Belmont Park in Mission Beach is only a mile away and offers everything from roller coasters to wave machines, laser tag, arcades, and fun for the whole family.
Breakfast the next morning was at Kono’s Surf Club touting breakfast all day. Only 20 feet from the pier, they offer a hearty, reasonably priced beginning of the day. There is a coffee vendor in their outside patio cooking up a mean cappuccino. The Kono potatoes are a meal in themselves comprised of sliced potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and cheese. Their “Little Breakfast,” at $4.95, is huge and the egg burrito at $5.95 is even bigger.
The cottages range from one bedroom/one bath and no kitchen that sleeps two to multi-bedroom/bathroom suites with kitchens and large enclosed decks that sleep six. All have spectacular views of the ocean. Crystal Pier will rock your world, we already plan on coming back next year. Pay attention readers! You will need to book months if not a year in advance because Crystal Pier is so popular and there are only 25 cottages. Prior patrons have priority and there are generations of families that book the same room every summer.
- Konos has hidden beachfront dining right across the street, behind the bicycle rentals.
- If you get a wild hair to spend a romantic evening here, call the office and if a room is available that night, you’ve got it. Also, once you’ve stayed there you become a preferred guest meaning that you have priority over first-timers.
- We stayed during Valentine’s weekend which is offseason and notoriously not that busy. Let me tell you, neither of us could think of a better place to spend Valentine’s than Crystal Pier! Try it, you’ll thank me.
Who, What, When, Where, and How Much?
Hours: Open 7 to 7 (or sunset) for visitors, 24 hours a day for those staying in the pier motel.
Facilities: Restrooms, one cleaning station, some benches, and limited night lighting.
Restaurants: Many within walking distance of the pier.
Parking: Very limited unless you’re staying on the pier. Metered parking is available on the side street at the foot of the pier if you can find it. Do not park in the nearby parking lots that have posted warnings—they mean it and will not hesitate to have your car towed away. During the summer when the beach is crowded, finding parking can be nearly impossible during the day.
How to Get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet to the foot of the pier.
Rates: Accommodations range from $165 for two to $500 a night for six people. Cottage B is $285 (weekdays). The way I see it, a ticket to Disneyland is more than a hundred bucks a person and once inside, Mickey’s squeezing your wallet while Minnie is picking your pocket. Crystal Pier is an E Ticket ride in paradise.
Arrive in Style and Comfor
If you do serious motorcycle touring you will inevitably find yourself in unexpected weather conditions. Conditions that for some mean calling it quits and getting a room, but not me, especially not on a 2012 Cross Country Tour (CCT). Heated grips and seats end the suffering of an evening chill and the hard lowers fulfill the function of allowing cooling ventilation when the temp heats up. Victory’s Comfort Control System allows complete protection during inclement weather or offers full-on ventilation on warmer days. Easily accessed while riding, you control how much airflow you do or do not want. Plus the small faring deflectors are brilliant; it’s absolutely amazing what a difference the Comfort Control system makes.
I’ve never had issue with Victory brakes, but must admit when I am on a bike with ABS there is a level of confidence that allows me to better relax on extended rides. If a moose pops out and I need to lock it up on a rainy road, my chances of going down are exponentially lower. The CCT also features a taller windscreen and is very effective for both rider and passenger. Cockpit turbulence is greatly reduced because of its vented design eliminating the negative pressure normally associated with non-vented windscreens. Its height without a doubt reduces wind turbulence dramatically. If you want a smaller windscreen, an optional Klock Werks Flare windshield is available that falls right in between the smaller Cross Country Flip and the standard Tall windshield, Victory PN 287883.
The plush passenger seat has it own heat control and the backrest is comfortably contoured plus Victory offers optional armrests (with cup holders). The passenger floorboards are height-adjustable and did I mention the saddlebags host 41.1 gallons of storage capacity? It’s the largest storage capacity of any touring bike and if she needs more, an optional luggage rack mounts on top of the tour pack. The air adjustable ride allows for a smooth ride alleviating the butt aches of a thousand bumps and shocks allowing 4.7 inches of real suspension travel. The CCT has a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of 1,360 pounds. Subtract its wet weight and it offers 492 pounds of load capacity, wow. With passenger speakers and an iPod connector, what more could you ask for? Well a cappuccino maker would be nice. Owning a Victory motorcycle means riding modern design and technology, which in this model equates to a smooth Freedom 106ci engine, six-speed tranny, 5.8-gallon tank, and cruise control. The CCT lays down the gauntlet for you and your significant other putting distance motorcycle touring at top of both your agendas. victorymotorcycles.com