With over 95,000 miles of coastline in the United States, there’s an abundance of scenic piers to take it all in.
Piers aren’t just for fishing anymore. Many of the piers located in the country boast a variety of other attractions, like waterfront amusement parks, tasty restaurants, aquariums and so much more.
Even if the hustle and bustle of a busy pier isn’t your style, there are plenty of humble piers out there to take in those views in a more peaceful setting.
Either way, check out this list of the 30 most beautiful piers in the United States to really understand the beauty and excitement of the country’s coastline.
Table of Contents
- 1. Chelsea Piers, NY
- 2. Morey’s Piers, NJ
- 3. Ocean City Pier, MD
- 4. Cocoa Beach Pier, FL
- 5. Skyway Fishing Pier, FL
- 6. Crystal Pier, CA
- 7. Santa Monica Pier, CA
- 8. Pier 7, CA
- 9. Bell Street Pier, WA
- 10. Navy Pier, IL
- 11. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, TX
- 12. Santa Cruz Wharf, CA
- 13. Atlantic City Pier, NJ
- 14. St. Pete Pier, FL
- 15. Jacksonville Beach Pier, FL
- 16. Jennette’s Pier, NC
- 17. Newport Pier, FL
- 18. Apache Fishing Pier, SC
- 19. Pascagoula Beach Park Pier, MS
- 20. Simons Island Pier, GA
- 21. Gulf State Park Pier, AL
- 22. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, VA
- 23. Steeplechase Pier, NY
- 24. Pier 60, FL
- 25. Historic Naples Pier, FL
- 26. Pier 39, CA
- 27. The Slipway, ME
- 28. Balboa Pier, CA
- 29. Stearns Wharf, CA
- 30. Manhattan Beach Pier, CA
1. Chelsea Piers, NY
Easily one of the most iconic piers in the country, New York City’s Chelsea Piers is no joke – and you can spend all day exploring its many attractions.
Made up of Pier 59, Pier 60, and Pier 61, the Chelsea Piers boasts a 28-acre waterfront complex perfect for travelers both on land and on water.
The piers are located along the Hudson River, so no matter where or how you spend your time, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful waterfront views.
Perfect your swing at the year-round Golf Club’s driving range, hit a couple of balls around at the batting cages, cool off along one of the two ice rinks, and check out one of the coolest fitness clubs in the city.
There’s also an abundance of restaurants and bars available, like Bowlmor, which combines bowling and quick bites, or Piers Pizza Company, for that famous New York-style pizza.
Whether you have a boat of your own or you’re looking to splurge on a dining cruise, the Chelsea Piers’ extensive marina makes getting on the water a breeze.
2. Morey’s Piers, NJ
Located in Wildwoods, New Jersey, Morey’s Piers is more of a waterfront amusement park than your typical fishing pier – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun for the whole family.
Established in 1969, the piers have continued to grow bigger and better, becoming a staple to the New Jersey coastline with its 3 massive piers.
Like most New Jersey waterfronts, one of the best things to do here is relaxing on the sandy beaches – but make sure to stop by the PigDog Beach Bar when you get hungry or thirsty and enjoy a great selection of quick bites and refreshing cocktails.
When it comes to the rides here, the best is easily the Sea Serpent Roller Coaster, which was recently improved so that guests can enjoy a smoother ride as they drop, flip upside down, and go backward.
Head over to the Mariner’s Pier, where you’ll find the Raging Waters Water Park, offering a variety of water slides and pools to cool off on hot summer days.
However you decide to spend your day, make sure to stop by the famous Ferris wheel that’ll take you up 156 feet for stellar views of the ocean and the surrounding area.
3. Ocean City Pier, MD
Another hub for amusement park fun, Maryland is the proud parent of the Ocean City Pier and you’d be surprised by how many awesome things there are to do here.
Channel your inner child with a visit to Marty’s Playland, where you can get your game on as early as 10 in the morning – and play the day away amongst its many popular arcade games.
The pier also boasts two amusement parks – so get ready for a day of thrill rides between the Jolly Roger Amusement Park and Trimpers Rides.
You can’t go wrong visiting a classic like Ripleys Believe it or Not, where you can learn a bunch of new things while laughing at all the oddities.
If you’re hoping for a relaxing day of taking in the views, consider renting a bike from Bike World Boardwalk Rentals and spend your day cycling near the ocean.
Grab some of the best french fries around at Thrashers, check out the unique artwork at the Ocean Gallery, and sit back and relax on the Boardwalk Tram.
4. Cocoa Beach Pier, FL
Known for being the best pier along Florida’s Space Coast, the Cocoa Beach Pier is the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement.
For starters, the pier runs 800 feet out across the Atlantic Ocean, offering breathtaking waterfront views and stellar fishing opportunities.
