From Hwy 1 take the State Park Drive exit into the neighborhood of Aptos.
Only a few piers have truly unique features and this pier is one of them. The end of this wooden 500-foot-long pier connects to the old cement ship Palo Alto, a bad idea turned good. The ship was designed for the U.S. Navy in World War I but was not completed until the war was over. She sat at her dock in Oakland until 1929 when she made her only voyage -- to her present spot. The 435-foot-long ship was filled with water, a pier was built from the beach to the ship, and the ship was turned into a floating attraction (although she didn't really float). A cafe was constructed above deck, the main deck was turned into a dance floor, a heated swimming pool was added and carnival booths lined the back of the ship. Within several years, the company that owned the ship went bankrupt. Later, winter storms damaged the already paralyzed craft. Economically it was a bad idea for the company, but it has turned out to be a bonanza for anglers.