We recently came to the realization that the average LA Local only knows about 2 beach piers in LA! Contrary to that belief, the Los Angeles coast is covered with a diverse selection of piers and boardwalks just waiting for you to discover them. Each one has its own vibe, with its unique restaurants, crowd, and scenery. Find your next favorite beach spot by exploring the 8 best piers to visit within driving distance of LA.
Santa Monica Pier
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
How could we not mention the “Hollywood” of all beach piers? Ride on the Pacific Wheel to get a bird’s eye view of Santa Monica Beach. Take your kids on a scavenger hunt at their Heal the Bay Aquarium. Win your date a human-sized zebra plush, then feed each other bites of funnel cake topped with cookies n’ cream. If you can’t already tell, there’s something for everyone at the Santa Monica Pier! During September and October, the summer crowd fades and the heat cools down to a breeze, making fall the perfect time to visit.
Redondo Beach Pier (Fisherman’s Wharf)
Address: Fisherman’s Wharf, Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Think of Fisherman’s Wharf as a baby Santa Monica Pier. Instead of amusement rides, there’s boats everywhere you look! At every corner, above and below, a little shop or restaurant is tucked in, leaving you with an endless list of things to do and food to eat. Bonus tip: if you want to impress that special someone in your life with handmade jewelry, take them to Mie Pearl Jewelry where they extract pearls from clams right before your eyes!
Huntington Beach Pier
Address: 325 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92648
For our sporty readers, Huntington Beach Pier has the perfect view of the US Open for beach volleyball. Having 2 to 10 foot waves year round, you can also be sure to spot surf competitions from the pier, or hop in the water yourself to check out the water. Visit The Kite Connection shop to pick up a parrot-shaped kite or a hand-painted ukulele. Next, stroll down the pier to the newly opened Bud & Gene’s, where you can enjoy some chili prawns, grilled whole fish, and even soft-serve ice cream.
Address: 23000 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265
LA’s rich and famous collide with the beachside at Malibu Pier. Your most aesthetically pleasing beach selfies will come from here, starting at their two popular restaurants: Malibu Farm Restaurant and its mini version, Malibu Farm Cafe. On top of being the perfect brunch spot, their menus offer organic, farm-fresh ingredients and carry a wide selection for vegans and vegetarians. Right at the entrance of the pier is Malibu Cabana, an all pink shop perfect for your next Instagram photo dump!
Balboa Pier at Newport Beach
Address: 1 Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, CA 92661
With cheaper parking, less crowds, and higher tides, Balboa Pier is the ideal place to be if you love to fish. Unlike other piers we listed, Balboa Pier has more of a 60s aesthetic from their dainty ferris wheel to the outdated Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. For our dessert lovers, stop by Balboa Bar to enjoy a hand-dipped frozen banana, or Balboa Candy to taste some retro taffy and candybars.
Hermosa Beach Pier
Address: 1 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Hermosa Beach Pier is lively and thriving no matter the season. The pier begins with a long strip of restaurants, shops, and live music, so get ready for a day full of festivities. Our favorite part is the end of the pier where there is absolutely nothing, giving us an unobstructed view of the California sunset! If you are like us and fall to your knees for live jazz, make sure to visit the iconic 80-year-old jazz club, and famous filming location for La La Land, The Lighthouse Cafe.
Green Pleasure Pier on Catalina Island
Address: Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704
This pier is on an island. Go snorkeling and scuba diving, or even rent a boat for the day at Green Pleasure Pier. This is the place to be for any water activity that comes to mind. When you get hungry, there are two diners with one of them, Avalon Seafood, also being a seafood market!
Morro Bay Pier
Address: 1185 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442
If you’re in the mood for a little road trip, Morro Bay Pier comes with a scenic drive. Because of its laid-back, small-town vibe, we call this the “friend next door” pier. Here you’ll find mom-and-pops lining the dock, from local wine shops to antique stores and hole-in-the wall diners. Expect to see otter families swimming by as you look over the edge. Sitting right across the pier is the towering Morro Rock. The best part is you can always spot sand dollars lying on the shore!
Beaches aren’t the only place you can watch the gorgeous LA sunset. Visit these Top 5 Places to Watch the Sunset in LA!
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