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S. S. Palo Alto - concrete ship.

S.S. Palo Alto Concrete Ship

Field review by the editors.

Aptos, California

Though deteriorated and too far gone to board, the S.S. Palo Alto is still visible off Seacliff Beach.

Originally launched in 1919 -- when steel was scarce because of World War I -- the concrete oil tanker was once connected by a pier and used as part of an area amusement park in the late 1920s. A winter storm broke the ship in half; it was stripped for salvage and turned into a fishing pier in Seacliff State Beach. The pier juts out to to the edge of the ship, which is usually covered with sea birds. The public has been not allowed to climb around on either chunk of ship since 2001.

The S.S. Palo Alto, while barely identifiable as a ship, was in much better shape than her counterpart cement ship off NJ's coast, the S. S. Atlantus. Then in 2017, fierce "king tides" smashed up the Palo Alto and the pier so it has become increasingly less ship-shaped.

Admission is charged for beach access, but a friendly gate guard may let you pull off for a minute to take a quick peek from the cliff.

Also see: Crumbling Wreck of S. S. Atlantus

S.S. Palo Alto Concrete Ship

Seacliff State Beach

US Hwy 1, Aptos, CA
Exit US Hwy 1 at State Park Dr., turn towards ocean, cross railroad tracks, enter state park. Admission for full beach access.
$10 per car.
Save to My Sights

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