Opened in 1927, the Crystal Pier is one of the area's landmarks. This 872 feet long wooden pier is found on Garnet Ave and it's famous for the hotels and cottages on its raised surface. Visitors love staying in these cottages, as they can hear the sea waves rolling back and forth and it soothes them to sleep at night. There are lots of places to shop, as well as plenty of nearby restaurants. It's also a great place to go fishing for species like yellow fin croakers, sting rays, spotfins, barred surfperch and guitarfish. Plus, the parking is free.
Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier is an amusement park full of rides and other attractions for young and old. One of the most unique rides you won't want to miss is the five story tall roller coaster and the nine story Pacific Plunge drop ride. Plus it has a miniature golf course and a giant Ferris wheel, the only one of its kind as it is solar powered. The pier also features the New York Trapeze School if you want to learn how to fly the trapeze like the circus groups, a famous carousel called the Looff Hippodrome that was in the movie, The Sting; Playland Arcade with more than 200 games, and the Santa Monica Aquarium. If you like to walk, take the oceanfront walk and enjoy the shops and restaurants, as well as the interactive dragon display for the kids.
If you want to get away from the crowds and find a great place to take pictures of the San Francisco Bay Bridge or Treasure Island, then come to Pier 7. It is the place to be for photographers at both sunrise and sunset with its decorative handrails and the beauty of the wood on the pier, along with antique lamps to light the way. You will love the panoramic view of San Francisco and Treasure Island. There is also a fishing area on the pier beside the Ferry Building
Bell Street Pier is where the cruise ships dock, as well as being a place where all kinds of gear and services are accessible for the marine industry. It's 11 acres in size and the cruise companies Norwegian and Oceania use it as their home base. It's a short walk to Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium or the famous Space Needle while waiting for the cruise ships to come or go. There is parking spaces for 1,700 vehicles and you can get a shuttle to the terminal. Cruise guests can also use the luggage storage, rent a scooter or wheelchair and get information about the local area. Plus there are restaurants and ATM nearby.
Navy Pier in Chicago has always been a fun place with lots of activities over the years, and recently it was approved for funding to get a makeover. The redevelopment is being done in stages and it's still open during this procedure. The city plans to make Navy Pier even better with a mix of culture, education, recreation, shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. It is expected to be totally finished just in time for the Pier's centennial birthday party in 2016. Some of the additional things being built include an indoor walkway into the food area and a lighted ice skate rink and water fountain in Gateway Park.
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