Sun and Fun at the Santa Monica Pier

Millions of people from all around the world have enjoyed one of California’s most famous landmarks, the Santa Monica Pier.

Although it was slated for demolition in 1973, the community rallied to save it, only to have Mother Nature destroy about ⅓ of its length in 1983 during a huge ocean storm.

And, just like before, the community “rallied around the Santa Monica Pier” to garner and to ensure that it would be a testament to Santa Monica, and it was rejuvenated again–as a result, the Pier was rebuilt, bigger and better than ever before.

With the addition of the Pacific Park in 1996, the Santa Monica Pier, as it now stands today, is host to over 4 million visitors annually. And get ready, on September 9th, 2009, the Pier will be celebrating its 100thAnniversary with its fist large-scale fireworks spectacular in 18 years!

For a free day of fun in the sun, these are some activities that people perennially enjoy while at the Santa Monica Pier–let’s check it out:

As you can see, the Pier is definately a crowd pleaser.

Pacific Park

Rides for the entire family

The Trapeze School of New York

The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

This gentleman’s name is Goldman, for obvious reasons. When I talked to him, he was very excited about his work, and can be found performing on pretty much any day of the week at the Pier.

I was fascinated while watching these fishermen. Each has their own technique, paraphernalia, and style.


And, of course, swimming.

Typically, there’s so much to do and see at the beach. The Santa Monica Pier is definitely a great place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon, or the whole day.

And as I was taking this picture, I was thinking about Lisa in Wisconsin…………..:) It was pretty warm this day–in the mid 80⁰’s. It felt like we skipped right over spring and landed into summer. Indeed I think we have, by gosh!

What are your plans for this Easter weekend? I hope that your weekend is loaded with fun, sun, family, and entertainment, as you’re Travelin’ Local.

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18 comments so far

  1. Alik Levin |

    Good pictures!
    You succeeded to create the atmosphere of a sunny day ;)
    Alik Levin |’s last blog post..Want To Win? - Argue, Do Not Fight!


  2. Kim

    It looks like a GREAT time.. love the picture of goldman!

    We plan on going to my SIL for Easter..I cannot is one of my favorite holidays because I am with family and it is typically a decent day outside for the kids to run around.

    Happy Easter. :)
    Kim’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday - Creepy Lawn People


  3. Tess The Bold Life

    How fun does this look? From the looks and sounds of it Goldman’s job is play. How far is this from Culver City?

    I want to bring my granchildren to CA when they visit next. Where would you suggest we go? It will be their first time and they are 12 & 15. (Other than Disney)

    Tess The Bold Life’s last blog post..My Kid Did Something Bold & Thrilling


  4. Brian

    I love Santa Monica! A few times a year, my work takes me to Southern California, and I always try to make a little time to stop there. Great shots all around! :)… Btw - thanks for stopping by my site.

    Brian’s last blog post..Tolerating Iowa


  5. Frank Levangie

    Dearest Bubba da Baker……. Now you’ve done it big time !!!
    By putting this false and misleading info about foggy, misty, rainy, cold, snowy and cloudy Santa Monica out on the internet you are responsible for millions of ppl east of San Berdoo coming here and creating congestion at the Farmer’s Market, the Book Festival @ UCLA, and perhaps being eaten by a great white shark lurking off the S.M. pier at this very moment……

    Enuff alreddy,
    Bubba Frank


  6. Diane C.

    Wow, Santa Monica Pier looks great! It sure has changed a lot. I see it even has Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Your pictures are outstanding!

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Skywatch Friday


  7. Giovanna Garcia

    Hi Lisa

    I love Santa Monica Pier, I have great memories there. Thanks for the flash back. Awesome photos.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..Be Good, Do Good.


  8. Patricia

    I have never been to Santa Monica or the Pier but it looks like lots of fun indeed. I could use a bit more warmth for Easter weekend, but think I will enjoy being out of the crowds - even the grocery store was too much for me today.

    You photographs convey so much energy and color and they do not seem to show people being frantic in their entertainment and play.

    I have been to Fisherman’s Wharf 3 times now, once as a child and now 2 Thanksgiving visits. I like the changes but miss the design folks - where have they gone?

