Santa Monica Pier Photo - Ferris wheel at night

Santa Monica's pier Ferris Wheel lights up the night. On this popular pier, the backdrop to many films and TV shows, you'll find entertainment, amusement rides and in the summer, free concerts from top artists who travel from around the globe to perform their hits in Southern California's beach entertainment capital, Santa Monica.

Santa Monica's pier contains Pacific Park, an amusement park reminiscent of the early days of pleasure piers in the 1900's. The only pier (extending into the water) with a Ferris wheel, the fun aspects of modern technology power this ride through solar panels. Called Pacific Wheel, the giant Ferris wheel is 9 stories high and remains visible from a distance as you drive along the busy roads and streets that surround it at the Santa Monica beach. As you board this ride, talk about a view of the ocean a city! Watch the action, which seems to move quickly as you, the rider, spins at 2.5 revolutions per minute! 


Lighting up the night with more than 6,000 incandescent multi-colored light bulbs, the Ferris wheel is spectacular to watch as the sun goes down behind it over the Pacific Ocean. The colors range from bright yellow and orange to dark pinks, purple and blue. In cooperation with electric utility sponsor Southern California Edison, there's a 130-foot wheel that generates over 71,000-kilowatt hours of renewable photovoltaic (PV) power, thanks to over 300 days of coastal sunshine.  The world's first solar-powered Ferris wheel requires modules mounted on top of the park's loading area.

For anyone who uses MS Word or other spell checkers, "Ferris wheel" inevitably shows up requiring a capital "F". The reason?  A man named George Washington Gale Ferris invented this popular ride and his name may be forever attached to the invention, thus the capitalization. His invention was unveiled in 1893 in Chicago. Back in Santa Monica, a Los Angeles County city, Santa Monica Pier was popular as an amusement park in 1900s through the 1960s. But the Ferris wheel was only unveiled after the pier was re-habed and the ride unveiled in 1998.  Now appearing as a beacon, TV weather reports have used the spinning device as a backdrop to their weather temperatures during the news programs. If a visit to Santa Monica (one of Southern California's most popular beaches for tourists), is on your list, you won't want to miss the fun to be had on the Santa Monica Pier's Ferris wheel.  You can tell all your friends you rode on the only solar powered Ferris wheel.


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