The History of Santa Monica Pier – Part Two

Pier Entrance

In part two of our whistle-stop tour of Santa Monica Pier, we bring you up to the modern day with this attraction known as a local historical gem and popular tourist attraction.  It’s also the best place to witness stunning sunsets and experience Santa Monica culture: in many ways, the 1909 Pier now acts as the cornerstone of the city.

The pier is home to Pacific Park, a full-service amusement park which pays homage to the original version that was enjoyed so many years ago. The nine-story  Ferris Wheel takes pride of place on the pier, the only over-water ferris wheel in California and the first solar-powered wheel in the world! The park also houses the original 1922 Looff Hippodrome Carousel, a National Historic Landmark where Paul Newman worked in ‘The Sting‘.

Other delights include the Trapeze School of New York, where songstress Pink famously trained for her many acrobatic performances and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, at beach level under the historic Carousel. 

It is still host to big events and festivals today and will be at the heart of Santa Monica’s bi-annual art festival, Glow. Glow is an all-night cultural experience that imagines Santa Monica beach as a playground for thoughtful and participatory temporary art. Holding festivals such as this highlights the importance of Santa Monica Pier in uniting the community around it.

Technically, I suppose, the famous restaurant with views over the beach – The Lobster – is not ON the Pier but it’s AT the Pier. Opening in 1925 by Mateo Castillo it stands as a tribute to the family that built its reputation. The remaining original structure within the foundation and walls of the main entrance and footprint still stand at the corner of Ocean Avenue although it has since been refurbished to make the most of those unbeatable ocean views.  Today, it opens its doors to many celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Kardashians.  Click here for a virtual tour!

After 104 years of service, the pier is still going strong – it has become the iconic landmark of Santa Monica and a symbol of the city’s success.  Long may she reign.

Pier at Night

Contributor: Guy Hough

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau is a client of Magellan PR. For more information, please visit , follow them on twitter @GoSantaMonica or on Facebook/visitsantamonica.  Santa Monica Pier is on twitter – follow them @SantaMonica Pier and on Facebook/TheSantaMonicaPier.  The Lobster is on twitter – follow them @TheLobsterSM and on Facebook/The Lobster.

Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+:  Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry.  For more information on our company, visit  Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.

About magellanstraits

Magellan Straits showcases the observations & musings from Magellan PR, a boutique travel & lifestyle agency founded in 1998. We post items that are of interest from the clients we promote and from the travels and experiences that we independently undertake.
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