Tour Locations | A Walk in Santa Monica

  • LOCATION 15 | A Walk in Santa Monica

    End of Santa Monica Pier

    I knew you had an adventurous streak in you. I love coming to the end of the pier. I even once took a yoga class here, although it was tricky putting down the mat what with the wooden planks. I also like to watch the sailboats come out of Marina del Rey to your left, and the folks fishing off the end of the pier. Sometimes they catch stuff.

    Looking out at Santa Monica Bay, if you see a line of haze just above the horizon, that’s just smog. Santa Monica Bay is a large crescent. If you look to your right, you'll see Malibu and the Pacific Palisades. If you look to your left, you'll see the Venice Pier and the Breakwater for Marina del Rey. If you see cargo ships, they're either bringing fuel to El Segundo or heading to the Port of Los Angeles.


    The peninsula off to your right is Palos Verdes. If you look off the end of Palos Verdes on a clear day, you might be able to see Catalina Island off in the distance. Catalina is thirty miles away.


    The Santa Monica Pier has always been a place for amusements. In 1924, the La Monica Ballroom opened on the pier, and on its opening day, fifty thousand people showed up. The ballroom closed down in 1963.

    In the 1970s, the pier fell on hard times economically. There was talk of tearing it down, but a grass roots movement saved it from destruction. Then in 1983, storms came through and washed away a third of the pier, and it wasn't until 1990 that the west end, where you're standing now, was opened.

    The amusement park called Pacific Park is the only amusement park in the West Coast of the United States that is located on a pier. The huge Ferris wheel you see was opened in 2008 and operates purely on solar power.


    Whenever you’re ready to move on again, just turn around and head back to the stairs to the beach, next to Bubba Gump.

    On your way back, look out for the arcade on your right. I like to play a few games of skee ball there when I'm on the pier.

    When you get back to Bubba Gump, take the stairs down to the beach. I'll meet you at the bottom.

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