Fodor's Expert Review Santa Monica Pier
Souvenir shops, carnival games, arcades, eateries, an outdoor trapeze school, a small amusement park, and an aquarium all contribute to the festive atmosphere of this truncated pier at the foot of Colorado Boulevard below Palisades Park. The pier's trademark 46-horse Looff Carousel, built in 1922, has appeared in several films, including The Sting. The Soda Jerks ice cream fountain (named for the motion the attendant makes when pulling the machine's arm) inside the carousel building is a pier staple. Free concerts are held on the pier in the summer.