|Santa Monica State Beach|
|Location||Los Angeles County, California|
|Nearest city||Santa Monica|
|Governing body||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
Santa Monica State Beach is a California State Park operated by the city of Santa Monica.
The beach is located along Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. It is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long and has parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, restrooms, as well as staffed lifeguard stations, the 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.
Just south of the pier volleyball courts is International Chess Park with public chess tables and a human-scale chessboard set into the sidewalk.
Palisades Park is located atop Santa Monica's cliffs, providing a vantage point to see the Santa Monica Beach and the Pacific Ocean.
The beach is the one in the album art for Umbrella Beach by Owl City features.
The beach will host beach volleyball and surfing during the 2028 Summer Olympics.
"Ink Well" redirects here. For other uses, see Inkwell.
A section of the beach was referred to as "Ink Well" and "Negro Beach" in the early 20th century when it was one of the few areas in California where African Americans were allowed to enjoy beach access in a largely segregated society. Other areas for blacks were Bruce's Beach in Manhattan Beach and the Pacific Beach Club in Orange County. Nick Gabaldon, one of the first black surfers in California, lived in Santa Monica, and used the 200 foot roped off stretch of beach demarcated for blacks. He died after crashing into the Malibu Pier.
Arlington West was a temporary memorial created on Santa Monica Beach just north of the Santa Monica Pier at Santa Monica, every Sunday from sunrise to sunset. Crosses are placed on the beach for each U.S. military person who has died in the Iraq War. The number of crosses erected every Sunday now exceeds 4,000. For military personnel killed within the week past, flag draped coffins with blue crosses are positioned in front. The Arlington West Memorial, a project of Veterans For Peace, is intended to offer visitors a graceful, visually and emotionally powerful, place for reflection.
Snowy Plovers nest on the beach.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has developed a safe eating advisory for fish caught in the Santa Monica Beach based on levels of mercury or PCBs found in local species.
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