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Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach(Santa Monica State Beach)

United States, California, Santa Monica 

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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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Sandee - Santa Monica Beach
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WeatherSunrise: 6:14 AMSunset: 7:29 PM

Monday 22

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Precipitation : 4.828 KmHumidity : 92%Wind : 4.12 m/s

Located in the city of Santa Monica, Santa Monica State Beach - also called Santa Monica Beach - is an extremely popular three-and-a-half mile long beach that has light brown sand.  Santa Monica State Beach is comprised of three smaller constituent beaches - Santa Monica Beach - North Beach (which is also known as Santa Monica - North Beach and Santa Monica North Beach), Santa Monica Beach - Pier Beach (which is also called Santa Monica - Pier Beach and Santa Monica Pier Beach), and Santa Monica Beach - South Beach ( which is also called Santa Monica – South Beach, Santa Monica South Beach, and Ocean Park Beach). 

Santa Monica State Beach attracts more than 10 million visitors each year, is 245 acres in size, and has a famous 1,650 feet-long pier named the Santa Monica Pier.  Santa Monica Beach - North Beach is towards the north of the Santa Monica Pier.  Santa Monica Beach - Pier Beach is located around the central portion of Santa Monica State Beach and this portion of Santa Monica State Beach has the Santa Monica Pier.  Santa Monica Beach – South Beach is located to the south of the Santa Monica Pier.

The area around the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica State Beach is also frequently visited by scuba divers and snorkelers. Depending on the time of the year, you can see many animals in the water near Santa Monica State Beach including seals, sea lions, migrating gray whales (during summer and winter), and orcas (during winters). 

If you are looking for a quieter beach experience, you can visit Santa Monica Beach - North Beach because this beach has fewer visitors as compared to other parts of Santa Monica State Beach.

Santa Monica Pier is an iconic pier that was initially opened in 1909 and has been designated as a Santa Monica Historic Landmark - this pier offers a large variety of things to do including a popular amusement park named Pacific Park that has the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, fun rides for kids (including a 1920s carousel), an arcade, an aquarium at the end of the pier named Heal The Bay Aquarium, and interesting concessions and shops.  This pier also has multiple restaurants, and many street performers regularly perform here.  The pier also offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and it is also a popular site for fishing and wildlife watching.  If you are planning to fish from the Santa Monica Pier or from any part of Santa Monica State Beach, please follow the local fishing regulations that can be found on the website of California Department of Fish and Wildlife

If you like biking, skating, or skateboarding, the Ocean Front Walk (also called the Santa Monica Boardwalk) is a long and wide concrete path that passes through Santa Monica State Beach and offers an amazing oceanfront jogging, biking, and skateboarding experiences - this walkway also passes near some great restaurants and shopping stores.  The portion of this walkway that is located within Santa Monica Beach - North Beach is also called the North Beach Trail and this portion also has interesting artwork that is inspired by local plant and animal life.   A portion of another famous biking trail named the Marvin Braude Bike Trail (also known as The Strand) is also located along Santa Monica State Beach - this popular 22-mile oceanfront biking, jogging, and roller-skating trail mostly runs parallel to the coastline of the Santa Monica Bay.

Santa Monica State Beach and the area around it offer many amenities including lifeguards, bike rental facilities, showers, restrooms, picnic tables, volleyball courts, a paved bike path, a recreational grassy area, tennis courts, nearby children’s play areas, swings, public exercise areas (that are located to the south of the pier), and basketball courts.  Dogs are not allowed at Santa Monica State Beach.

Santa Monica State Beach offers many fun activities including sunbathing, beachcombing, fishing, biking, basketball, tennis, scuba diving, volleyball, wildlife watching, picnicking, swimming, surfing, bodysurfing, skating, skateboarding, bodyboarding, kneeboarding, skimboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, jet-skiing, surf-skiing, water-skiing, boating, parasailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and wakeboarding.  Santa Monica State Beach is popular with all kinds of surfers because the water here offers fun, manageable, and consistent surfing waves.  Santa Monica State Beach will host two sporting events – surfing and beach volleyball – during the 2028 Summer Olympics.

