Cement Ship - Seacliff Beach Pier, Aptos in Santa Cruz County


A unique pier in Aptos isn't just a pier...it also contains part of a cement ship that once floated offshore as an entertainment vessel for dining, dancing and fun. Seacliff State Beach. Leashed pets are permitted at Rio del Mar & Seacliff State Beach, subject to change: parks.ca.gov


Cement Ship at Seacliff Beach extends into the Pacific Ocean, joined to the Seacliff Beach pier. Known as The Palo Alto cement ship, you'll find the scenic ship located south of Santa Cruz off Highway 1, at Seacliff State Beach. This two mile, sandy beach at the foot of sandstone cliffs offers day parking, camping, swimming, fishing, bicycling and roller blading for starters.  The pier is easily viewed from the air as you fly out of destinations such as Monterey that sometimes take a loop north over the ocean to turn around and head south to Los Angeles area.  (see aerial photo)

 

Docked at the foot of a pier, Palo Alto has gone to the birds, so to speak. It was built at the Oakland shipyard in 1918 as a supply ship for the World War I effort. The war ended before she ever saw service and with time on her hands, she was sold to the Seacliff Amusement Company of Nevada, and towed in 1929 to what would later become Seacliff State Beach. A casino and dance hall, arcades and entertainment were featured on this monster party boat until its owners went belly when the Great Depression rocked the world in the early 1930's. 

 

Today, the Palo Alto lays in pieces on the floor of the Monterey Bay, tenuously connected to a fragile pier which was damaged in recent storms. One of the most photographed landmarks of the region, birds have discovered a haven not accessible to humans.  Take a pair of binoculars to watch the hundreds of birds that sit on the ship. Beach facilities where you can enjoy watching birds include a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, covered picnic areas with barbecues public restrooms, trailer campsites and  an interpretive center which has natural and local cultural history exhibits.

 

For more information, call (831) 685-6444 or 685-6500. Seacliff State Beach  201 State Park Drive Aptos, CA 95003  (831) 685-6444   An expansive white sand beach offers picnic facilities for day use, and RV camping. Call for RV reservations. Parking fee charged. Open sunrise to sunset.  Seacliff State Beach Visitor Center State Park Drive Aptos, CA 95003 (831) 685-6444  Extensive exhibits about "The Palo Alto Cement Ship" along with natural history, marine and plant life exhibits. Books on marine and plant life, history, etc. Call for hours. 

cement ship photos
ship

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