost to the end

There's a little bit of pier left, where occasionally there is a street musician playing.

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Fishing
Fishing

At the very end of the pier, people can fish.

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The Ocean
The Ocean

We made it! Just the wide open swells of the blue ocean Pacific.

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