Santa Monica Pier/Ocean Avenue
Along Ocean Avenue, alfresco dining spots, pastel-hued hotels, palm-lined Palisades Park and the distinctive Tongva Park provide enviable beachfront hangouts. One of the most iconic Santa Monica neighborhoods, Ocean Front Walk, boasts the Original Muscle Beach, and still flexes its charm with a collection of rings, parallel bars and balance bars plied by bodybuilders, yogis and other assorted sun-lovers. Bikes and skateboards drift down the Marvin Braude Bike Trail in an aimless procession of fun. Perched over the Pacific, revel in a delectable slice of West Coast nostalgia by visiting the historical Santa Monica Pier, featuring the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the century-old Looff Hippodrome and the all-ages aquarium.
Santa Monica Restaurants on Ocean Ave
With a stunning selection of East Coast-style shellfish and a sunset view to match, Blue Plate Oysterette has been a local favorite since its launch in 2009. The late famed food critic Jonathan Gold hailed its oysters as “impeccably fresh,” but no one will argue if you opt for the classic fish and chips or decadent lobster tacos. If seafood isn’t the vibe, try their sister restaurant, Blue Plate Taco. Known for its use of fresh and sustainably farmed ingredients, gourmands are sure to enjoy amazing Mexican cuisine. Find seasonal specials here, like red pozole or Mexican street-style elote.
Del Frisco’s Grille is a modern American grill overlooking the Pier that has endeared itself to attracting diners with its creative twists on comfort foods from bagels and lox to steak and potatoes; its stylish atmosphere; and its unique selection of premium wines served by the glass.
Seaside On The Pier recently opened their restaurant, rooftop bar and sandwich shop and has quickly gained popularity among Pier guests, thanks to its fare of breakfast, lunch and dinner favorites; customized ice cream offerings; and evening option for conversation over cocktails and Ferris wheel views.
Inside the environs of Santa Monica’s historic Carousel Building you can find the delicious and historical Soda Jerks. Journey back to the 1920s and ’30s, when folks of all ages gathered at the local sweet spot for a handmade ice cream soda, sundae, shake or malt, concocted and served up by a bona fide, bowtie-clad “soda jerk.”
See all RestaurantsView All
Ocean Avenue Shops
Ocean Avenue is the perfect place to shop. Gather all of the information you need to plan a perfect visit with a stop at the Santa Monica Pier Shop & Visitor Center and find official Pier apparel and other gift-worthy goodies to get into the Santa Monica spirit.
Stocked from top to bottom with made-in-the-USA merchandise, 66 To Cali is a favorite stop for travelers, locals and history aficionados. Bring a bit (or a lot!) of this iconic highway home via vintage signs, maps, books, photos, clothing and more.
See All Pier ShopsView All
Ocean Avenue Attractions
Ocean Avenue offers easy access to many attractions just off the road. Whether it be on the pier or on the beach make sure you visit the attractions below, located along Ocean Avenue.What was a lush, private oceanside estate in the 1920s built for Marion Davis, Annenberg Community Beach House is now a five-acre public playground offering classes and tours, art exhibits, annual community events and a range of amenities available to the public, such as the vintage, marble-decked swimming pool, beach courts and game room, all just a step from the beach. Annenberg Community Beach Hours is the only beach house open to the public on the west coast.
Witness where the physical fitness movement of the 20th century began at the Original Muscle Beach. Feats of athleticism are still celebrated here and workout apparatus remains available and open to the public.
Hours of old-fashioned fun await at Pacific Park located right on the Pier. A dozen rides, including the famous Pacific Wheel, roller coaster and bumper cars—plus plenty of carnival games and specialty eateries—are made even more memorable by their beachside setting.
Fueled by its dedication to preserving the local waters and aquatic life, Heal the Bay Aquarium encourages marine life education and conservation. Featuring 100-plus Santa Monica Bay species, special exhibits and touch tanks, the aquarium is as fun as it is educational.
See All Things to DoView All
Other Santa Monica Neighborhoods
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.