Skip to main content

Top 5 California Piers: Where the Land Meets the Sea

Top 5 California Piers: Where the Land Meets the Sea

Discover the top 5 California piers for stunning ocean views and fun times at these entertainment hotspots. Team


3 min read

April 26, 2023

With its stunning coastline and vibrant beach culture, California is home to some of the most picturesque and iconic piers in the United States. These magnificent structures serve as gateways where the land meets the sea, offering breathtaking views, recreational activities, and a taste of local history. In this article, we'll explore the top 5 California piers, each with its own unique charm and allure, making them must-visit destinations for tourists and locals alike. So, let's dive in and discover what makes these piers truly special.

Santa Monica Pier is a staple in California with its trademark Ferris wheel.

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is undoubtedly one of the most iconic California piers, with a history dating back to 1909. This beautiful pier is an entertainment hub that attracts tourists and locals alike, offering a unique blend of old-fashioned charm and modern amenities. The pier is home to the famous Pacific Park amusement park, where you'll find the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel, the West Coaster roller coaster, and other exciting rides. Additionally, the pier features an aquarium, a trapeze school, and an array of restaurants and shops.

A visit to the Santa Monica Pier isn't complete without a stop at the historic carousel, which has been delighting visitors since 1922. The carousel is housed in the Looff Hippodrome, a National Historic Landmark. The pier also hosts several events throughout the year, including outdoor movie screenings, concerts, and the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival.

Newport Beach pier is a long pier that offers some great views of stunning California sunsets.

Newport Beach Pier

Located in the charming city of Newport Beach, the Newport Beach Pier is one of the longest California piers, stretching 1,032 feet into the Pacific Ocean. Known for its picturesque views and excellent fishing opportunities, this pier is a favorite spot for both anglers and sightseers. The pier offers stunning panoramas of the surrounding coastline, as well as views of the Catalina Island on clear days.

The Newport Beach Pier is surrounded by a lively atmosphere, with several restaurants, bars, and shops nearby. You can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many eateries, followed by a leisurely stroll along the pier while taking in the breathtaking sunset views. The pier is also an excellent spot for birdwatching, with numerous species of seabirds often seen perched on the railing or diving for fish.

Recomended businesses

Show me
Recommended Businesses near

Discover the best of California. Our recommended businesses are top-quality and are committed to their communities.
Catch a rad wave then hang out with friends at the Pismo Beach Pier.

Pismo Beach Pier

Situated in the quaint coastal town of Pismo Beach, the Pismo Beach Pier is one of the most popular California piers for fishing and surfing enthusiasts. The pier stretches 1,200 feet into the Pacific Ocean, providing ample space for those looking to cast a line or catch a wave. The nearby Pismo Beach surf break is a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels, making the pier an excellent vantage point to watch surfers ride the waves.

The area surrounding the Pismo Beach Pier boasts a variety of amenities, including parks, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and a skate park. Numerous restaurants and shops are also within walking distance, offering visitors a chance to indulge in local cuisine and pick up souvenirs. The pier hosts several events throughout the year, such as the Pismo Beach Clam Festival and the annual 4th of July fireworks display.

The massive Oceanside Pier is a great, historic location.

Oceanside Pier

One of the longest wooden California piers, the Oceanside Pier extends 1,954 feet into the Pacific Ocean, offering stunning views of the surrounding beaches and coastline. Located in the vibrant city of Oceanside, the pier has been a beloved landmark since its opening in 1888. Today, the Oceanside Pier is a hub of activity, attracting anglers, sightseers, and beachgoers alike.

At the base of the pier, you'll find the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater, which hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and movie nights. As you stroll along the pier, keep an eye out for dolphins and sea lions frolicking in the waves below. At the end of the pier, you can enjoy a delicious meal at Ruby's Diner, a 1940s-style diner with unbeatable ocean views.

The Santa Cruz Warf is one of the oldest piers in California.

Santa Cruz Wharf

With a history spanning over a century, the Santa Cruz Wharf is not only one of the oldest California piers but also the longest pier on the West Coast, reaching 2,745 feet into the Monterey Bay. The wharf is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience the laid-back beach vibes of Santa Cruz, offering a plethora of recreational activities and attractions.

Anglers can cast their lines from the pier, where a diverse array of fish species can be caught. For those interested in marine life, the Santa Cruz Wharf is a prime location for spotting sea lions, otters, and even whales during migration season. The wharf also features several restaurants, serving up fresh seafood and other delicious fare, as well as shops and art galleries.

A visit to the Santa Cruz Wharf would not be complete without exploring the nearby Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which boasts an amusement park, arcades, and other attractions. With so much to see and do, the Santa Cruz Wharf is a must-visit destination when exploring California's famous piers.

In summary, California piers are not only impressive architectural feats but also essential gathering points where the land meets the sea. Each pier offers unique experiences, from thrilling amusement parks to serene fishing spots, making them perfect destinations for your next coastal adventure.

Need help with a home improvement project? Get a free quote today!

Enter Your Zip Code

Enter Your Zip Code

RELATED Articles

Discover More

fueled by the power of California love
We're committed to helping you discover the places, people and businesses that make our state Golden. Our online publication, updated daily, brings you all the content you need to live your California dreams. And that's just the beginning…
Purpose section
Purpose section