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Harbors, Bays and Piers

Following is a list of Piers along the coast of Southern California. The harbor list will show what is in them plus some miscellaneous information and facts. Some of the California piers are closed due to the storms in the late 80’s and 90’s. Listed are all piers in the hope that the closed ones are open soon.

Balboa Pier
We grew up spending a lot of time at this pier as well as the Newport pier. This is a large people pleasing pier with weekends full of everything from bathers to beach watchers to fishermen and fisherwomen, everyone likes this pier and during the summer it’s a favorite hang out. A pretty good restaurant sits on the end surrounded by weekend anglers. The beach is long and the air is good. Many shops offering beach attire, skate rentals, surfboards etc dot the road at the foot of the pier. When you get hungry you can enjoy everything from pizza and chili to an upscale restaurant. The area holds hotels that give you a view of the Pacific Ocean. A huge parking lot lets you find a spot close to the water and has rates that won’t hurt the pocket book. Read the plaque at the foot of the pier, it’s pretty interesting. Balboa pier is close to the end of Balboa Blvd on the right side, which is a continuation of the 55 freeway out of Tustin. Watch for the pier sign.

Dana Point
Dana Point Harbor is a scenic small boat harbor that had some shops geared to the seafarer type plus some great gift shops and popular restaurants. Sport fishing boats leave from here also the Catalina Island Ferry. From the 5 freeway take the Pacific Coast Highway/Camino Las Ramblas off ramp (approximately 15 miles south of the 405 and 5 interchange). As soon as you exit the freeway stay to your right at the corner. Then get in your left lane and turn left on Dana Point Harbor Drive. Chamber of Commerce # (714) 496-1555 or (800) 290-DANA

Hermosa Beach Pier
This pier is much like Manhattan pier as it has bait and tackle shops along with snack bars and bathrooms. You can fish off this pier also. The beach has a two-mile boardwalk that is great for bike riding, skating, jogging etc with all the amities called “The strand”. Many diversified dot the area. Visitors Bureau (310) 376-6912

Huntington Beach Pier
The pier is close to 1,800 feet long. Large waves that created some of Huntington Beach Pierthe largest surfing championships in the world surge under this pier. At the piers end sits Ruby’s restaurant. The diner is along the lines of the forties and it is usually very busy on the summer weekends. Many stores line the streets at the start of the pier. During the summer the pier area is a celebration of fun and art with everything from craft fairs to professional volleyball matches. People fishing along the rail of the pier catch many different things. We once saw a guy catch a crab trap. I don’t think that was what he wanted though. Huntington Beach information (714) 536-1454

Malibu Beach Pier
This is a private pier, but you can go sport fishing boats plus an excursion boat and a restaurant. You can also fish off the pier if you have a license. This is the area that housed 19th-century bandits and pirates hid in the hills behind the pier. We have heard that the pier is closed indefinitely from storm damage so call before you go. (818) 880-0350

Manhattan Beach Pier
Manhattan beach pier has some fine seafood restaurants in the area. The pier is a fishing pier with bait and tackle shops, bathrooms and snack bars. A friend of ours caught a record Halibut on this pier but that is not normal for that kind of fish to be in the area. Chamber of Commerce (310) 545-5313

Newport Beach Pier
A large people pleasing pier with weekends full of everything from bathers to beach watchers to fishermen and women find this pier a summer hang out. A restaurant sits on the end surrounded by weekend anglers. The beach is long and the air is good. Many shops offering beach attire, skate rentals, surfboards etc dot the road at the pier. When you get hungry you can enjoy everything from pizza and chili to an upgrade restaurant. Loads of parking at reasonable rates enhances the area. Newport Chamber of Conference and Visitors Bureau (800) 94-coast

Ocean Beach Pier
Located at the end of Niagra Street in Ocean Beach, San Diego. At the far end of the pier sits the Ocean Beach Pier Café and the Bait shop. Fishing is good off the pier so say the many of people sitting there, waiting for the big one. (619) 226-3474.

Oceanside Pier
Built in the early 1900s, this pier was used for fishing boats to use as a base. Just under 2000 feet long and being the longest pier in Southern California, the pier today is a draw for locals to fish from. A restaurant/snack bar stands at the tip of the pier with other food shops in the area. As all other public piers, a fishing license is not required. A clean beach and plenty of parking enhances this area. Take the 5 freeway to Mission Ave, go west.

