We recently visited California for the first time! it’s been on my list for a while, so checking it off is an accomplishment for myself. We only visited Southern California and actually made a road trip to Nevada and Utah while we were out that way. We had a bit of a hectic start, from a slight flight delay, to LAX taking forever to send our luggage to the luggage carousel. But once all that was said and done we jump started our trip at the end of Route 66. Santa Monica Pier. Ever been? If not, here is why you should visit Santa Monica Pier.
Free & Cheap Things To Do at Santa Monica Pier
I found that Santa Monica beach was a clean and family friendly beach. We also rode by Venice Beach was wasn’t impressed at all (and the parking was ridiculous). We went on a Friday night, the beach wasn’t overcrowded and was occupied primarily by families. The view was gorgeous! Without even getting into the ocean you can just relax and take in the scenery. If you’re into fishing, we seen several people fishing at the end of the pier.
You have an array of choices to grab if you’re feeling hungry at Santa Monica Pier. From sit down to grabbing something quick and cheap, Santa Monica Pier has you covered! We played it cheap, grabbed some nachos and quesadillas that were about $4 each. I would recommend bringing your own drink if you are also trying to expand your dollar, where we ate the drinks were $4 a piece! At the end of the pier there was a casual restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Great view!
Rides and Games
Along with locals sharing their talents, you can have a fun day at Santa Monica Pier playing carnival games and enjoying carnival rides! They have an awesome looking Ferris wheel which gives you an amazing view (if not the best view). You can get an unlimited band for under $33 for an adult and under $20 for children, which isn’t bad if you’re spending your whole day at the pier. You can also hit up the arcade too, at an extra cost.
If you’re trying to vacay on a budget, you can also visit Santa Monica Aquarium. For only $5 for 13-up, and FREE for under 13, you can have a hands-on experience. They’re unfortunately only open a few hours a day and closed on Mondays. They close at 5 PM, so by the time we got there it was already closed (enter sad face).
If you’re a history buff like myself, then you’d enjoy a FREE Historical Walking Tour. On Saturdays and Sunday only (11 AM and 12 PM) you can take a stroll down memory lane for this hour-long tour of the piers 100-year-old history. If interested, head to the Pier Shop at the old Merry-go-round building before the tour time to join. Make sure you look for a guide in a blue shirt.
A Photogs Dream
With social media the center of our lives, I guess everyone is a photog now-a-days (thanks IG!). Santa Monica Pier is a great place to snap some gorgeous and fun shots! Keep it iconic and get a shot in front of the Route 66 sign, or take a photo from up high on the Ferris Wheel. All along the pier there are great opportunities to snap some memories with your family and friends.
So whether you’re spending the day with the family, friends or going on a date, Santa Monica has you covered! Whenever I visit SoCal in the future I will definitely be visiting Santa Monica Pier again!
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