This sun kissed beachside boardwalk boasts a vibrant carnival atmosphere and a history that dates back over century.
Marking the finishing point for one of the Unites States most famous highways, Route 66, the Santa Monica Pier was a welcome sight for travellers and sun seekers. Originally, Route 66 ran from Chicago to Los Angeles but was later extended to Santa Monica Pier.
Despite being one of California’s last vintage piers, this is no ancient relic. The Pier is open around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and boasts a vibrant atmosphere and cultural background. Packed with theatrical and musical entertainment, the pier offers amusement for all members of the family and visitors of all ages.
Take a ride on a twisting roller coaster or experience the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel, a 40-metre wide wheel that offers a fantastic view the surrounding area. For the adults, step back into your childhood and munch on candy floss and sample the many sweets and desserts on offer on the nearby stands and stalls.
Learn highflying acrobatics at the trapeze school or cycle your way around the nearby sights by hiring a bike. Situated at the foot of the pier at beach level is an aquarium that focuses specifically on the local marine life. Kids are bound to enjoy the numerous interactive activities on offer here, including the touch tanks and marine biology classes.
Arguably one of the most popular attractions is the vintage wooden carousel with its beautifully hand-carved horses. This iconic piece was built in 1922 and is preserved in a dedicated building called the Looff Hippodrome. The carousel has featured in numerous films, but is most popular for its part in the Robert Redford and Paul Newman film, The Sting.
For those looking for a slice of tranquillity, the viewing decks on the second level offer a calm atmosphere and peaceful respite from the hustle of the crowds. Many visitors overlook this area, so it is well worth a visit, especially for the romantics visiting.
Santa Monica is situated just north of Venice Beach, 29 kilometres west of downtown.