For more than a century, piers have punctuated the Southern California coast. Many of these boardwalks to the sea began as places of toil — where ships were loaded and unloaded, and legions of California dreams came ashore. Others were anchored to the booming Coney Island-style resorts. Today, piers are an integral part of beach town culture. They’re a focal point for surfers, fishermen and sightseers in search of a quintessential Southern California experience.