It is 3.5 miles long and has parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, restrooms, as well as manned lifeguard stations, the original Muscle Beach, bike rentals, concessions, a few hotels, a bike path, and wooden pathways for warm days and beachgoers with disabilities. Visitor activities include volleyball, surfing, stand up paddleboarding, and swimming. Smoking at the beach is prohibited.
At the foot of Colorado Avenue, through the famous arch and sign, lies the historic Santa Monica Pier, which dates from 1909. The pier has a National Historic Landmark -– the 1922 Looff Hippodrome Carousel.
A few steps south of the Pier volleyball courts is the International Chess Park. The public chess tables—and a human-scale chessboard set into the sidewalk—draw a wide assortment of players.
Palisades Park is located atop Santa Monica’s famed sandstone cliffs, providing a vantage point to see the sweep of Santa Monica Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
The beach is the one Baywatch was filmed at and also the beach the album art for Umbrella Beach by Owl City features.