Alongside the pier is the famous Cocoa Beach, with its wide-stretching sandy shores packed with sunbathers and surfers hoping to enjoy some of the best waves on the east coast.
Towards the edge of the pier is a lively restaurant with outdoor seating to make the most of your time and live music to keep you entertained for hours on end.
Add in a grab-and-go bar, a couple of gift shops, fishing rentals, and bathrooms with shower facilities – and you may never want to leave.
5. Skyway Fishing Pier, FL
You may not find an abundance of attractions here as you’d find at piers like Chelsea or Morey’s, but the Skyway Fishing Pier in Tampa makes up for it by being the longest pier in the entire world!
Walk a mile and a half to reach the edge of the pier, where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding Tampa Bay. Step things up a notch by planning your visit at sunset to really soak in all of the beauty.
One cool feature about this affordable pier is that passes are only $4.00, and work on a 24-hour system rather than per day – so you can come for the sunset and stop back in again the next morning.
You can come just to stretch your legs, or grab a quick bite to eat with amazing waterfront views – but the most popular thing to do is fish, and the pier is known for its amazing fishing opportunities.
6. Crystal Pier, CA
Once a booming scene with an amusement park and ballroom, Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier has taken things down a notch in the best way possible.
Although these popular attractions no longer exist, the pier is still one of the most beautiful places to visit – even more so now that there are fewer obstructions blocking the waterfront views and fewer sounds drowning out the crash of ocean waves.
Walking along the pier and watching surfers and marine birds at play is the perfect way to spend a relaxing weekend, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
When you fall in love with this serene location, spend the night at the Crystal Pier Hotel – all that remains of the once active scene – with its adorable waterfront cottages dating back to the 1930s.
7. Santa Monica Pier, CA
Easily one of the most popular attractions in California, the Santa Monica Pier has been pleasing crowds since its grand opening in 1909.
It’s amazing to think that this iconic pier may not have even existed if it wasn’t for the risky decision to dump a fortune on rebuilding after two back-to-back coastal storms destroyed nearly half of the pier in 1982.
Now, it has become a hotspot of exciting attractions for all ages. The most popular attraction is the Pacific Park, thanks to its abundance of rides both old and new, its exhilarating carnival games, and tasty fried foods.
No trip to the area would be complete without digging your feet into the sand at the Santa Monica Beach – but don’t forget to check out other cool attractions like the Heal the Bay Aquarium.
8. Pier 7, CA
With beautiful piers usually comes massive crowds – but not at the hidden gem of San Francisco, known simply as Pier 7 – so get ready to have the breathtaking views all to yourself!
To be fair, there isn’t much to do along the pier besides finding a bench to sit on while admiring the views of San Francisco Bay and the picturesque Treasure Island, unless you like to fish.
Aside from the spectacular views, you’ll notice the occasional fisherman – but most fishermen don’t visit until the sun goes down, as it makes it easier to catch fish like sharks and perch.
The pier is beautiful at any time, but it really glows at night, when you can see some fishing action and admire the twinkling lights of the city out in the distance.
9. Bell Street Pier, WA
Seattle’s Bell Street Pier is known as the docking location for popular cruise lines like Norwegian and Oceania – but you don’t need to book a cruise in order to have a good time along this picturesque waterfront.
Aside from the fact that this beautiful complex stretches out over 11 miles with popular attractions and serene waterfront seating, the pier is located just a stone’s throw away from popular Seattle destinations like the Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.
Head up to the rooftop observation center for sweeping views of Downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, and Mount Rainier out in the distance.
The Navy Pier is rated as one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, Illinois for a reason; one step along its scenic waterfront will be sure to leave you completely breathless.
The pier stretches out over 3,300 feet onto the beautiful Lake Michigan and is a hub of entertainment all year round with its lively amusement park and frequent fireworks.
No trip to the pier would be complete without visiting the Pier Park – more specifically, the Centennial Wheel – which takes you 200 feet above the water for views you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
Hop on a cruise ship for a tour of the lake, sit back in the air-conditioned IMAX theater, and take the kids to the Chicago Children’s Museum for some hands-on fun.
11. Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, TX
Many people don’t realize that Texas is filled with the same white sandy beaches you can find in places like The Keys, but the lucky few who make this their tropical vacation destination will be blessed by the nearby Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier.
Nicknamed the “Coney Island of the South”, the Galveston Pier has everything you could hope for – including world-class views, lively attractions, and everything in between.
Unfortunately, coastal storms have taken their toll on the pier, necessitating extensive reconstruction in 2017, and has since become bigger and better than it ever was before.
Spend time soaking in the ocean views, hop on a couple of roller coasters at the amusement park, and eat barbecue while sipping on an extra-thick milkshake.
