Santa Monica State Beach is the closest beach to the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. As one can expect, it is well equipped with the usual amenities plus volleyball courts, picnic tables and good swimming and surfing conditions. In addition to attracting the typical beach combing crowd, this spot seems to be a magnet for special events, most notably a semi-annual performance run by the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. Just be advised that summer crowds—especially on weekends, can be monstrous.
Attractions & Landmarks, Beaches/Bodies of Water, Sports and the Outdoors