Venice Pier on 0711 2008

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Reopened after severe storm damage a decade ago, the fishing pier’s toilets were blasted off the end by huge waves in December ’05. Gnarley…though no one was in them at the time. A stroll on the pier can make for a lovely constitutional. View fellow strollers, power walkers, people fishing, surfers, lifeguards, sea gulls, bat rays, dolphins and sea lions (if you’re lucky) and get a different perspective on Venice and Los Angeles.

Santa Monica Pier on 0211 2008

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Open 365 days a year, the public pier features restaurants, an amusement park with game arcade, Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Aquarium (complete with shark-feeding Sundays) and the free summer Twilight Dance series. The carousel is a classic. There’s parking. And people.