Santa Monica Pier
There are two different options for parking at the Santa Monica Pier. You can pay to park directly on the Pier when it’s available or in the lower lot, also known as the 1550 lot. Both lots are first come first serve and can fill up pretty quickly on a busy day. The parking rates vary so please check the City of Santa Monica Parking website for updated information. Again, these beach lots fill up FAST, so a better option would be to park around 3rd street, which is within easy walking distance to the beach and pier.
There are tons of parking lots and garages in Santa Monica that you can choose from, but if you are staying for just a short time, the best place to park is at any of the city owned lots. You get the first 90 minutes FREE. The closest one located to the Pier is located on the corner of 2nd and Colorado (just one block away from the Pier).
Santa Monica has a lot of metered parking in the area. Meters typically charge $1-$2 per hour with a 2 hour time limit. This 2 hour time limit is a strict parking maximum for Santa Monica streets. You CANNOT park at the same spot for more than 2 hours, even if your meter hasn’t expired. If you are parked for more than 2 hours without moving your car, you will get a ticket!
Real Time Information
ParkMe has amazing real time data for Santa Monica. Most of the parking garages as well as the parking meters are automatically updated to show the real time availability of parking spots in lots and on streets.