Santa Monica Pier and Beach
- Type: Beaches, Entertainment and Nightlife, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles, contains one of the most legendary beach scenes in the United States and, like most things L.A., the vibe is eclectic. Santa Monica also contains an abundance of great restaurants and excellent nightlife spots. The three miles of beach are renowned as some of the best in the area. "State Beach," as its known, averages about 340 days of sunshine a year and was home to the filming of "Baywatch."
Unlike most of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is very walkable, and many suggest you explore the area by bicycle. If you're feeling extra adventurous, Santa Monica's bike path travels a full 22 miles to Torrance, Ca., making it one of the longest beach bike paths in the world. The beach's most unique aspect is of course its famous pier, which features the coastal thrill rides of Pacific Park and inventive street performances. Some TripAdvisor users bemoan the pricetag on some of the pier's food and attractions, but with free entry, your losses will probably be mitigated. Parking is plentiful and costs between $6 and $12, depending on the day. The restroom facilities are well-maintained and the beach is exceptionally clean. For more information, check out the Santa Monica Pier's website.