Take a look around the Cayucos Pier on a beautiful (and windy) July day:
The pier has been considered a vital part of San Luis Obispo County’s history since it was built in the 1800s.
Cayucos founder Capt. James Cass led construction of the pier and helped it to become a commercial port for ships sailing from Los Angeles to San Francisco, bringing in passengers and goods.
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The 982-foot pier is framed by a shoreline of sand and rocks along Cayucos State Beach and has seen its fair share of renovation projects over the years.
The pier was closed for more than two years for a massive reconstruction effort to replace deteriorating piles, beams and cross bracing. It reopened in October 2015 after $3.5 million of work.
One of the most popular events at the pier is the Carlin Soulé Memorial Polar Bear Dip each year on New Year’s Day, where as many as 3,500 people gather to either jump in the ocean for the momentous ice-cold plunge or watch the chaos that ensues.
When Carlin Soule came up with the idea for the dip in 1981, the San Pedro native owned the Way Station with his wife, Margaret. By the next year, the crowd had grown significantly. According to Tribune archives, just 55 people entered the water on New Year’s Day in 1982.