Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica's 3.5 miles of beaches run from just about Entrada Drive (south of Chautauqua Blvd.) and Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) on the North end down towards where Barnard Way turns into Marine Street on the South end. When coming from the North, the Beach House Parking lot where the Annenberg Community Beach House is will be the first available parking lot. The city itself is just over 8 square miles and was founded in 1875. Don't miss checking out the Museum of Flying for vintage aircraft and exhibits and the Museum of Art to view some contemporary exhibits.
Santa Monica is probably the best known of the beach cities since it's the choice location for beachside location filming in movies and television. The Santa Monica Pier is over 100 years old making it the oldest West Coast pier. The pier's carousel and arcade are a definite "must see" and there are plenty of restaurants to dine at on the pier. Of course, there is plenty of open space at the beach and Third Street Promenade's shops and restaurants are also close by. For something to eat North of the pier, the Perry's Cafe's have nice offerings. Keep in mind that if you are dining in Santa Monica on the Pier or on the beach with your toes in the sand that prices are much higher than you would pay elsewhere in Los Angeles. But the view of the ocean and sand while dining is totally worth it. Make sure to take pics of the view and post the location on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to make your friends jealous!
Santa Monica Pier View
Annenberg Community Beach House
Santa Monica has a community beach for family fun. The Annenberg Community Beach House is open to the public and offers classes in yoga, volleyball, and swimming. It also offers rentals of canopies, umbrellas, volleyballs, boogie boards, and sand chairs. It is a public house, open to all with no membership required. Reservations are advised, but not required. The beach house is also available year round for meetings and events. Address: 415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Annenberg Community Beach House
Parking at Santa Monica Beaches
There are 14 parking lots with beach access along PCH. Eight lots are on the North side of the Santa Monica Pier and six lots are located to the South of the Pier. The Beach House Lot and North Lots 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 1 are located on PCH. Lot 1 North is the biggest lot and is at the Pier. If you miss these North parking lots, you can catch the South lots by staying to the right and exiting off of PCH and onto Ocean Avenue. From Ocean Avenue you can either head back down towards the beach via Seaside Terrace or Pacific Terrace to Appian Way to get to South lots 1, 2, 3, and the Pier Deck Lot or you can continue on Ocean Avenue to get to Lot 4 on Ocean or Lot 5 where Ocean turns into Barnard Way. Parking ranges from $7 - $15 per day depending on the day and time of year. For more info, check out Santa Monica Parking. Short term parking for a couple of hours is available at South lots 4 & 5.
Parking is available at the Santa Monica Pier or at the lots along the beach (off of Neilson Way or Ocean Avenue) for $8.00 all day, or an hourly rate. You can also park above California Incline in the structures near Colorado between 2nd and 4th Streets and take one of the 4 pedestrian bridges across PCH and down the stairs to the beaches.
Santa Monica Bike Path
Santa Monica Looking North from the Pier
Santa Monica Beach Facilities
Santa Monica beaches have restrooms and outdoor rinse off showers available free of charge. There are lifeguard towers along the beaches. The number of manned lifeguard towers varies with the seasons. Food concession stands are also staffed according to the season as well. Additional conveniently located food may be purchased from Perrys Cafe, which has several locations along the bike path through Santa Monica, or Back to the Beach Cafe near the Annenberg Community House. There are also a number of places to eat at the Pier such as Hot Dog on a Stick, Pier Burger, or Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Bubba Gump Shrimp and more at Santa Monica Pier
Bike and Skate Rentals
All of the Perry's Cafe location have rentals for skating, bicycling, and boogie boarding available. Because all of the Perrys locations are conveniently located next to the bike path, you can be riding or skating down the beach with the cool ocean views right away.
Perry's Food and Rentals
Santa Monica Pier at Dusk