The Santa Monica Pier opened on September 9, 1909. A pipeline was built beneath it for the rather sinister purpose of transporting sewage away from the city and into the sea. A decade later city officials came to their senses and stopped polluting the water. The pier became a popular place for people from all walks of life to go fishing, and many walked away with a sizable black sea bass. Then amusement rides began to pop up, along with fun houses and a picnic pavilion. In 1924 the La Monica Ballroom, an elaborate building perched upon the pier, opened its doors. The event was so poplar that Santa Monica experienced its very first traffic jam that day.
During the Great Depression the ballroom became a convention center and then a jail; most of the pier’s other attractions closed down as well, although some people found employment through a public works project nearby. Over the years the pier continued to change with the times, and at one point it underwent a considerable restoration.
Today it is a popular tourist destination complete with an amusement park, aquarium, and outdoor concert venue. History buffs enjoy the Historical Walking Tours that are free and open to the public, while adventure seekers gravitate toward the Trapeze School or Blazing Saddles. No matter where your interests lie, you will find something to delight you at the pier. Chances are you will want to grab a bite at some point during your trip, and when that happens you will be faced with a conundrum…do you want an expensive seafood dinner? Something deep fried? Perhaps a burger and shake? The Santa Monica Pier has it all. If you would rather grab something on the go than sit down for a meal, stop by one of the food carts. And those over 21 will have no trouble tracking down a refreshing cocktail.