beach pier santa monica

Accessibility in Santa Monica

In Santa Monica, we want everyone to enjoy our sunny city by the sea–that’s why we strive to be one of the most accessible cities in the U.S.! Many locales are wheelchair-friendly and public accommodations are available throughout town.

We recognize that COVID-19 safety continues to shape your travels. Please visit our Travel Responsibly page for the latest updates.

Download the Santa Monica Disabilities Commission brochure, a resource for people with disabilities in Santa Monica.

Wheelchair Accessible Hotels

Several Santa Monica hotels are designed to meet ADA requirements and accommodate the needs of all travelers. Viceroy Santa Monica offers Braille and tactile signage in rooms and public spaces. Santa Monica Proper Hotel has guest rooms with wheelchair access and welcomes service animals.

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Beach Wheelchair Rentals
Cruise the sand

Beach Wheelchair Rentals

Santa Monica’s beaches are the city’s pride and joy, so hanging by the ocean is a given! In fact, we were rated the most accessible beach for families by Wonders Without Borders in 2021. Along the coast, beachfront parking, wooden access ramps leading closer to the water, an accessible pier, and complimentary beach wheelchairs are available.

Beach/all-terrain wheelchairs are available to rent free of charge from three Perry’s Cafe locations on Ocean Front Walk. One is located north of the pier near Arizona Avenue, and the other two located south of the pier near Ocean Park Boulevard.

Visit the Accessible Santa Monica Beach map to view accessible pathways to the water, universally accessible playgrounds and all Santa Monica beach wheelchair rental locations.

Other Beach Wheelchair Rentals

Heal the Bay Aquarium believes beaches should be treasured and accessible for everyone. They offer free, two-hour manual beach wheelchair rentals with a valid photo ID. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis during operating hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Annenberg Community Beach House, a historic oceanfront property on Santa Monica State Beach, offers complimentary beach wheelchairs, a café and free splash pad.

annenberg beach house wheelchair rental
annenberg beach house wheelchair rental

Santa Monica Beach offers plenty of attractions, including two universally-accessible playgrounds.
At South Beach Park Playground, children of all abilities can use the equipment and play areas, including swings and structures. Additional maneuvering space and ramps make playing easier.

Visit North Beach Playground at the other end of the beach, past the famed Santa Monica Pier, for a sea-inspired experience. A sensory garden allows children to learn through touch and use their imaginations.

North Beach Playground
Virginia Avenue Park Playground

Pacific Park

Head to Pacific Park for fun rides, souvenir shopping and delicious eateries. The venue is wheelchair accessible with a convenient auxiliary entrance for visitors with mobility impairments. Service animals are welcome (and even allowed on certain rides). Learn more about ADA at Pacific Park.

Palisades Park

Set along Ocean Avenue, Palisades Park is a public greenspace that includes several attractions, including the Camera Obscura Art Lab, historic sculptures and the Visitor’s Center Kiosk. The mostly flat surface is ADA accessible and there is accessible parking, restrooms and picnic areas as well.

Pier Carousel

No visit to the Santa Monica Pier is complete without a ride on the Santa Monica Pier Carousel! For visitors who use wheelchairs, the carousel features an ADA-accessible chariot served by a portable ADA ramp to make boarding and riding hassle-free.

Explore Third Street Promenade

Third Street Promenade has seemingly unlimited shopping, dining, and both outdoor and indoor entertainment options. The busy city attraction also has ramps and access ways for easy exploring (and indulging). The promenade also has low curbs and audible crosswalk controls are available.

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Accessible Shopping and Dining

Santa Monica Place is a luxury open-air mall, popular since it first opened its movie theater, shopping and dining venues in 1980. Wheelchairs are available to borrow from the concierge, and the mall is ADA accessible on all floors, including the parking garage.

Along with shopping and dining, Main Street is home to the Farmers Market plus famous street murals. All streets are easily accessible, as are most businesses located along this stretch.

accessible farmers market
Accessible Shopping

The Santa Monica Public Library offers many assistive devices for universal access to its collections. Listening aids, large print keyboards, joysticks as adaptable mouse substitutes and magnifying sheets are available.

Though not in Santa Monica proper, The Getty Villa’s lush gardens and ancient Roman architecture are worth visiting. The villa is ADA accessible and allows service animals. Services are available for visitors who are visually impaired, hard of hearing or using mobility aids.

Pico Branch Library
santa monica accessible attractions

Accessible Transportation

One of the best things about Santa Monica? You don’t need a car to cruise around town. Several accessible public transportation options are available around town, making wheelchair travel easier and more affordable.

Serving popular destinations such as Exposition Park, Culver City and Santa Monica Pier, the Metro E Line can get you around most popular spots in the city. The stations are accessible to individuals in wheelchairs with either a walkway/ramp or elevator from the street to the platform. Please visit the Metro’s Accessibility page for more information.

With a fleet of around 200 clean-air vehicles, Big Blue Bus offers transport across a 58 square-mile area so you can comfortably and conveniently travel around the city. Opt for the Mobility On Demand Every Day (MODE) Program to reserve rides in lift-equipped wheelchair vans, driven by specially trained and licensed drivers. Please visit the Big Blue Bus website for more information.

Blogs

Discover Santa Monica

Explore itineraries, local tips, hot spots and curated adventures to make sure you get the most out of your Santa Monica experience.

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