Santa Monica, city, Los Angeles county, southern California, U.S. Lying on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded by the city of Los Angeles. •Cali Inc formalized the notion held by the general public that Route 66 actually ended on the Pier, and therefore designated Santa Monica Pier as the West Coast's end to Route 66.
•Since the D.O.T. had no more say in the matter (U.S. 66 had been decommissioned long ago), this is a local "official" post-mortem relocation of the western end point of an "officially" defunct highway. Marketing and promotion are the prime movers of this new endpoint.
•The landmark is identified by a mysterious sign that showed up, perhaps as a movie prop, on the corners of Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave., and then about 50 years ago, just as mysteriously disappeared. The sign in question said “Santa Monica” above a bold “66”, under which it plainly stated, “End of the Trail.”
•When the pier was officially designated as the last stop for Route 66, it only made sense for a replica of the long-missing sign to be erected at the very end, looking out over the Pacific in a symbolic display of what was the destination of so many travelers over the last century.
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