Credit: Discover Los Angeles
The original 1600 foot Southern California attraction was first completed in 1909- to hide a monstrous sewage pipeline. The Pier became an instant favorite with the local fishing community, men, women and children of all ages from all walks, who found plenty of elbow room and an ample catch; the local waters were full of giant Black Sea Bass and the stories flew. Eventually a small menagerie of amusements including a hand-carved 44 horse carousel found home on a second, wider pier, adjacent to Santa Monica; Looff Pleasure Pier was born, and soon became a top attraction to the area. In 1909, the original pier collapsed! The insidious culprit? Rust! Reconstruction, changes of hands…tides in, tides out-1924 saw the grand opening of the magnificent La Monica Ballroom, headlined as “A Castle Floating over the Ocean;” for a short while, it was the
place to see and be seen-the hottest ticket in town. With the advent of the Great Depression, the ballroom saw its ultimate decline, and it, too, was repurposed several times-at one point used as a county jail! Today, Pacific Park amusements and Playland Arcade, hidden gem Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, fun, fresh seafood eateries, snack shacks and soda fountains like Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co., Ristorante el Mare, Soda Jerks and Pier Burger, and a boatload of wonderful shopping opportunities including a first-rate bait and tackle shop, make the Pier a top-notch attraction, affording locals and travelers alike a fine time at the Santa Monica shore. After sundown, slide by Rusty’s Surf Ranch for ocean-fresh crab cakes and calamari, all-American live rock, drink specials and dancing! Modern-day Santa Monica Pier, with its colorful history amidst constant change and the inevitable ravages of time and the elements stands revitalized and proud, a constant reminder of a resilient community spirit. The original carousel is back in action, and the fishing’s fine as it was in 1909!
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