12. Santa Cruz Wharf, CA
The Santa Cruz Wharf provides some of the best waterfront views along the California coast and is a must for travelers who enjoy a nice stroll along a scenic pier.
The pier extends 2,745 feet out across Monterey Bay, providing a mile-long out-and-back path that’ll be sure to take your breath away.
In fact, it’s considered to be the longest wooden pier in the entire country – so make sure to bask in all its glory while sipping on a freshly brewed iced coffee or a hearty cup of clam chowder.
Around the pier, you’ll have endless options for dining and entertainment with an abundance of seafood restaurants, trendy gift shops, and historical landmarks.
13. Atlantic City Pier, NJ
With the iconic boardwalk just a stone’s throw away, you can’t go wrong heading over to New Jersey to check out the beauty of its Atlantic City Steel Pier.
The pier was established back in 1898 and has been providing guests with top-notch entertainment ever since – with amusement parks, games, and fun dining options.
Grab a to-go drink at the Steel Pier Pub or stay to jam out to some live music, enjoy all-you-can-eat seafood at the Ocean Reef Oasis, and make sure to save room for classic park foods like funnel cake and ice cream.
14. St. Pete Pier, FL
Thanks to a hefty remodeling plan, St. Pete Pier has become rated as one of the most beautiful attractions in the world – let alone, the state of Florida.
The pier has an entire district dedicated to it, comprised of over 25 acres and filled with fun things to do, like dining at waterfront restaurants, shopping at the Marketplace, and learning something new at the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center.
The most notable attraction along the pier, however, is easily the Bending Arc – which is an extensive netted sculpture created by Janet Echelman that only becomes more breathtaking as the sun goes down
15. Jacksonville Beach Pier, FL
Currently closed for reconstruction, it’s said that Florida’s Jacksonville Beach Pier will reopen as one of the most beautiful piers in the state of Florida.
The pier stretches about a fourth of a mile out across the Atlantic Ocean, providing magnificent waterfront views and stellar fishing opportunities.
Spectators need to spend $1.00 to explore the pier whereas fishermen will be charged $3.00. There’s also an on-site concession stand selling things like bait, tackle, and light snacks.
16. Jennette’s Pier, NC
Spanning over 1,000 feet across the ocean, Jennette’s Pier is one of the oldest attractions along the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Although it’s been around since the 1930s, a severe coastal store left it in ruins back in 2003 – so the pier you see today is of new construction.
The pier is extremely popular for fishing and there is a shop to rent a fishing rod if you want to get in on the fun but you could also check out some of the area’s fish by heading over to the pier’s educational center.
You could also check out some of North Carolina’s 10 best lakes for swimming to have a great time on your trip!
17. Newport Pier, FL
Nestled along Sunny Isles Beach Boulevard in the sunny state of Florida, Newport Pier is a breathtaking fishing pier with plenty of attractions to keep you entertained.
You’ll have easy access to the beach along the pier, so remember to pack your bathing suit for a few hours of sunbathing, and clean up easily in the showers.
Built in 1936, the pier is now part of the Beachside Resort – so if you’re staying here, you can access it completely free of charge and grab a drink at the pier bar while taking in the views.
18. Apache Fishing Pier, SC
Known for being the longest wooden pier on the East Coast, the Apache Fishing Pier in South Carolina offers more than just amazing fishing opportunities.
You can easily spend all your time taking in the beautiful waterfront views, but to make things even better, the pier offers live entertainment on the regular – so you can listen to music while you unwind.
Summer is when tourist season at Myrtle Beach is in full swing, which is the best time to visit. There are live shows held every night and the popular waterfront restaurant, Croakers, serves up their delicious seafood dishes.
19. Pascagoula Beach Park Pier, MS
Sometimes you just want to visit a quiet pier with those scenic waterfront views – and the humble Beach Park Pier in Pascagoula, Mississippi is exactly that.
The pier doesn’t have a variety of amenities like you’d find on busy, popular piers – but Beach Park offers peace and quiet thanks, to its low traffic.
You can sit for hours on one of the benches taking in the views and observing local fishermen doing what they do best. You may even spot some swimmers relaxing in the crystal-cool waters.
20. Simons Island Pier, GA
One of three piers located along the coast of Georgia, Simons Island Pier is by far the most inviting, with its marvelous views, an abundance of amenities, and laid-back vibes.
Here, you’ll have the best chance to spot North Atlantic Right Whales migrating south through the winter months, and dolphins are often spotted all year round.
Located at the end of the Pier Village, there are plenty of options when it comes to restaurants, and shops; there’s even a tackle shop to stock up on forgotten fishing gear.
The pier really comes to life at night, when it’s lined with lights so that fishermen can continue on with ease – and makes for a beautiful sight as the sun sets behind Jekyll Island.
