Get the iconic southern California sun-and-surf experience at Santa Monica Beach. Discover a sandy stretch of oceanfront delights close to one of the nation’s biggest cities.
At 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) long, Santa Monica Beach is one of the area’s largest beaches. Stroll down its length and claim a portion of its soft sand. Swim in the clear Pacific Ocean or take advantage of the prime surfing conditions.
Explore the iconic Santa Monica Pier, located in the center of the beach and hosting an amusement park, aquarium and a variety of restaurants. Play arcade games in Pacific Park or enjoy the view from atop the Ferris wheel. Take a spin on the historic carousel and learn about the ocean around you in the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Try fishing at the end of the pier.
South of the pier the beach joins the city, which contributes to its bustling atmosphere. Check out the original Muscle Beach, popularly known as the birthplace of America’s fitness boom in the 20th century. Gymnastics equipment is still abundant on the beach. Observe or participate in a chess game in the International Chess Park. Sample the restaurants and browse the shops lining the beach.
North of the pier, Santa Monica Beach meets the soaring palisades. The ocean bluff, coupled with the bordering Pacific Coast Highway, give this section of the beach a more remote atmosphere. Spread out your beach towel and soak up the sun or start a friendly game of beach volleyball.
Santa Monica Beach is accessible by public transportation via light rail or bus. Alternatively, drive here and park in one of the more than eight main parking lots located along the length of the beach. On-street parking is also available.
Head just 16 miles (25 kilometers) west of downtown Los Angeles to take advantage of southern California’s famous weather. Visit Santa Monica Beach throughout the year. Although the weather gets chillier in winter, temperatures never dip below freezing. In summer, the days are long and warm. Come prepared with sunglasses and sandals to enjoy the sand in any season.