Monday, June 15, 2009

Aerial Antics: California's Beach Parks

The East coast is particularly rich in it's history of seaside amusement parks and piers, but let's not forget that there are some West coast classics as well!

First up we have Belmont Park.  Located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, the park has a long, rich history of providing seaside amusements to throngs of people.  The star of the park is the Giant Dipper, which opened on July 4th, 1925.  Designed by Prior and Church, the classic wooden coaster is still thrilling riders today.

Here's a link to Bing's aerials.

Here's Pacific Park, located on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California.  Look familiar?  Well, that's probably because the park has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, and commercials.  It's quite often that I flip on the old boob tube and see the park in a car commercial, or Lifetime movie.  (did I just admit that I watch Lifetime movies!?)  The coaster is named West Coaster and was built by Morgan Manufacturing in 1996.

Pacific Park also made headlines last year when they auctioned their Ferris Wheel on Ebay, which ended up selling for $132,000 and will eventually reside in Oklahoma City.  Click here to see Pacific Park's aerials.

Last, but not least, we have the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which was founded in 1907 and is California's oldest operating amusement park.  Above we see a selection of the rides and attractions that the seaside park offers.

The Giant Dipper wooden coaster is easily Santa Cruz's most famous attraction.  The classic ride opened in 1924 and is now a National Historic Landmark.  Another Prior and Church design, the coaster was built in just 47 days at a cost of $50,000.

That Log Flume looks like fun!  We all know that I'm partial to flumes, though.  You can see the wide variety of rides that the park offers in this photo, including the park's kiddie coaster, the Sea Serpent.  Here's the link to the Bing aerials.