Redondo Beach Piers
Redondo Beach has many piers, most have about the same thing as the other ones but the Redondo Sport Fishing Pier has fishing, bait shops and Fisherman’s Wharf. There is a fee for that pier. (310) 372-2111

San Clemente Pier
This is a wooden pier that sits in the middle of a small beach surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants. Mainly fishing tackle shops and snack bars dot the pier. The Amtrack train stops close to the pier. San Clemente Chamber of Commerce (714) 492-1131

Santa Monica Beach Pier
Santa Monica Pier was all but ruined in the 1983 storms but it’s been rebuild and looks better then ever. It has an amusement park with a roller coaster, an antique carousel, a Ferris wheel, an arcade and fast food stands along with some fine restaurants. It is a tourist and local hangout. There is much to do on the State pier. You can fish free, watch the locals play volleyball while surfers do their thing. The area used to be called muscle Beach but there are still people doing all kinds of acrobatic feats. From this pier you can go out on a fishing party boat for a fee. Visitor’s Bureau (310) 510-1520

Venice Beach Pier
You should take a side trip to this diverse and exciting ocean front area. The pier reopened in 1999 after storm damage closed it for some time. The shops include tattoo parlors, jewelry stores, bike and skate rental stores along with surfboard shops. There is an area that’s now called muscle beach, not to be confused with the old real one at Santa Monica pier. People watching should be a sport here. Your grandmother from Kansas would probably faint at the happenings on the boardwalk. There is some super food here also. Everything from pizza to sausage to funnel cakes and more can enhance your stay. Don’t forget to take your camera. Chamber of Commerce (310) 396-701

Newport Beach Harbor
If you have the time rent a small boat and cruise the harbor. You can rent boats around the ferry area. The boats only run at 5 mph but that gives you a chance to checkout all the great sights in the harbor. There are a couple of city docks you can tie up to if you have to stop for anything. You can spot them as they are blue in color and they have signs designating a public dock. You will see some of the biggest private boats/ship on the coast. There are some rNewport Beach Christmas Boat Paradeestaurants in the harbor such as Woody’s Wharf where you can park at their dock while you eat. Cool huh. Get a map from one of the stores that tell you where the movie stars live and a history of some of the homes on the harbors shores. On the eastside of the ferry is a littlehamburger place. It’s just on your right when you get off the ferry, they have great hamburgers and fries. You can get a boat to Catalina from the harbor by the historic Balboa Pavilion west of the other side of the ferry. The Chamber of Commerce of Newport Beach phone is (949) 729-4400.

The 2008 Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is the premier Christmas event not only for Orange County and Los Angeles but Southern California . .http://www.christmasparadeboats.com/

Dana Point Harbor
This is a beautiful and well laid out harbor. It is mainly a boat harbor with some pretty good restaurants. Harbor information, (949) 496-1094

Huntington Harbor
This harbor sports the Cruise of Lights boat parade in December. The harbor is lined with condos and houses looking over the vast number of tied up boats of all kinds. Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau (714) 969-3492

Mission Bay San Diego
A large bay in a beautiful setting, Mission bay holds Fiesta Island, Vacation Isle. Dana Point Marina, Sea world, Mariners Basin, Quivira Basin and many other fascinating and enjoyable places. Visitor’s Information Center (619) 276-8200

San Diego Bay is just south of Mission Bay. It holds the Navy ships, Coronado Bay bridge, Cruise ships, North Island Naval Air Station and many private ships and boats. This is a very large area. Tours around the Harbor are very informative. Visitor’s Information Center (619) 276-8200

Marina del Ray Harbor
This area claims to be the largest man made boat harbor in the world. Many condos and apartments along with a few nice hotels line this harbor over looking thousands of small craft sitting at their moorings. A New England style fishing Village adds to the charm of the harbor. The village is full of quaint shops and restaurants. This is just west of LAX. Visitor Information Center (310) 305-9546

Oceanside Harbor
This is one of the largest pleasure boat harbors in southern California. For more information call the Oceanside Visitor & Tourism Information Center, they love to tell all.

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