If you are planning to swim, surf, kayak, canoe, bodysurf, bodyboard, scuba dive, or paddleboard near Santa Monica State Beach, we recommend being careful because the water here has dangerous and unpredictable rip currents.  Surfers should also note that surfing may be seasonally restricted in certain portions of Santa Monica State Beach during summers - you can ask the lifeguards posted at the beach for more information regarding the portions of this beach where surfing is allowed.  In addition, please also note that the water around the Santa Monica Pier at Santa Monica State Beach is considered polluted because it can occasionally have a high level of organic contaminants and inorganic pollutants.  It is important to note that in 2022, a non-profit organization named Heal the Bay rated the water around Santa Monica Pier as having one of the highest levels of pollution and bacterial contamination in California.

Santa Monica State Beach offers accessibility to people with disabilities - there are multiple wheelchair-friendly pathways that lead to the beach and these are located near 200 Santa Monica Pier, near 1200 Pacific Coast Highway, near a community beach center named Annenberg Community Beach House(that is located near 415 Pacific Coast Highway), near the south-western ends of Bay Street, Ocean Park Boulevard, and Ashland Avenue.  There are also two playgrounds near Santa Monica State Beach that offer accessibility to kids with disabilities – one of the playgrounds is located near that is located near 810 Pacific Coast Highway and is called North Beach Playground while the other playground is in a recreational park named South Beach Park that is located near Santa Monica State Beach’s southern part.  In addition, complimentary manual and electric beach wheelchairs are also available for various locations near Santa Monica State Beach -  you can book manual beach wheelchairs (that are available on a first-come-first-serve basis) at Annenberg Community Beach House (that is located near 415 Pacific Coast Highway) and you can contact them through phone at (310) 458-4904.

You can also book complimentary electric and manual beach wheelchairs from a local concession named Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals (that is located near 2400 Ocean Front Walk) and you can contact them through phone at (310) 452-2399.  In addition, you can also book manual beach wheelchairs from another separate branch of Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals that is located near 2600 Ocean Front Walk and you can contact them by phone at (310) 864-3323.  In addition, you can also book complimentary electric and manual beach wheelchairs from Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals (that is located near 1200 Ocean Front Walk) and you can contact them by through phone at (310) 696-8644.  Santa Monica State Beach was awarded the “Most Accessible Beach” award by a non-profit organization known as Wonders Within Reach in 2021.  

Getting to the beaches of Santa Monica State Beach is easy – there are many paid parking lots next to the beach which are easily accessible from Interstate 10 and Pacific Coast Highway.  In addition to the paid parking lots, you can also find limited metered street parking spaces along various points of this beach.  We recommend visiting this beach early during summers because this beach can quickly get considerably crowded during this time. 

As an interesting fact, the southern portion of Santa Monica State Beach has an oceanfront public open-air gym named Muscle Beach (also called the Original Muscle Beach) that was initially established in the early 1930s and became famous in the 1940s and 1950s for its bodybuilding and acrobatic performances.  Many famous bodybuilders including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack LaLanne trained at this Muscle Beach, and it became a cultural icon of the fitness movement and played a crucial role in raising awareness about physical fitness in California and the West Coast of the United States.  Muscle Beach has an outdoor gymnastics training area, chinning bars, parallel bars, rings, a small jungle gym for children, and a padded gymnastics area – and also offers fitness classes.

It is important to note that Muscle Beach in Santa Monica should not be confused with the nearby, more well-known, and world-famous Muscle Beach in Venice, California which was established in 1963.

There are many attractions near Santa Monica State Beach.  Palisades Park is a 26-acre recreational park that offers many amenities including an observation area, benches, a pergola, petanque courts (which is similar to bocce), picnic areas, and restrooms.  Will Rogers State Historic Park is a state park that is set within the palatial estate of the acclaimed Hollywood star Will Rogers – the state park has a golf course, a stable, a polo field, a roping arena, hiking and horse riding trails, a library, picnic areas, and a visitor center that has a mini theater and exhibitions.  Bergamot Station Arts Center is one of Southern California’s largest art centers and has many smaller art galleries.  If you like shopping, Santa Monica Place has many stores and restaurants and is located across from Santa Monica State Beach. 

