Visiting the famous Santa Monica Pier

Three days after arriving in the States, we left our starting location of Los Angeles and embarked on a four hour drive up the coast to Cambria.

Not Wanting to miss one of California’s most famous (thanks largely to popular culture) destinations of Santa Monica, we took a brief detour to the famous pier for lunch.



One TOP TIP we learnt was that despite there being ample parking on the acclaimed beach, it’s rather expensive – entry alone costing $15! Instead, a more wallet friendly alternative is an underground public car park which, is only about a 2 minute walk from the beach. Being FREE for the first two hours (and only $1 per hour after this) its really a no brainier.



The pier itself was a little less impressive than I had expected. Although, with hindsight, as my expectations were largely based on an episode of 90210 – they should have been more realistic in the first place.

The fairground offered a genuine american experience, with great views from the top of the Ferris wheel:


Further, Santa Monica’s golden beach encompassed the Californian dream. I only wish we’d had time to take a dip!

As with most tourist hot-spots, food on the pier was overpriced. But already hungry and with a long drive ahead of us, we opted to eat at Mariasol’s.

Despite being expensive, the Mexican inspired food was pleasant (I had incredible nachos). In fact, the price was easily overlooked by the beautiful and interpreted sea views that the restaurant provided.

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I would say that, although our visit was enjoyable, you would be stretched to spend more than half and hour on the pier itself. For us, this was great as it was only a brief stopping point on our journey.


Thinking of visiting Santa Monica Pier yourself? have any thoughts on our post? We’d love to here your comments bellow:

Next stop? Cambria





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