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Imagine your ideal beach vacation. The odds are good that includes a nice walk down the pier. The beaches of Los Angeles County have eight public piers, each one with its own set of reasons to visit. We’ve gathered all the information you need to explore them, including parking information.

Santa Monica Pier

More on Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most famous in the area, and for good reason. You’ll find an amusement park complete with a roller coaster and ferris wheel, family-friendly dining, bars, shops and carts of souvenirs, an old-fashioned soda fountain and a carousel for the kids. There are plenty of city lots and occasional street parking nearby (if you get lucky).

Malibu Pier

Malibu pier at sunset in southern California

The Malibu Pier was renovated several years ago, and unfortunately a lot of businesses have left. But it’s all about quality over quantity here: The highly esteemed Malibu Farm has locations on either end of the pier, one for beachside brunch and lunch and a fancier spot that’s also open for dinner. Street parking is abundant here, though you’ll typically have to cross the street, which can be a bit harrowing.

Venice Fishing Pier

Venice Beach Sunset

The Venice Fishing Pier is a bit barren, but it’s still a beautiful place to take a romantic walk or catch a sunset. The nearby boardwalk has all the amenities you could imagine, and there are a few public lots and street parking nearby.

Hermosa Beach Pier

Storm Clouds at the Beach

You’ll find plenty of public lots and some street parking in this area. Aside from a small building with a lifeguard station and a public library, the pier itself here is pretty mellow. However, the boardwalk leading up to it is decked out in beachside bars. Hit up a happy hour and then take a sunset stroll.

Redondo Pier

California March 2011 023-5518238050Aimee Elise / Flickr

Admittedly, the pier at Redondo Beach isn’t overly exciting. But it’s surrounded by the Fisherman’s Wharf, which has bars, restaurants and fun tourist shops like Mermaid’s Dowry. Also, the parking is great—there’s a multilevel parking lot on Torrance Boulevard.

Manhattan Beach Pier

Manhattan Beach is a beautiful place, and their pier is in close proximity to several great restaurants. At the end of the pier you’ll find the Roundhouse Aquarium, which is free with a suggested donation of $2-$5. You’ll find plenty of public lots and street parking in the area.

Belmont Shores Pier

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Also called the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, this pier is located right next door to the landmark Belmont Pool in Long Beach where an Olympic gold medalist has taught swimming lessons for years. The Belmont Brewing Co. is a great place to gather with your friends before taking a walk on the pier, which has a casual restaurant at the end. Parking is free here after 7 PM.

The Green Pleasure Pier

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You’ll find this pier on Catalina Island, which is an hour-long boat ride from shore but still technically part of LA County. The Green Pleasure Pier is where you’ll find all the action on the waterfront in the port city of Avalon. It has speedboat rentals, fishing areas and even a dive bar with seating right on the water.