The Santa Monica Pier is your one-stop-shop for food and fun in the city. Take a ride on the world’s first solar powered ferris wheel, then head to the aquarium to watch the sea jellies bob and drift away. When you’ve had your fill of marine activities, settle in for a night of tunes and drinks at Rusty’s Surf Ranch. Some call it touristy, we call it a good time.
If you’re on vacation with the kids, a full weekend of gallery hopping and rosé sipping probably isn’t on the agenda. Compromise with a trip to Pacific Park, Santa Monica’s famous oceanfront amusement park filled with rides, games, and sweet treats. It may not be as relaxing as a trip to Sonoma Wine Garden, but it’ll likely make you feel like a carefree kid again.
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
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
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
Rusty’s Surf Ranch
Decorated with vintage surfboards and beachy memorabilia, Rusty’s is a quintessential SoCal surf bum watering hole. Enjoy the full bar, two patios, and live music on weekends. Rusty’s Surf Ranch: 256 Santa Monica Pier; 310-393-7437
Planning a visit to Southern California? Learn more about our hotel here, so that you can experience Santa Monica for yourself!