Beach & Bike Path Rules

Codes & Rules for Use of the Beach

Rules and municipal codes have been established to promote safety, minimize conflicts between users, to preserve and protect the beach.

To read the full Municipal Code or Official Rules see these links  

Frequently Asked Questions:

May I smoke? Smoking is prohibited on the beach (SMMC 4.44.020).

Is alcohol allowed? Possession of an opened alcoholic beverage is illegal (SMMC 4.08.200).

How about glass containers on the sand? Broken glass in sand could be very dangerous, so bringing glass containers onto the beach isn’t allowed (SMMC 4.55.250).

Are dogs welcome? Dogs are not allowed on the beach sands lying westerly of Oceanfront Walk or northerly of the westerly prolongation of the center line of California Avenue (SMMC 4.04.160).  

May I BBQ or build a fire? No, you may not make a fire, or bring a portable stove or BBQ onto the beach (SMMC 4.55.100).

Are fireworks allowed? Fireworks are not permitted in City parks, or anywhere in the City, except at special events with prior City Council approval (SMMC 8.40.020).

Is nude sunbathing permitted? Public nudity is unlawful (SMMC 4.08.760).

What authority do the County lifeguards have on this beach? For your safety and the safety of other beach users, it is important that you follow directions, signals or orders given by the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Services. If you fail to following their direction, you may be cited (SMMC 4.55.200)

Do I need to read and follow posted signs? Yes, “no swimming” and “no surfing” signs must be followed (SMMC 4.55.220 and 4.44.230)

May I sell things? Vending (the offering of merchandise, food, beverages, admission tickets, services, etc. for profit) at parks is only allowed at City-produced events or in the form of classes taught by a City-contracted instructor (SMMC 6.36.100).

Are tents and camping allowed? Camping or erecting tents or temporary shelters with side walls are not allowed (SMMC 4.08.095)

When is a youth group beach/water activity permit needed? Organized groups must have a permit when more than twenty (20) youth aged seventeen (17) or younger will be entering the water (SMMC 4.55.210).

May I fly a model airplane? These are not allowed at the beach, in beach parking lots, or in a park (SMMC 4.55.110).

May I slackline between trees? Attaching wire, rope or any object to a public tree is prohibited (SMMC 7.40.140).

When do I need an event permit? An event permit may be required for activities that involve 150 people or more, or for the use of a temporary structure (tents, stages, etc.) which would require a permit from Fire and/or Building and Safety (SMMC 4.68.040).

Do I need a permit for filming or photography? A permit may be required for filming or photography activities undertaken by commercial, nonprofit or student organizations (SMMC 6.110.030).

What if I violate a municipal code or rule? Violations may result in a citation, fine or other penalties. 

Miscellaneous. Golfing (SMMC 4.55.045), interfering with maintenance and repair work (SMMC 4.55.090), amplified sound between the hours of 10PM and 8AM (SMMC 4.12.100), inflatable structures (Rules I) are all prohibited on the beach.


Smoking is Prohibited on Santa Monica State Beach

Smoking is prohibited on Santa Monica beach, on the Santa Monica Pier, in waiting areas for public services (e.g., bus stops) and within 20 feet of an entrance to a public facility. 

Bike Path Rules

  • Bicycle riding is permitted along the beach bike path (SMMC 3.12.55)
  • Vehicles allowed on the beach bike path include unicycles, bicycles, bicycles with training wheels, wheelchairs, and single-person tricycles (SMMC 3.12.56)
  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed (SMMC 3.12.56)
  • Bicycle riding is not allowed on Ocean Front Walk (SMMC 3.12.55)
  • Bicycle riders must comply with all lawful signs and directional markings, including painted directional arrows, bike path route boundaries, and signs designating permissible travel lanes (SMMC 3.12.55)
  • Glass containers are not allowed on the bike path (SMMC 4.08.210)