Pier Corner

Set in California at Santa Monica’s westernmost point, the Santa Monica Pier is a staple of this picturesque seaside community. Packed with family-friendly activities, vibrant street performers, restaurants and shops, the public pier also has stunning views and over a century’s worth of history. Here is a corner view of the famous pier.

Pier Corner

Ferris Wheel on the Pier

The world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel gives visitors a panoramic view of the Southern California coastline from more than 130 feet above the Santa Monica Pier. Measuring 85 feet, the Pacific Wheel moves at 2.5 revolutions per minute with intermittent stops to pick up passengers.

Colorful Ferris Wheel
Ferris Wheel Against the Sun

Pacific Park on the Pier

Located on the world famous Santa Monica Pier, Pacific Park is the family place to play! It’s the West Coast’s only amusement park located on a pier. There are a total of twelve rides in Pacific Park, including the world’s first and only solar powered Ferris wheel that provides a view of the Pacific Ocean and a roller coaster that circles the majority of the park. Pacific Park is also home to 14 midway games and over-the-ocean food and retail outlets. It has appeared in over 500 movies and television shows.

Pacific Park

Walking Bridge to the Pier

Santa Monica State Beach on the north side of the pier is separated from the city by the palisades (an ocean bluff) and the Pacific Coast Highway. A series of bridges, walkways and stairs provide access to the beach. One doesn’t have to face heavy traffic on Pacific Coast Hwy. 1, but can cross over from Ocean Blvd. to the Santa Monica Pier and beaches via a walking bridge.

Walking Bridge to the Pier

Not Empty for Long

The parking lot for Santa Monica Pier appears empty in early morning, but not for long. Santa Monica’s residential population is approximately 93,000, increasing to an estimated 250,000 during the day with tourists, shoppers, and employees. Tourism attracts over 8 million visitors annually.

Not Empty for Long

Santa Monica Pier

Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, it symbolizes the heart of Santa Monica and is one of the most photographed locations in the world. Constructed in 1909, the storied Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast. It quickly gained a reputation among locals as the best fishing spot in Santa Monica. Santa Monica Pier fishing remains a popular activity to this day. It contains an amusement park, concession stands, and areas for views.

Santa Monica Pier Panorama
Colorful on a Hazy Day

Pier in the Distance

Palisades Park is a 26.4-acre park in Santa Monica, California. The park is located along a 1.6-mile section of Ocean Avenue on top of an uplifted unconsolidated sedimentary coastal Quaternary terrace with exposed bluffs, offering views of both the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains.

Walking along the park on a hazy morning, one can see a pier in the distance. The Santa Monica Pier is a large double-jointed pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, California.

Overlooking the Pier
Framing the Pier

Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a coastal city west of downtown Los Angeles, California. Santa Monica Beach is fringed by Palisades Park, with views over the Pacific Ocean. Will be posting images from our recent trip to Santa Monica.

This 18′ high art deco sculpture “Santa Monica” by Eugene Morahan is located on the bluff at the foot of Wilshire Blvd. It is a statue of Saint Monica, for whom the city of Santa Monica was named. Apparently, Spanish explorers were reminded of the tears Saint Monica shed for her errant son while they were drinking from a refreshing spring in West Los Angeles. Because that particular day was St. Monica’s day on the religious calendar, they named the area “Santa Monica.”

Santa Monica

Prothonotary Warbler

This Prothonotary warbler looks like a bit of spring sunlight with its golden-yellow head and breast set off by blue-gray wings. “Prothonotary” refers to clerks in the Roman Catholic Church, whose robes were bright yellow. To a Prothonotary Warbler, a great breeding habitat features dead snags and trees full of holes, always near water—whether rivers, swamps, or bottomland forests. The Audubon Center at Beidler Forest, South Carolina is home to numerous Prothonotary warblers.

Prothonotary Warbler
Looking Up

Audubon Center at Beidler Forest

The National Audubon Society’s Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp contains within its 18,000+ acres, the largest remaining stand of virgin Bald Cypress/Tupelo Gum swamp forest left anywhere in the world. One thousand year-old trees and native wildlife abound in this pristine sanctuary that has been untouched for millennia. 

On our camera club field trip, we were underwhelmed by the number of birds and wildlife that we saw, but viewing the swamp from the boardwalk was worthwhile.

Audubon Center

A cypress knee is a distinctive structure forming above the roots of a cypress tree. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees growing in swamps. Some current hypotheses state that they might help to aerate the tree’s roots, create a barrier to catch sediment and reduce erosion, assist in anchoring the tree in the soft and muddy soil, or any combination thereof.

Cypress Knees