By Ross Mihalko
Want to add some fun to your Life in L.A.? You should visit the wonderful world above the waves at the historical and sensational Santa Monica Pier. From food to fishing to fabulous thrills, the Santa Monica Pier has something for everyone.
The pier itself has been entertaining visitors from around the world since it’s grand opening in 1909. One of the biggest draws early on was the incredible fishing that the 1,600 foot long structure offered. Now you didn’t need to own a boat to enjoy the incredible bounty of the Pacific Ocean! And that’s still true today…
Year round, locals and visitors alike can be seen casting their line from the Santa Monica Pier. Watching the fishermen reeling in the Halibut and Kelp Bass is like witnessing Mother Nature’s very own food delivery service in action. And you certainly don’t have to be an expert angler to join in the delicious good-times. Everything you need, from live bait to rods and reels, can be caught on sight, at the Pier Bait and Tackle Shop.
Hunger for more fun? Why not jump in the line at Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier’s very own amusement park! Rides have been a part of the Santa Monica Pier experience since Charles Loof built the pier’s first carousel in 1916. The attraction proved so popular that the pier was soon expanded to include a bowling and billiards building and a roller coaster. Eventually most of the original rides and wooden structures were replaced, but the top notch thrills and amusements are still there for everyone to enjoy.
For starters, you can truly admire the view from 130 feet above the pier on the Pacific Wheel, Santa Monica Pier’s iconic Ferris wheel. Afterward you can take a trip on the Sea Dragon or go for a spin on Inkie’s Scrambler. But a trip to Pacific Park would probably not be complete without a visit to the park’s famous roller coaster.
Where else can you ride a steel roller coaster on a pier above the Pacific Ocean? Nowhere else. The WEST COASTER is the only roller coaster of it’s kind along the 7,600 miles of Pacific American coastline. Isn’t it about time you coasted the coast in a steel coaster?
Not thrilled about thrill rides? No problem. You can always stop on over and enjoy all the games and good times at The Playland Arcade. The not-so-distant relative of the original bowling and billiards building, The Playland Arcade has yummy fun of all ages. Test your skills, and meet your needs for nostalgia, with a classic game of Skeeball, just one of the many classic games the arcade offers. It’s all just as much fun as you remember and even more so when you’re making memories with your own kids.
Still got a hankering for more family fun? You can get a terrific taste for nostalgia at the pier’s historic carousel. Yes, this is THE original carousel designed by Charles Loof in 1916, but it’s just as much fun for today’s modern carousel enthusiasts (also known as children). And if you need more to taste, there’s a vintage soda shop right inside the historic carousel building, with tons of tasty treats to tantalize the taste buds.