Santa Monica’s most famous attraction, Santa Monica Pier welcomes over six million visitors a year. What keeps them busy? Here’s what to see at Santa Monica Pier.

Pacific Park

Featuring 12 ocean-front rides, including the world’s first solar-powered ferris wheel, Pacific Park is the perfect spot to start your day at the pier. Pacific Park: 380 Santa Monica Pier; 310-260-8744

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Located just beneath the pier, the Santa Monica Aquarium is heralded as one of the best aquariums in the nation. Offering educational programs, special events, and a diverse array of ocean life, you’ll get a great taste for what goes on in the world of saltwater. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium: 1600 Ocean Front Walk; 310-393-6149

Soda Jerks Ice Cream Shop

It’s a toasty Santa Monica day, and you’ve been sunning yourself in the sand all morning. Stop over at Soda Jerks for a refreshing shake or malt. You’ll love the old school soda fountain vibes, and you’ll get the sugar-rush you need to finish out a tough day of lounging on the beach. Soda Jerks Ice Cream Shop: 200 Santa Monica Pier, 310-393-7632

Trapeze School

Take a chance, spread your wings, and prepare to fly with the guidance of the school’s friendly, professionally trained staff. The trapeze platforms overlooks pier, yielding killer views of the Pacific Ocean and sunny Santa Monica. Trapeze School: 370 Santa Monica Pier; 310-394-5800

Historical Walking Tour

Learn a little bit about how the pier was built, and how it’s changed since its construction over 100 years ago. These informative, free tours run Saturday and Sunday at 11AM and 12PM—just show up at the Pier Shop! Santa Monica Pier Shop: 200 Santa Monica Pier; 310-458-8900


This surf-inspired beach restaurant offers live music and dancing Thursday through Saturday. If you need a little liquid courage in order to participate, plan to hit up their daily Bloody Mary happy hour. It’s beach life done right. Rusty’s: 256 Santa Monica Pier; 310-393-7437