Every time my parents come down to Southern California they try to take me somewhere new. The most recent time they came down we decided to go to the Santa Monica Pier. I expected it to be like pier 39 in San Francisco, but it wasn’t quite what I anticipated. The pier is the end to the historic Route 66 and is filled with tourist shops and restaurants. It was a nice place to visit, I found myself more interested with the history of the pier than the pier itself
The Santa Monica Pier was originally used for municipal purposes of the city, but was recreated into a pleasure pier in the early 1900’s. It was first opened in 1909 and was an instant success, even though all it offered was a walk out over the sea. What is now known as the Santa Monica pier was originally constructed by Charles Looff, an amusement park creator. He bought the land south of the municipal pier and begun to create his own in 1916. His pier was the first amusement pier in Santa Monica and featured the Blue Streak Racer roller coaster. He proposed that the two pier could be merged into one, which became what is now known as the Santa Monica Pier.
Today the pier is quite different than the original. The Blue Streak Racer Roller Coaster has been replaced with stronger, safer, faster rides, including a Ferris wheel and bumper cars. Restraints have been added and even the historic carousel is the third one to be placed on the pier. Throughout all of that the pier has stuck to its roots. It is still an amusement pier, the only one on the west coast, and it is still a free place to enjoy a day in beautiful Santa Monica. Most importantly, the best part about the pier is still walking out to the very edge to see the ocean.