More than 20 years ago, Bill Howard helped turn a decrepit dumbell pit into a world-famous oceanfront workout spot: Muscle Beach. Bodybuilders, weightlifters and gawkers turned out in the 1950s to pump iron or just watch the show--all within view of the Pacific. Pretty soon the ongoing spectacles, along with the Santa Monica Pier and all the sand in between, became an iconic vacation stop for Southern California beach life. Scott Rogers, 20, of Boulder, Colo., performs a move while "slacklining" across a tightrope at Muscle Beach, south of the Santa Monica pier. For more in this series exploring Southern California's beaches, visit our Cruising the Coast page.
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
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