Pacific Coast Highway
Santa Monica, CA
Hours: 5:00 AM to dusk
Operated by the City of Santa Monica
Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.
Santa Monica State Beach spreads along 3 miles of sand in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles. As one of the most popular beaches in California, it draws visitors from the Los Angeles region as well as from across the country. The iconic Santa Monica Pier serves as the beach's anchor, with bike trails and walking paths stretching away north and south.
Facilities at the beach include restrooms, lifeguard towers, and picnic areas, a Chess Park, Muscle Beach with its exercise equipment, a number of restaurants and snack shops, and the Annenberg Community Beach House, along with basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.
Santa Monica maintains an excellent parking website (along with a mobile app) which displays available parking and current rates:
Santa Monica Parking Map
Parking lots along the beach nearly all accept cash or credit cards. Lots closer to the pier are slightly more expensive. Metered parking is available on many adjacent streets, usually $1 to $2 per hour during the day and free at night. Numerous other parking lots are located nearby.
Parking times for most of the lots are similar, except for Lot 1 North which is open from 6:30 AM to 2:00 AM and Pier Parking which is available from 7:30 AM to 12 midnight.
|Parking Lot||Hours*||# of Spaces||Weekday Fees||Weekend, Holiday Fees|
|*Summer hours **Cash or Discover, Mastercard or Visa only |
***Cash only (bills or coins)
|9 North||6AM-7:30PM||79||$8 per day||$10 per day|
|8 North||6:30AM-7PM||214||$8 per day||$10 per day|
|4-7 North||6:30AM-7PM||44-85||$8 per day||$10 per day|
|3 North||6:30AM-7PM||460||$12 per day||$12 per day|
|1 North||6:30AM-2AM||1173||$12 per day||$12 per day|
|Pier Parking||7:30AM-12AM||277||$3 per hr., $15 max per day||$3 per hr., $15 max per day|
|1 South||6:30AM-7PM||66||$1 per hr, 2 hr. max||$1 per hr, 2 hr. max|
|2 South||6:30AM-7PM||63||$12 per day||$12 per day|
|3 South||6:30AM-7PM||120||$12 per day||$12 per day|
|4 South||6:30AM-7PM||1319||$8 per day||$10 per day|
|5 South (short term)||6:30AM-7PM||87||$1 per hr., 2 hrs. max||$1 per hr., 2 hrs. max|
|5 South**||6:30AM-7PM||784||$8 per day||$10 per day|
|200-298 Ocean Front Walk Park, Venice***||6:30AM-7PM||$6 per day||$9 per day|
Mild surf at Santa Monica Beach make it a popular place for families to spend the day playing in the sand, sun bathing, and enjoying the waves. During the summer surfing is limited to the stretch of beach between lifeguard towers 18 and 20 (Pico Boulevard to Bay Street) or between towers 28 and 29 (Ashland Avenue to Pier Street). Before surfing it is best to check with the lifeguards. Body boarding and boogies boarding are popular at Santa Monica Beach.
Before swimming after a heavy rain, check the water quality link on the right to see if conditions are safe for swimming.
Back on the Beach, at the Annenberg community Beach House, indoor and outdoor seating, breakfast lunch and dinner service
Perry's Cafe, 2600 or 2400 Ocean Front Walk, 1200 or 930 Pacific Coast Highway; breakfast, lunch, and afternoon delights - burgers, salads, tacos, coffee, pastries
Hot Dog on a Stick, 1633 Ocean Front Walk - hot dogs, fries, lemonade
Shutters on the Beach, on the beach, south of the pier, featuring Coast, a casual beachfront cafe and bar
Pizza Pizza, 1205 Palisades Beach Road - (310) 450-3577
For restaurants on the pier, see Santa Monica Pier
Vons, 710 Broadway
7-11, 630 Wilshire Boulevard
L & K Food Mart, 2127 Main Street
308 Wilshire Boulevard
1356 3rd Street Promenade (north of Santa Monica Boulevard)
2671 Main Street (south of Ocean Park Boulevard)
The Bike Trail at Santa Monica Beach is part of the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which extends 22 miles from Will Rogers State Beach in the north to Torrance County Beach in the south. Along Santa Monica Beach the Bike Trail winds across the beach, passing under the pier. Vehicles allowed on the beach bike path include unicycles, bicycles, bicycles with training wheels, wheelchairs, and single-person tricycles.
Coming from the south, Ocean Front Walk separates from the Bike Trail near Bicknell Avenue and swings to the east, passing Muscle Beach and Chess park before arriving at the Santa Monica Pier. Bicycles are not allowed on the Ocean Front Walk.
The Annenberg Community Beach House, located at the north end of the beach, is a public facility
offering fitness classes, recreation program, and cultural events. It has a pool, beach volleyball courts,
a cafe, and rec room. No membership is required.
Annenberg Community Beach House
World-famous Santa Monica Pier draws thousands of visitors every year. Ride Pacific Park's Ferris
wheel and the historic 1922 carousel. Food and refreshments are available at the many restaurants and food
stands. There is so much to see and do on the pier that we have devoted a full page to it:
Santa Monica Pier
A number of parks adjacent to Santa Monica Beach offer a variety of activities from picnicking to
tennis, from chess boards to exercise equipment. We give all the details on our
Santa Monica Beach ACTIVITIES page.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety