Why I Love Ventura #4: The Pier

Without question, the most recognizable landmark in Ventura is the pier. Originally built in 1872, the pier was used to accommodate the steamships of the era. In the days before the 101 Freeway, getting in and out of Ventura was a challenge, and new settlers found it easier to boat in than to go over the mountains. Freighters made use of the pier as well, transporting the county greenbelt's produce up and down the coast. It used to be the longest wooden pier in the U.S., but after being damaged and reconstructed several times due to severe storms, the City Council finally came to their senses and used concrete pylons near the end of the pier. The current pier is 1,958 feet long. Photo by Tyler Freear.

Nowadays, the pier is one of recreation only. Locals fish off of it both day and night, and tourists walk and cycle it. Joel and his step-dad used to go out fishing all night and bring home thresher shark. It was incredible. Photographer unknown.

After a particularly bad storm in the 1980s, it was closed to the public for over a year, if I recall correctly. During that time, Lionel Ritchie filmed a music video on the pier. I don't remember the name of it, but I remember a shot of him standing up against the chain link gates that kept people off of the damaged section. Photo by Shane Hess.

Sunrises are spectacular from the pier.
Photo by Jen O.

And there's nothing better than a sunset
Happy Hour at Eric Ericsson's.
Photo by Dan Slater.