Travel and Leisure — June 6, 2014 at 5:00 am

Top US Piers

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Piers are that special setting to showcase classical shoreline views and entertainment for families and beach goers alike. Luckily, no two piers are alike, which creates an exciting atmosphere of either serene beach views or tasty seafood restaurants. Take time out from sunbathing and enjoy the atmosphere, entertainment and scenery at these top piers located across the US.

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Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
Navy Pier is a must-visit Chicago attraction featuring the best of food, fun and family time. The pier is most known for its famous Ferris Wheel and stunning sky and shoreline views. This lakefront playground is another Fourth of July destination thanks to its annual fireworks. From ice cream to art performances, visitors and locals discover all sorts of entertainment along this boardwalk pier.

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Santa Monica, California
This popular LA neighborhood is well known for its iconic pier. This old-fashion, yet fun, pier features a two-acre amusement park offering rides, games and the ocean food plaza. People are attracted to this pier as it sets stage as a backdrop for many Hollywood flicks. Take a ride on the Pacific Wheel, which is a solar-powered Ferris wheel that lifts more than 130-feet above the ocean.

Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Steel pier is still kicking it since 1898. The pier sits adjacent to the Trump Taj Mahal hotel and home to countless opportunities of entertainment. As one of the beach’s main attractions, visitors explore fine cuisine, quaint retail shopping and sweet treats.

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Daytona Beach Pier, Daytona Beach, Florida
This 106-year landmark is a signature destination for Daytona Beach visitors. Also known as “Main Street Pier,” this one thousand foot pier is the longest pier on the east coast. The gondola-like skylift rides above the pier offering a bird’s eye view of the shoreline and hotel buildings. The pier’s restaurant and bar is a popular spot for a fruity, ocean view Mai Tai.

Virginia Beach Oceanfront Fishing Pier, Virginia
This popular fishing pier is the ideal destination to catch fish such as: croakers, pompano, kingfish, pigfish, trout, bluefish, red drum, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. Located on the pier is a seafood restaurant and gift shop as well as magnificent sites of the shoreline.

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Pier 39, San Francisco, California
Pier 39 is one the US’s most visited piers. Opening in the 1970’s this pier was built with the tourist in mind, and success has led way to thousands of traveler’s footsteps creating a pathway of countless opportunities. Shopping, chocolate shops, video games, amusement rides and latte stands stay busy day in and day out. This is a popular spot to view public art and iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Angel Island.

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Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, California
Locals and tourists flock to this heavy-traffic pier for entertainment beyond sun, sand and surf. The over one hundred –year-old pier stretches over 1,800 feet over the ocean with plenty of views of local surfers catching waves and colorful sunsets. If you get hungry, head to Ruby’s, the only restaurant on the pier.

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