Santa Monica Pier
Did you know that Santa Monica Pier boasts 12 exhilarating rides? Some of the more popular ones include:
The Seaside Swing: when you jump aboard you’ll enjoy a relaxing ride full of panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. You’ll see everything from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Pacific Wheel: this is world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel. You can savour stunning views of the California coastline from 130 foot in the air.
West Coaster: the only oceanfront steel roller coaster on the West Coast. You’ll feel the ocean spray on your face as the ride whips by.
Pacific Plunge: have you ever experienced a 44-foot high drop? If not, now’s the time. Thrilling is the only word to describe this ride. Or terrifying if you don’t like heights… You’ll be suspended 90-foot-high, so before you’re dropped, you’ll get a fantastic view of Santa Monica Bay. Briefly.
There are several shops dotted around the pier, including the pier shop. If you like history, this is the store to peruse.
Look around the Oatman Rockshop, where you’ll find an assortment of 1960 merchandise, which is appropriate considering it first opened its doors in 1965. You can also purchase beautiful shells and other souvenirs to take home with you.
Alternatively, you might be on the hunt for beach supplies. If you’re looking for towels or sunscreen they sell it all in Marlene’s Beach Comber.
Lastly, you can enjoy a look around 66 to Cali. This shop marks the point where Route 66 ends at the Pacific Ocean. Here you’ll find an assortment of American-made products to browse through.
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
This Aquarium aims to protect the animals that live in and around the bay. Over 100 local species are showcased not only for your enjoyment but also for their conservation. It’s perfect if you want to immerse yourself in West Coast sea life, or if you’re looking for a family-friendly trip then there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Historical walking tours
These are free, which is always a bonus. Plus, you don’t have to book in advance. This makes these tours ideal if you’re making a spontaneous trip to the pier. Typically, they run for around an hour. You’ll hear interesting anecdotes about how the Pier’s evolved over the last century. Your tour guide will also reveal a few local secrets that you’ll find both surprising and amusing.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, pay a trip to the trapeze school. Soar high above the pier and soak up the spellbinding views of the coast.
If classic American rock music is your thing, then pay a trip to Rusty’s. Enjoy the music from up and coming superstars, and local talent. Dance along, enjoy a drink and relax and unwind.
You can board one of the many hop-on and off tours from Santa Monica Pier. The two most popular include the Starline Tour (tickets from $49), and the Malibu Stars’ Homes Tour. This is great fun, and you get to see how the other half lives with a glimpse of the celebrity homes dotted around Malibu.