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- Santa Monica
A glimpse of the festival atmosphere that once dominated Venice's beaches and waterways in the early 20th Century can be seen at the Santa Monica Pier, one of the top attraction in Los Angeles. Opened to the public in 1909, the pier has survived waves of decay, neglect, and destructive storms to be transformed into a vibrant recreational symbol of Southern California.
Bringing in over four million visitors a year, Pacific Park on the pier offers a thrilling rollercoaster ride over the ocean, an illuminated ferris wheel, giant carousel, carnival games, street performers, fishing, restaurants, and much more!
Also, make sure to visit the famous Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, located below the pier's eastern dock, to learn about the aquatic life flourishing in the ocean below your feet. Afterwards, stroll south on Ocean Front Walk to check out the myriad of activities on the sand. Visit Chess Park to witness intense chess matches beneath the hot sun, play around on the Traveling Rings Sets, grab a great photo of your family on two large decorative lifeguard chairs, or enjoy some beach volleyball. For lunch or dinner, consider Big Dean's Cafe right at the end of the pier to enjoy a great burger on their outdoor patio.
DIRECTIONS TO THE START
Car: From the 10 Freeway West, continue onto CA-1 N for about 1 mile. Then make a U-turn and take the exit for Palisades Beach Rd. Drive until you reach the parking lot.