California Pier Etiquette

Pier Etiquette: Don't walk with your group across the width of pier blocking everyone from passing both directions as seen in the photo taken on the Seal Beach Pier.

One of the favorite things to to do and finest icons of many California beach towns is the pier. One pier has a Ferris wheel (Santa Monica,) another is so large that it has a mini-city of shops and dining (Santa Cruz,) several have museums or aquariums (Santa Barbara and Manhattan Beach,) all California public piers offer free fishing opportunities, and all provide a place to walk above the water and enjoy the sites and sound of ocean life without getting wet.

Piers are great fun-but they can become a drag when their spaces are too crowded. Pier etiquette helps make the visitor experience smooth and seamless for all who come to enjoy the Pacific Ocean. Here's a list of courtesies you can enact when visiting a crowded pier:

Don't block others from passing when you walk with a group. Stagger your group into smaller groups of two abreast. Some piers have car traffic (Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara) so this strategy isn't only nice-it's common sense.

Don't leave fish entrails on the deck when you participate in free pier fishing. Every pier has basins-use them!

Don't feed the pigeons your popcorn, bread and other snacks. It pollutes the pier in more ways than one by leaving food messes, and helping increase the pigeon population.

Don't take a dog on a pier where pets aren't permitted. If dogs are allowed, keep yours on a short leash. There's no escape route for people who may become trapped by your pet that "never bites".

Don't smoke on the pier. It's nearly a sure bet that the pier you're standing on in California doesn't allow smoking. The air is so scented with ocean smells-who wants to whiff a cigarette?

Curtail your public display of sexual passion. Some couples get it on a little too much. The pigeons on the pier are small and it's easy to ignore their swift and deliberate mounts onto each other, but humans are harder to avoid. A hug and a kiss are fine. But we've seen people in various stages of sexual acts, and it's not something you should force others to watch on a public pier.

Don't panhandle on a pier. There are some who discovered that by performing on piers and placing their cup out, they have a captive audience. Some of the singers and performers are really bad. Who wants to ruin beautiful silence with bad singing? If you must panhandle, do it outside the pier where people can opt out of the experience. ...> Read more


Subscribe to our newsletter!

More Info