vintage beach photos


Vintage California Beaches - What Happened to the Fun?


So a soda use to cost a nickel, and an oceanfront lot on Balboa Island now worth several million could be had for a couple hundred bucks. We know the prices on everything went up, but what happened to the fun?


Do girls and ladies today actually think it was great wearing dresses in the ocean to play? Probably not. But 100 years ago the attire shown in the photo above from Pismo Beach circa 1910 shows nine women and girls keeping covered and remaining decent. Also seen above are the Balboa Pavilion with the Electric Pacific train parked outside, a modern day replica train you can ride in San Pedro, and the Balboa Pavilion today.


From the Pike at Long Beach to the Joy Zone in Seal Beach, and the Cement Ship at Seacliff Beach near Santa Cruz, many of the early 20th century beach amusements are gone. When California's beach destinations strives to bring back the tourists, maybe they should bring back the fun. 


Here is a walk back in time, where the fun remains, and where it is gone:



Santa Cruz Boardwalk celebrated 100 years recently and remains the prominent beach attraction with amusement rides overlooking the ocean in California. buy tickets


Santa Monica Pacific Park has been renovated with a carousel and rides to rekindle the memories of an original fun zone.


Belmont Park in San Diego still has fun rides and a Plunge Pool, just like the old days.


Newport Beach still has the Balboa Pavilion and the Fun Zone with a few rides and games.


San Pedro has a replica red car that tourists can ride on and enjoy.




The Pike in Long Beach


Joy Zone in Seal Beach


Saltwater Plunges -- nearly every beach had them, and most are gone.




Balboa Island Museum features old signage, photos and the staff always warmly accepts memories you want to share.


Red Car Museum in Seal Beach is a few blocks from the beach, and includes red car memorabilia.


Queen Mary ship in Long Beach harbor is a period piece. Though not 100 years old, the vessel contains many exhibits showcasing the Golden Era of Hollywood and the ship's esteemed guests.