Beach Towns: Downtown Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach has almost 10 miles of sandy beach, a great bike path, tons of beach volleyball courts, and a pier to see it all from. This city has a rich history, from an oil boom in the 1920s to holding the very first U.S. Surfing Championships. Today, 11 millon tourists visit each year and Main Street/Pacific Coast Highway is the area to see.
There is almost always an event going on near the pier and many times it’s a surf competition. No exception this weekend. Next weekend is the annual Fourth of July Fireworks and Parade. It’s lots of fun, but crazy busy, so make sure to go early in the day. There’s a street fair and farmer’s market everyday Tuesday night and an art walk every third Wednesday too.
If you’re hungry, grab some quick shrimp tacos at Wahoo’s or sit down for Hawaiian fushion at Duke’s or Aloha Grill. There are a number of bars and pubs too, which usually have live bands or events going on. Big surf shops like Jack’s and Huntington Surf & Sport are front and center (love the sweatshirts from HS&S!).
Make sure to stop by the surf museum. Free admission and donations welcome. It’s small, but it’s a quick walk from the pier and has some great surf artifacts to check out. Grab a spot at the mini movie theater to watch a film about surfing or see a shrine to Duke Kahanamoku (who helped bring surfing to CA). I think my favorite part of the museum was the charming collection of sand from beaches all over the world brought in by visitors. It made me want to travel the world’s beaches and appreciate my local ones at the same time!