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How to be a Tourist at the Santa Monica Pier!

How to be a tourist at Santa Monica Pier

There’s so much emphasis these days on getting off the beaten track, and authentic travel, which I enjoy as much as the next person, but it is definitely fun to be a tourist sometimes too! We recognise places and want to visit them because they’re iconic, because we see famous locations in films and on TV, and we see beautiful places on social media. It’s those places that attracted people to all these destinations in the first place, and apart from anything are you really going to visit places like Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower, Sydney and not see the Sydney Opera House, New York and not see the Empire State? No, you’re not, especially if it’s your first time. So I think it’s perfectly fine to be a tourist. For this post I’m giving you ten touristy things to do at Santa Monica pier.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Find the famous Route 66 ‘end of the trail’ sign that marks the end of the great American highway, simply because it runs straight into the sea. As you get on the Santa Monica pier it’s pretty early on, just outside the police station.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Sample the pierย food. In true American style there’s fast food everywhere, including a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant. The restaurants are always busy, so be prepared to wait, or instead grab some sweet treats that are everywhere! Candy floss, sweets, even frozen custard?

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Have a chat to the local fishermen, fishing off the pier. They’ll happily tell you about their catch, and they even offered us some clams and mussels. I’m a fan of seafood, but these ones straight out the sea were a bit too fresh even for me. The fishermen were real characters though, and great fun to chat to.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Go on the fairground rides, it was actually quite big for being on a pier, but fits a couple of rollercoasters and the famous ferris wheel to name a couple.

 

Santa Monica Pier

 

Go surfing. Not one for me, but there were lessons available for beginners right through to the pros, and boards available to rent.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Spot the Baywatch lifeguard hut. It was very surreal seeing this in real life, and actually in use. Red costumes, red shorts and red lifeguard floats. Being such a popular surf spot, they were all along the quieter side of the beach. (Tip: a walk along here was a lot more pleasant than the other side of the pier where it was heaving with people!)

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. It was very beautiful over the pier and the beach.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Cycle or rollerblade along the palm tree lined promenade that runs along the Pacific Coast.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Even just walking the promenade is hot work, and we did it in the evening. There’s an amazing frozen yoghurt place just before you get to Venice beach, and I definitely recommend sampling someย of the many flavours and toppings.

 

Santa Monica Pier

 

The promenade itself is a spectacle, and a walk along it will show you some of the strangest scenes. There’s street art everywhere, musicians, performers…all sorts of characters! Great for people watching.

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

So if you want to be a tourist, and you want to get that selfie you have to stand in a queue to get after travelling thousands of miles, then just go for it.. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

 

Other LA posts:

Itinerary: 3 Days in LA

Lunch at The Ivy

The Mondrian LA

 

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How to be a tourist at Santa Monica Pier

How to be a tourist at Santa Monica Pier

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    AnthonyJury
    26th April 2017 at 9:51 am

    I always hear so much about Santa Monica, and one day I hope to stop listening and see that beautiful area for myself. Great article, great advice, great pics, now to get there.

  • Reply
    Rachael Dickinson
    26th April 2017 at 10:07 am

    This looks so amazing! I will have to add this to my list of places to go.Adorable!

    Rachael xox
    http://gatsbyandglamour.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Hayley
    26th April 2017 at 10:14 am

    It definitely fun being a tourist when you travel, why not! ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks like such a great spot to explore, your pictures captured it so beautifully. I would love to walk along that promenade and chat to those fisherman, they must have such interesting lives. Great post!

  • Reply
    Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog
    26th April 2017 at 10:44 am

    I want to be a tourist at Santa Monc Pier now! I love your tip about chatting with fishermen – such a good way to get to know the locals and a proper feel for the place.

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    26th April 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Santa Monica is defnitely one of my favourite places in LA! The never ending sunshine is the best part ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kelly
    26th April 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Very cool!! Looks like so much fun. I like being a tourist sometimes too. I would also love to try surfing there and I heard the beaches are great. I’ll have to get there asap.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    26th April 2017 at 10:17 pm

    One of my fav spots to photograph! Glad you’re embracing your inner tourist, I hate when ppl say it’s a dirty word!

  • Reply
    meg
    26th April 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I grew up in LA and I used to love taking people to Santa Monica when they would come to visit. It’s fun to do the tourist thing every now and again!

  • Reply
    tracy
    27th April 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I have been but only to catch a tour for the day – definitely would love to return as it looked great. Totally loved LA!

  • Reply
    fouronaworldtrip
    28th April 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I have been there just last year and even though I wasn’t overly thrilled about L.A. I LOVED Santa Monica Pier ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Anna
    28th April 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I haven’t been to USA yet and it looks pretty fun. About time i reckon, will def put Santa Monica in my list though. Keep exploring.

  • Reply
    Itinerary: 3 Days in LA | Stephanie Fox Blog
    2nd June 2017 at 11:31 am

    […] the amazing weather on the beach. We had a wander through the shops, and then found the infamous Santa Monica pier, and the end of the legendary American highway, Route 66. We walked the full length of the pier, […]

  • Reply
    How to be a Tourist in Amsterdam | Stephanie Fox Blog
    4th July 2017 at 12:14 am

    […] How to be a Tourist at Santa Monica Pier […]

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