Santa Monica Beach Rating
Beach Personality: Lots To See And Do But Lacking In Natural Ambiance
Santa Monica Beach and Pier
Santa Monica Beach extends for over 2 miles with the pier roughly in the middle. San Vicente Boulevard is about where the north end of the beach lies and the south end of the beach is where Santa Monica Beach becomes Venice Beach around Rose Avenue.
Santa Monica Beach is a big beach. Besides being really long, it’s also very wide from the water to the paved path that runs parallel to the beach. There’s not much natural debris along the high tide line and the beach is surprisingly free of garbage given how many people it attracts. I don’t know whether this is due to frequent beach cleaning or respectful visitors, but either way it’s a pleasure. The sand is soft and tan. Even along the shoreline the sand is pretty soft, so you’ll get a good calf workout walking or running in the sand.
Because of Santa Monica Pier, the beach’s location in a major city, and the paved path along the beach, Santa Monica Beach attracts a lot of people. The good news is the beach is so big you can (usually) escape the crowds by moving away from the pier.
On the other hand, if you want to be in the thick of things there is a lot to do on Santa Monica Pier and along the oceanfront path. You can walk, run, bike, rollerblade and skateboard on the path. On the pier, you can enjoy multiple attractions, restaurants—both sit down and fast food—and stores. Santa Monica Beach and Pier really do offer something for almost everyone to enjoy.
- Boogie boarding
- Paddle boarding
- People Watching
- Public bathrooms – Yes.
- Showers – Yes.
- Parking – Yes, for a fee in the beach parking lots.
- Food – Yes.
- Lifeguard – Yes.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – No.
Additional amenities – Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park amusement park, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, arcade games, shops, drinking fountains, volleyball nets, picnic area, basketball, playground, paved path along the beach, handicap accessible with beach wheelchairs available.
Perry’s Café rents bicycles, rollerblades, beach chairs, umbrellas, mats, boogie boards, volleyballs, and storage lockers.
Blazing Saddles on the pier rents bikes, boogie boards, beach chairs, and umbrellas.
Santa Monica Beach is located on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, CA, 90401.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin