Trippy
 
  Questions  
Drive      Fly      Stay      Login    Signup

Avery
Berkeley

Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Is the Santa Monica Pier worth seeing?

Or is it just a tourist trap? Is it good for young kids? My husband and I are thinking of taking our kids when we go there, but I don't want to go if it's just going to be a zoo!


12 Answers

top answer by
JR from Manhattan Beach

Hey Avery. Not to be the debbie downer here, but the Santa Monica Pier is pretty much the quintessential tourist trap in Los Angeles. It would be comparable to going to Mann's Chinese Theater or the Venice Beach Boardwalk. It's a lot of cheap touristy souvenir vendors, fair food, and the crowds that are drawn to that type of stuff. Also, if your kids are in strollers, the boards of the pier make for a very bumpy ride. But... there are some rides that your kids would like if they are a bit older and the carousel actually has some historical significance as it was built in 1916 and it's one a small number of all wooden carousels still in operation. 

If you're looking for beautiful beaches in LA, I don't find Santa Monica to one of the best. I would suggest going to Malibu and hiking around Point Dume State Beach or grabbing a bite to eat at Paradise Cove Cafe which has a low key small beach and pier. Or for some serious beach time, I would come down to my neck of the woods and check out Manhattan Beach. The kids can enjoy the free aquarium at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier

Have fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  2. Mann's Chinese Theater (attraction)
  3. Point Dume State Beach (attraction)
  4. Paradise Cove Cafe (restaurant)
  5. Manhattan Beach (city)
  6. Manhattan Beach Pier (attraction)
  7. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
12 thankscomments (3)


answered by
Pala from Flagstaff

Yes! It's beautiful especially at sunset. Make sure you check out The Lobster at the pier entrance. A nice place to spend some time inside the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Lots to see and do. Then make your way over the Third Street Promenade to shop and people watch - there are musicians and artist performing. Lots of nice restaurants and hangouts. There is also the Santa Monica Place with even more shopping. Best time to go is on a weeknight. Friday, Saturday, and Sundays are super busy. Make sure to park at the Santa Monica Place parking lot (less expensive) then walk across the street to the pier.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Lobster (restaurant)
  2. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (attraction)
  3. Santa Monica Place (attraction)
  4. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
8 thankscomments (3)


answered by
Megan from Los Angeles

It is definitely a place for the tourist but it is still a nice place to go. I went a few times while living there. The sunsets are great and the view is nice. The kids may like the rides but I am sure they are expensive. As is the food. I would second what JR said and say go to Point Dume State Beach if you are looking for a beach with great views. It is one of my favorite places in the whole state. Go at low tide and you will experience TONS of starfish covering the beach. I made the mistake of going at High Tide and the beach pretty much disappears so make sure to plan around the tides so you can see the pools.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Point Dume State Beach (attraction)
7 thankscomments (3)


answered by
Suz

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel is run on solar and has nice lights at night - great to go on and see all the surrounding sites. 

The parks adjacent to the Pier are very pleasant t have a picnic.

You could also rent some  roller blades or bikes and ride up and down the boardwalk.  Check out Venice Beach - shops, too.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel (attraction)
  2. Venice Beach (city)
5 thankscomments (2)


answered by
joe from Seattle

Its okay. It's somewhat dirty and the rides feel a little unsafe. If you want rides, plenty of other options like Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios Hollywood. If you want SM pier, go for the Santa Monica State Beach.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Knott's Berry Farm (attraction)
  2. Universal Studios Hollywood (attraction)
  3. Santa Monica State Beach (park)
4 thanks


answered by
Peter

Yes, it's fun, but it's also maybe a 45 min thing to see. You are then only a 10 min walk to Third Street Promenade as well. It's a pier with food, carnival like games, rides & just good people watching. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
4 thanks


answered by
G from Santa Monica

Yes for a photo, but it's very crowded. Don't plan to stay long it's very touristy. Nearby, Third Street Promenade would be more enjoyable.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Danielle

Avery,

Locals and Tourist go to the Santa Monica Pier.  It is great for kids...think of the Carnival and thats the Santa Monica Pier.  The beach is great and the sunset is beautiful!  I would definitely recommend if you want to keep the kids entertained for a few hours.  Please note that you need to pay for parking (i believe $8) and you have to pay to get on any of the rides.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Vicky from Los Angeles

Santa Monica Pier itself is fun only for a short time but the areas surrounding it are worth visiting. I love watching the sunset along Ocean Avenue north of the pier. For something different that your family will enjoy, check out the Annenberg Community Beach House nearby.

The oceanfront beach house is open year round except for the gorgeous pool (open only during summer time and occasionally on warm days). Originally built in 1920s by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies, the whole place feels like a private club, but with no membership fees.. you just have to pay for parking (and for pool access, which you may want to reserve in advance  during busy summer time)



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Annenberg Community Beach House (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Nicole

It is a fun place to visit but it is a total tourist attraction is just like any other fair except for over looking the beautiful pacific.  If you have the patience for people then I say go for it.  Depending on what time of year you intend on going also plays a role in the craziness of amount of people there, for example summer I would definitely avoid as well as spring break time frame.  


3 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

Hi Avery! 

From a travelers perspective - if you're there and it's easy to get to, do it! But I say don't go out of your way to experience it. There are plllllleeeeeenty of other great things to see and experience in LA for half the hassle and prices!

What I would personally do instead is pack a picnic and spend the day The Getty Center ($15 to park, no entrance fee) - the lawn just above the gardens (below) is the absolute best! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Getty Center (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Kelly from Santa Monica

It's worth going to go on the solar powered Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. You get a whole view of the beach towards Pacific Palisades and on the other side towards Venice Beach. I take all my out of friends there. IT's good to go on both night and day time.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel (attraction)
  2. Pacific Palisades (neighborhood)
  3. Venice Beach (city)
2 thanks




© 2018 Trippy.com   ·   View: Full | Mobile

Follow us:        
Questions   ·   Destinations   ·   Drive   ·   Fly   ·   Airports   ·   Stay   ·   Search

Login   ·   FAQ   ·   About   ·   Feedback   ·   Privacy   ·   Terms