Santa Monica’s dining scene is unbeatable.  1 Pico is an upscale oceanfront restaurant that features simply grilled coastal cuisine, an extensive wine list, and a large variety of beer and craft cocktails – it’s open nightly for dinner and also for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  The Lobster is an internationally recognized seafood establishment located on the Pacific Ocean overlooking the Santa Monica Pier – it is a local favorite that specializes in Maine and California Spiny Lobsters, in addition to entrées composed of fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients from Chef Govind Armstrong.  Terrazza Lounge is a Santa Monica Mediterranean restaurant and lounge with a panoramic ocean view that features a wide variety of seafood and tapas – it also has an extensive wine list, a large beer selection and classic cocktails, and has a lively happy hour.  BOA Steakhouse Santa Monica is a popular upscale restaurant with an elegant modern decor that is known for its wagyu beef steaks, seafood, and seasonal side dishes including macaroni-and-cheese and fries – it also has a fun bar area and serves a wide array of amazing cocktails.  Sushi Roku is a popular Japanese fusion restaurant that offers delicious Japanese dishes with European, Latin American, and local Californian culinary influences - it is known for its incredible sushi, Japanese-style steaks, gyoza dumplings, Japanese-style seafood, tempura, and Japanese fried chicken, and innovative Asian-inspired cocktails.

Travelers wishing to spend the night in Santa Monica will find a wide array of resorts and hotels.  Shutters on the Beach is a luxurious and beautiful Cape Cod-style hotel with a spacious oceanfront pool terrace that features a bar, hot tub, and cabanas – it also has a great lobby lounge with ocean views, a beach concierge, a spa, and a fitness center.  Hotel Casa del Mar is an oceanfront hotel with panoramic views of the Pacific Coastline – it features a luxurious decor, sophisticated accommodations, lively public spaces, a spa, a fitness center, and a beach concierge that provides bikes, chairs, and sun umbrella rentals to guests.  For a modern luxury option with spacious oceanfront rooms just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, check out The Shore Hotel.  If you prefer a more reasonably priced option, head to The Georgian, a colorful hotel inspired by Miami’s legendary South Beach.  Another option is the 4-star Viceroy Santa Monica which is known for its Caribbean-themed rooms and in-house bar. 

Top Amenities at Santa Monica Beach

Amenities

  • ATM

  • Lifeguard

  • Playground

  • Restrooms

  • Showers

  • Activities

  • Bike Paths

  • Fishing

  • Surfing

  • Volleyball

  • Rentals

  • Bikes

  • Food

  • Bars

  • Local Beach Vendor

  • Restaurants

  • Access

  • Car Access

  • Disabled Access

  • Foot Access

  • Parking - Free

  • Parking - Paid

  • Parking - Street

  • Public Bus Stop

  • Stairs to Beach

  • Top Traveler Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Surf through our FAQs to help you find your perfect beach!

    Does Santa Monica Beach have parking? If so, is it free or paid?

    Santa Monica Beach provides paid parking at the entrance, although spaces are limited. Visitors can also find street parking nearby for easy access to the beach.

    Does Santa Monica Beach have lifeguards?

    Yes, Santa Monica Beach ensures safety with professional lifeguards on duty throughout the day, offering peace of mind for beachgoers.

    Is Santa Monica Beach a family-friendly beach?

    Santa Monica Beach is the perfect family destination, offering clean restrooms, vigilant lifeguards, and a variety of nearby food options, ensuring an enjoyable day for all.

    Is Santa Monica Beach good for swimming?

    Santa Monica Beach boasts excellent swimming conditions, attracting swimmers of all skill levels with its gentle waves and clear waters.

    Does Santa Monica Beach have restrooms?

    Restrooms are conveniently available on or adjacent to the beach at Santa Monica Beach.

    Is Santa Monica Beach a nude beach?

    No, Santa Monica Beach maintains a family-friendly atmosphere and does not allow nude bathing.

    Is there food near Santa Monica Beach?

    Santa Monica Beach has multiple food options near or on the beach, including restaurants and beach vendors.

    What are the activities at Santa Monica Beach?

    Santa Monica Beach is renowned for its vibrant beach scene, offering various activities for everyone to enjoy Bike Paths, Fishing, Surfing, Volleyball.

    Does Santa Monica Beach have accommodations for people with disabilities?

    Yes, Santa Monica Beach offers accommodations for people with disabilities, allowing everyone to relish the coastal experience.

    Is Santa Monica Beach a dog-friendly beach?

    Santa Monica Beach is not dog-friendly.

    Is Santa Monica Beach good for surfing?

    Yes, surfing is an activity that is frequently enjoyed at Santa Monica Beach.

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