Used as a scenic background for various movies and TV shows, one of the most famous piers in California is the Santa Monica pier. Offering a wide variety of entertainment on the pier such as unique diners and stores, enthusiastic street performers, rides, an interactive aquarium and a historic 1922 carousel this pier is a great spot for kids of all ages, adults, anglers and everyone in between.
As with piers in Venice, Huntington Beach and San Clemente, the Santa Monica pier fell victim to a heavy storm in the early 1980’s. The Santa Monica pier was greatly damaged and it would be many years (and meetings) before renovation could take place. But after its eventual renovations, the pier became widely known as one of the most attractive in the state.
An added bonus to fishing at the Santa Monica pier is the bait and tackle shop out by the end of the pier. This shop not only provides bait and tackle but some of the most knowledgeable anglers in California who are sure to help you catch some fish (should you ever ask them.)
Admission to the pier and pacific park on the pier is completely free. While the rides and games are pay as you go, the fun and vibrant environment is complimentary. Because of the popularity of the pier parking space close to the pier is limited. There is parking on the pier itself, a lot nearby and then metered parking on the south side of the pier – but expect to have some trouble finding parking in Santa Monica, particularly on busy summer weekends.
Because of the businesses in the mid-pier area, fishing is somewhat restricted in the surf area, but spaces are available, primarily at the south side of the parking area. It's not too quiet, since you're in the shadow of the new Pacific Park rides… of course if you're seeking quietude then you probably wouldn't have come to this pier anyway (it gets an estimated 3 million visitors a year).