California Piers Lighten Up for Holidays

California loves its piers. Not just a pretty picture, throughout the year California piers provide places to stroll, shop, dine, celebrate special events, concerts, watch the wildlife, waves & surfing, and even fish for free.

Pictured is Huntington Beach Pier. Often called the "HB" Pier, it is open daily from 5 a.m. to midnight. There are several gift & souvenir shops on the pier, public restrooms, a fish & tackle shop, and Ruby's 50's style diner which opened in 1996.

During the holidays, the piers are beautiful places to visit and stroll-and some even lighten up with holiday lighting and Christmas decor. From Huntington Beach Pier to Belmont Shore Pier in Long Beach, three piers provide festive decorations during the month of December.

Huntington Beach Pier - Huntington Beach Pier is lit beginning at sunset with the big snowflake-shaped lights seen as silhouettes in the picture above. Location: Pacific Coast Highway at Main St.

Seal Beach Pier - Drive approx. 10 miles to see the Seal Beach Pier. The 1,835-foot wooden pier has a Ruby's 50's style diner at the end of the pier where guests come for burgers, salads & shakes. Seal Beach Pier has lighted star decorations on its light poles, and even a Christmas Tree at the village green (Eisenhower Park) next to the pier. What a beautiful sight! Location: Ocean Blvd. at Main St.

Belmont Memorial Veterans Pier - In Long Beach's community of Belmont Shore, the 1,620-feet long concrete pier features a restaurant with outdoor & indoor seating (open seasonally.) Adorned with a lighted Christmas Tree-positioned on a roof top so you can see it from the distance, the pier is the mecca of beautiful sunsets, just like Seal Beach and Huntington Beach Piers. Location: 15 39th Place (at Ocean Blvd.)

Pier Facts:

The longest concrete pier in California is San Mateo fishing pier which is 4,135 feet in length.

The longest pier over the Pacific Ocean in California and on the West Coast is Santa Cruz Wharf, a wooden pier 2,745 feet in length.

There is no official number of public piers in California, thanks to differing opinions as to what constitutes a public pier. Our best estimate is around 100, using the specifications California Department of Fish & Game agency uses in determining where the public can fish free without a license.

California's piers have come and gone-and most structures you see today are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th version of a pier which has been rebuilt.

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