California Roads - US 66 - Santa Monica Blvd.

Former US 66

Beginning at the celebrated beginning of the route. Although it only held that title for no more than 30 years (about half of US 66's existence) and was never the actual beginning, this is the Santa Monica Pier that people keep talking about.

Looking north from the pier at the Pacific Coast that CA 1 famously hugs.

Starting on the pier, the remaining photos were taken eastbound. Let's ignore that little "right turn only" sign to the bottom right (which I'd never noticed before) and start on our way.

The way to I-10 is on Lincoln Blvd., which was the defined end of US 66 in 1934 when it was originally extended west from Pasadena. It's unclear exactly when (or if) 66 was brought out to the pier, as topographic maps consistently show US 66 turning south on Lincoln to what is now the I-10/CA 1 interchange. The advantage of bringing 66 along Lincoln Blvd. is that it could end at a state highway, but the pier was more romantic and a more fitting starting point for such a culturally significant route. That may be why the Route 66 Alliance designated this as the official Route 66 starting point in 2009, although that carries as much weight as an unladen swallow. (European, if anyone asks.) Shortly after US 66 came to Santa Monica, Olympic Blvd. was built as CA 26, intersecting the end of US 66 at the former Pennsylvania Ave. and briefly continuing on Lincoln Blvd. (A later bypass of Olympic Blvd. is now I-10.) By ending at the pier, US 66 does reach the ocean (an acceptable terminus) but fails to meet another route.

Last motel in Santa Monica. CA 2 begins at the border and drops off the Boulevard at US 101 - see big link below.

Out of Hollywood and into Wilshire Center, but always in Los Angeles. These are the newer and older of the old street sign styles still up in the city.

The 1924 Nicholas Priester Building, designed by John Weston, at Vermont Ave.

CA 2 and 2/old US 66/Santa Monica Blvd.
Continue east on old US 66 to Sunset Boulevard

To I-10
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