21. Gulf State Park Pier, AL
Stretching out more than 1,500 feet over the Gulf of Mexico, the Alabama hidden gem known as Gulf State Park Pier is a sight to be seen.
Experienced and new fishermen alike can enjoy the opportunities available along the pier and there are a variety of information boards along the way so that you can learn more about the native wildlife.
The pier is also home to the Angler Academy, where visitors can learn more about the fishing process and the rules of the area before casting out their first line.
22. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, VA
You don’t need a fishing license to enjoy a leisurely day of fishing at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier – which just so happens to be one of the most beautiful piers in the state of Virginia.
You don’t need to be into fishing to enjoy your time at this lovely pier, as it’s located right off the bustling boardwalk and boasts its own attractions like a seafood restaurant and gift shop.
However, you decide to spend your day, make sure to walk to the edge of the pier to admire the waterfront views and the Virginia Beach boardwalk.
23. Steeplechase Pier, NY
You don’t have to be from Brooklyn to know about the famous Coney Island Boardwalk – but some of the locals don’t even know about the Steeplechase Pier hidden within its depths.
Considering how insanely busy Coney Island gets in the summer months, the pier provides a nice break from the crowds with waterfront views that are hard to beat.
After you explored Coney Island’s amusement park, beach, and aquarium, finish your day in the best way possible by watching the sunset over the water while fishermen get ready for a busy night
24. Pier 60, FL
It makes sense that Florida is filled with beautiful piers, but the views and attractions you’ll find at Pier 60 in Clearwater make it stand out amongst the crowd.
The pier stretches out over 1,000 feet onto the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and is extremely popular amongst fishermen and spectators alike thanks to the lights that make it easy to stay out past sundown.
Housed in an extensive recreational park, kids will love exploring the largest beachside playground on the coast while parents can relax under one of the six covered pavilions.
The beach also hosts sunset events every night starting at 6:00 PM and running until 9:00 PM, with exciting options like fun crafts and live entertainment.
25. Historic Naples Pier, FL
Just a stone’s throw away from Downtown Naples sits the Historic Naples Pier – which runs 1,000 feet out onto the Gulf of Mexico for some killer waterfront views.
You’ll be sure to see your fair share of marine birds flying around the area and landing on the wooden ledges of the pier, but if you’re lucky, you may even spot some dolphins playing near the pier’s edge.
After you’ve soaked in the breathtaking views from atop the pier, head down to the beach located directly below to do some sunbathing or join in on a friendly game of beach volleyball.
26. Pier 39, CA
There’s something for everyone to enjoy at San Francisco’s Pier 39 – from its abundance of lively attractions to its frequent sea lion sightings.
After you’ve taken a ridiculous amount of pictures of these adorable sea lions sunbathing at the west marina, head over to the Sea Lion Center to learn more about them or stop by the Aquarium of the Bay to see more marine life.
Grab a couple of drinks and play a few arcade games at the Players Sports Grill before enjoying some of the many street performances that frequently visit the pier.
27. The Slipway, ME
With most of the beautiful piers located down south or out west, it may come as a surprise that Maine’s Slipway makes the cut – but one visit along this scenic pier will leave you completely speechless.
While in Maine, it’s only right that you partake in some classic lobster eating, and the Slipway just so happens to have one of the best lobster rolls in the area. This restaurant has a long-stretching, nameless pier that anyone can enjoy – but the smell of freshly cooked seafood will have you floating to its doors and drooling at its frequently changing menu.
28. Balboa Pier, CA
Located along the popular Newport Beach in California, Balboa Pier is the perfect place to take in beautiful views, grab a bite to eat, and admire local fishermen.
From the edge of the pier, you’ll have out of this world views of the Newport Peninsula and the iconic Laguna Beach.
Along with these spectacular views, there’s a restaurant located towards the end of the pier – so you can enjoy the scenery with a drink in hand and a full stomach.
29. Stearns Wharf, CA
Stearns Wharf is the oldest-running wharf in the state of California, and one of the most notable landmarks in the Santa Barbara area.
The views of the Pacific Ocean are top-notch, and there are plenty of boutique shops located along the wharf’s boardwalk for a fun day of waterfront shopping.
You can spend time fishing along the wharf at no additional charge, and your furry friends are welcome to join you on your adventure.
30. Manhattan Beach Pier, CA
Known as the oldest concrete pier of its kind on the west coast, Santa Monica Bay’s Manhattan Beach Pier provides amazing photo opportunities.
This historic landmark is a popular destination for surfers and fishermen alike so you’ll have plenty of action to keep you entertained.
At the edge of the pier is the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab & Aquarium, which offers free admission, touch tanks, and a variety of tanks – including a shark tank!