Visit beautiful Santa Monica
The Californian coastline is full of pretty towns and plenty of attractions, but not many are as iconic or well known as the Santa Monica Pier. This historic landmark was opened in September 1909 and has been entertaining families of all ages for over 100 years. If you’re heading to the city of Santa Monica this is one attraction you won’t want to miss!
Plenty to Do on Santa Monica Pier
Over the years some of the attractions have changed from the original amusements, but some still remain; whether new or historic there are many different things to see and do along the pier.
Thrill seekers will be heading straight for Pacific Park, the pier’s very own amusement park. There’s no admission fee to get into Pacific Park so you just pay for the rides you want to go on, and there are lots to choose from including the popular West Coaster which runs around the perimeter of the amusement park. Other thrilling rides include the pirate ship, Sea Dragon, and the drop tower named Pacific Plunge. For great views over the Santa Monica Pier and the city you should try Pacific Wheel. It’s a large ferris wheel, and the only solar powered one in the world. Pacific Park has numerous children’s rides too, and there’s a midway with loads of games, plus shops and places to eat.
Historic Carousel and Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Separate from Pacific Park is another family-favourite, Santa Monica Pier’s historic carousel. It’s been a fixture of the pier since 1922 and this beautiful historic ride has 44 hand-carved horses. It featured heavily in scenes from the famous movie, The Sting.
A more modern addition to the pier is the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, opened in 1996. Sitting beneath the pier this is another popular family friendly attraction in Santa Monica, California, and has over 100 different species of marine life including sharks, octopus, stingrays and eels.
Other Attractions in Santa Monica
The pier is enough to keep most visitors occupied for a full day, but if you’re staying in the area for longer you’ll find many other things to do in Santa Monica. The beaches are packed during the summer months if you feel like relaxing in the sun, or you can catch plenty of culture in the city in the shape of museums, including the California Heritage Museum.
Vibrant streets are full of shops, restaurants, and boutiques, or you can get away from the crowds in one of Santa Monica’s parks including Palisades Park and Tongva Park, both of which have scenic vistas, picnic areas, and places to walk.