Santa Monica 101-Part II: The Santa Monica Pier

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Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel

This is where Route 66 ends. The interstate made popular by song that brought mid-westerners so full of hope from Chicago to Los Angeles halts here at the Santa Monica Pier. Imagine it, driving all the way to the end, driving onto the wooden planks and stopping over the ocean after existing in a place full of fields and flat.

My blog hasn’t been a stranger to the pier. It has made a couple cameo appearances already. First, in the post of the first and only time I went on a Star Tour and then in the post about the annual Twilight Concert Series which ended mid-September.

The Santa Monica pier is many things. It is a concert space, dance space, trapeze school, aquarium, amusement park, fishing spot, and many more diversions that can easily fill an entire day.The pier provides access to Santa Monica Beach and the strand. It’s parking lot sometimes hosts massive art exhibitions or a circus tent for acrobatic performers, not that there aren’t those on the pier as well.

This place reminds me of the places me and my family used to go to on the east coast in the summer, only compressed onto a couple city blocks instead of miles of boardwalk. You see the same shell necklaces, fringed tie-dyed tshirts, and Zoltar fortune teller machine.

You are never alone here the crowd can seem infinite, moving forward like matching penguins towards the ocean, a constant urging from the street performers and caricature artists “Watch me!” “Cheer louder!” “Only $10!”

Part of the pier is dedicated for Pacfic Park, an amusement park, an echo of the original pleasure pier that stood in the 1910s. It’s perched on the wooden deck complete with a roller coaster and several tilt-a-whirl type rides.  The Ferris Wheel provides one of the best views of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean and provides a place of solice high above the crowded pier.

If you want to know more about this attraction, its unsavory beginnings, and all of the things you can possibly do, the Santa Monica Pier Website is one of the most beautiful, user friendly sites I have seen in a long time.

[getting there: Like mentioned in Santa Monica 101:Part 1, this area is very well connected by public bus either by shot walking distance or curbside service. The 20/720 and the 33/733 drop you closest to the pier]

NEXT UP…YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE DANCING

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