We woke up this morning and headed on our way to Santa Monica, the end of Route 66. Now, I love Southern California, but as far as Route 66 goes, there’s really not much to see. You get to drive through Hollywood and Los Angeles. But I could care less about the big cities and the star appeal.
We drove and drove and finally reached Santa Monica. Now, most people think that Route 66 ends at the Santa Monica pier. It actually ends at Palisades Park which is a couple blocks from the pier. We stopped off at the historic end of Route 66 for a few photos. Then we headed to the pier for some fun.
We spent the entire afternoon and the better part of the evening playing at the amusement park that’s on the Santa Monica pier, Pacific Park. The kids had a great time even though there were only 6 rides for them to ride. Since it was Mother’s Day, the place was packed. It was gorgeous weather most of the day. As the afternoon turned to evening, the wind picked up and it got downright cold.
We were about to head on our way, when we ran into a new online friend, Anthony and his peeps. He is making a Route 66 documentary and was extremely helpful to us while we were on our trip. It was fun to meet him in person!
And that was it for our Route 66 road trip. If you’ve been following along with us, thank you so much! We’ll be taking another trip later this year, and we’d love some suggestions as to where we should go 🙂
Things I learned today:
1. My kids can totally be entertained for hours by the same 6 rides at an amusement park.
2. If your kid is shorter than 36 inches, you not only have to buy them a ride wristband for $15.95, but you have to buy one for yourself for $21.95. So it essentially costs you $40 so your littlest one can ride the rides too.
3. There are 6 rides at the Pacific Park amusement park for little kids. Lia was scared of 4 of them. So I got to ride the same 2 kiddie rides over and over and over.
4. No matter how many times Max says he wants to ride the roller coaster, he will always chicken out at the last minute. Same goes for the ferris wheel.
5. I still think it’s funny when people we’ve never met recognize us out in public because they’ve seen our pictures on our blog.
6. I couldn’t care less about taking a tour of the stars’ homes. Are there really people out there who pay money to do that?!
7. Lia is terrified of the big scary rides at the amusement park. She starts shaking and screaming if we are anywhere near them when they are in motion. Guess where the ticket stand is? Right between the dragon ride and the roller coaster.
Santa Monica Pier Pacific Park, Santa Monica, CA 4 stars – This one was a tough one to rate. On the one hand, my kids had an absolute blast, so I’m definitely glad we went. And I would have gone even if I had known about the downsides. If you have little kids (i.e. 3-6 year-olds), this would be an ideal place to spend an afternoon. That being said, I was annoyed by the experience. So, on the Pacific Park website, they have a coupon for 15% off unlimited ride wristbands. If you don’t buy the wristband, it is $3 & $5 per person per ride. Yeah. So I called and they told me they would honor the coupon even though I didn’t have it printed out. When I got there, they gave me a huge hassle about it. They also said Lia was too little to ride. After Max & Ava rode 3 rides, someone told me Lia could ride too if I rode with her. I went through the same hassle AGAIN at the ticket stand with the coupon. Here’s what really irked me though: I had to buy a wristband for Lia AND one for me. Even though all I rode was the baby rides. The other thing I didn’t like was that they didn’t fill the rides up completely, so there was always a wait, even though there weren’t many kids. That being said, I would probably take them again if we were in the area. But I’d make sure to print out my coupon ahead of time.


  • the end of your trip is the beginning of my fun. i can’t wait to start at the beginning and work my way to the end, all in one sitting! 🙂 i’m a travel junkie, i need my solar fix, too.

  • I, too, laughed out loud at the GIANT parents on the kiddie rides! And I’m sort of sad that it is the end.
    And your experience with the cost of your wrist band reminded me of an incident I had at the fun kiddie pool in Lees Summit last summer. They open early and the rates are cheaper if you get there between 8:30-10:00 in the morning. They have all sorts of kiddie slides and sprayers. Of course, I had to pay too. But then I went down the slide, and the life guard told me adults weren’t allowed to use the slides. So I’m not sure exactly why I’d pay good money to sit on my butt in a wading pool, but whatever, the kids had fun!

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