Explore the Pacific Coast HWY 1 as it rounds the oceanside of Los Angeles. Visit Santa Monica, the canals of Venice - the beaches of Malibu, Venice, San Mon and the piers along the coast.
Santa Monica with a population of just below a 100,000 is a sea side town or small city located in western Los Angeles. With it's pleasant all year round climate the city is popular with surfers, young professionals and students.
Santa Monica Pier
While the pier is now a family and tourist amenity, its purpose when opened in 1909, was to carry sewage pipes out beyond the breakwater.
In 1916 a privately owned shorter wider pier was built alongside the municipal pier. This Pleasure pier had a number of attractions which have expanded to the Carousel, Roller Coaster and amenities of today.
The pleasure pier was purchased by the city council in 1974.
The Santa Monica beach runs for about 3 km fronting the city and Pacific Coast highway.
The beach has a range of activity areas such as volleyball, parks, picnic areas.
The beach and waters are popular with surfers and paddle boarders. The tv drama Baywatch was filmed here.
With it's westerly facing aspect strolling the beach or through Palisades Park around sunset can be a captivating experience as the sun sinks into the sea from an almost cloudless sky.
Visitors come from afar just to stand on the bluffs above the beach as the sunsets.
Between the cliffs of Palisades Park and the sea lies six lanes of highway, a bike path, a few hundred yards of beach and in between packed closely together are some of the most expensive houses in California.
Palisades Park runs along the top of sandstone cliffs backing the beach. From the palm lined park there are good views of the beach and bay.
Malibu Beach is a series of beaches running the 21 mile length of the Malibu Coastline just north of Santa Monica. The beaches front the small town or city of Malibu with a population of about 22,000. The city is backed by the Santa Monica mountains, so the main residential areas are along the coastal strip or up the gorges into the mountains.
The many beaches such as Surfrider,Zuma,Paradise Cove, Escondido Beach are popular with surfers.
Zuma Beach can attract over 500,000 on national holidays in summer.
Malibu is the setting for the tv series Two and Half-men and for many movies.
While technically the beaches in California have right of way below the mean high water mark, a number of the Malibu Beaches such as Paradise Cove is private.
Though the small secluded beach and fine each side restaurant are big attractions.
Pacific Coast HWY
The southern end of Highway 1 (SR 1) starts near Dana Point, where it joins Inter State 1. From there the PCHWY continues north to beyond San Francisco.
The highway passes close to some of the most scenic coastal areas in the USA. Along it's route the highway is known as Coast Highway ( Newport Orange County ), Pacific Coast Highway (PCHWY ) from Huntington and around past Los Angeles.
Venice on the west side of Los Angeles is a beach front town, known for it's canals and 4km beach. The beach area is famous for performing arts, while the canal area not as large or impressive as Venice, Italy is much more peaceful and tranquil than the busy beach.
The Venice canals were built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney, a developer who planned to replicate Venice Italy.
There are 2 North - South Canals - Grand Canal and Eastern Canal. East West there are four canals, Carroll Canal, Linnie Canal, Howland Canal, and Sherman Canal.
In 1920s the canals covered an area about 4 times the canal area of today.
In the 1940s the canals fell into a state of disrepair and remained that way until 1992 when a rejuvenation program commenced. Today the canal area is an expensive residential district.
The area around Venice Beach was developed into a tourist resort and amenity area, with a pier, canals, gondolas and amusements by Abbot Kinney in the mid 1900s. By the mid 1920s, the area had begun to fall into decline.
After the discovery of oil a little further south the area went through an industrial boom before returning to dereliction and decay.
From the 1960s the area along the beach became associated with the arts with many artists of fame such as Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Dennis Hopper having studios in the area.
Los Angles Port
The Port of Los Angles is a 43km stretch of waterfront about 23km south of the city. Not only is it the busiest container terminal in the world, but the San Pedro section below the Vincent Thomas Bridge is the biggest Crusie Terminal on the west coast.
Below Vincent Thomas Bridge
Los Angles Port
While the port may be the busiest in the world it is not the largest.Shanghai takes this honour.
In order of importance the total shipped products are furniture, automobile parts, apparel, electronic products, and footwear
The cruise ship terminal caters for over a million passengers a year.