    My family is all away this weekend, if the rain continues I will clean out a closet or two and create some Goodwill…and turn up the music and dance…the flowers always call when the sun comes out.
    Thank you for a mini vacation right here!

    Patricia’s last blog post..Book Review: The Highest Tide ~Jim Lynch


  9. David

    You’ve captured the feeling, realness, events, people, and the essence of the Santa Monica pier. I felt all that and more when I read your wonderful story.


  10. LisaNewton

    @ Alik Levin Thank you. When it’s sunny, being in a good mood often seems to be easier. The warmth on the skin feels so good, unless, of course, that sun is 90+ degrees.

    @ Kim Easter is a great time for family. I remember waking to find an Easter basket full of little goodies. And you’re right. It’s great to work a few of those calories off outside running around.

    @ Tess It’s not far from Culver City, about 20 minutes, under “normal” traffic condition. Are you going to be staying in Culver City? Are you looking for places specific to the LA area? Oh, no, I feel a blog post coming on………….:)

    Oh, and if you have time, I’d love to have lunch with you.

    @ Brian I always enjoy stopping by good blogs, so no thanks necessary. Santa Monica is definately worth a stop.

    @ Frank Hey, if you build it, they will come. I’m just letting people know about the great stuff here. Oh, and as far as I know, the great white shark moved up the coast to San Francisco…………..:)

    @ Diane C. Thank you. I’ve seen a few pictures of how it used to look, and it has changed, for the better.

    @ Giovanna I love it when a post brings back memories. Part of the fun of photography is sharing past memories, and helping to create new ones.

    @ Patricia It happened to be unusally warm this past weekend, thus the swimming and bathing suits. The water was still very cold. The picture might look crowded, but being the one in the middle of it all, it wasn’t really as crowded as it looks.

    Spending a holiday taking care of things that need to get done is a great way to spend your time. I’ve done this on a few holidays, and felt so good when the day was over. Plus, it doesn’t get any better than turning up the music and dancing while cleaning……………:)

    @ David Thank you. I tried to capture the air of people having a good time at a fun place. I’m glad I was able to get the job done………..:)


  11. Barbara Swafford

    Hi Lisa,

    What a gorgeous place. It looks like the Santa Monica Pier offers something for everyone. It’s no wonder it’s such an attraction. Mmmm. More great photos. Love them.

    Here’s wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Give Your Readers What They Want


  12. FrugalNYC

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m amazed at that shot of the waves/boardwalk and people in vertical.

    I have much to learn :)
    FrugalNYC’s last blog post..Frugal Is Back


  13. LisaNewton

    @ Barbara Swafford You’re so right. It does have something for everyone. When I was there, I saw families, older couples, 20 somethings, and everyone in between.

    @ FrugalNYC Believe me, it was the subject matter much more than the photographer…………………..:) I’m still learning, too.


  14. Lisa's Chaos

    Oh my! That’s a lot of people all in one place, amazed the pier doesn’t crumble! :) 100 years - that’s a long time! I know, duh.

    Hey, we were in the 50s today. :) we’re warming up. :) But we don’t usually get that many days in the 80s, I kinda think 60s is great. :)
    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Crash Landings


  15. LisaNewton

    @ Lisa’s Chaos 60s is good. It’s warm enough to be comfortable outside, but cold enough not to sweat…………….:)


  16. Gary Kavanagh

    And don’t forget cycling. The beach bike path goes directly through the underside of the pier and makes a great way to cruise the coast. Just be careful, it does have traffic jams of every variety of non motorized traffic on sunny days.

    Revealing my nerdy youth here, but another fun fact I like about the pier is the arcade maintains an original Super Mario Brothers machine.

    Gary Kavanagh’s last blog post..Putting Villaraigosa In The Cross Hairs


  17. LisaNewton

    @ Gary I’ve don’t go on the bike trail too often on the weekends. I’ve seen the myriad of “vehicles” on the BIKE trail.

    LOL………….I had no idea about the Super Mario Brothers game. I still remember PacMan.


  18. Lara

    Oh, I miss the piers!

    We hung out at home and I got to work on my lasagna garden during Easter weekend. Now I’ve got to catch up on your blogging!

    Lara’s last blog post..Apple blossoms


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