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Huntington Beach Pictures
Don't miss this versatile Los Angeles area beach, featuring fun for all ages in your family!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Huntington Beach, one of the Los Angeles area beaches which has "something for everyone." You can see pictures of the Huntington Beach Pier and other fun beach amenities, including the Huntington Beach bike path, volleyball courts and beach equipment rental shops.
Los Angeles Area Beaches, Overview
An outing to one of the Los Angeles area beaches would make a great addition to your family vacation getaway to the Southern California theme parks!
While all of the Los Angeles area beaches share the same blue Pacific Ocean, the same golden sand, and the same chirping sea gulls, each beach offers its own special blend of "atmosphere" and list of things available to do.
On this page, we'll start by talking about one of the best beaches for tourists out of all the Los Angeles metro area beaches---Huntington Beach in Orange County. The combination of wide stretches of white sand; bike trail with rentals; lively pier with fishing and a restaurant; beach camping opportunities; plenty of parking; and the beach's Main Street dining and shopping district make Huntington Beach a jewel which offers "something for everyone," while being extremely convenient, as well.
There's actually so much to do at Huntington Beach that it takes several pages to cover all the activities! On this page, you'll discover things you can do at the beach itself...like strolling along SoCal's longest pier, taking Fido to Huntington's Dog Beach, or exercising along the bike & jogging path. On "Huntington Beach, page 2, you'll read about restaurants, movies and shopping you can enjoy on Huntington Beach's Main Street (adjacent to the HB Pier.) And, if you're a beach camping enthusiast, you can head to the "Camping" section of this website, where you'll find info about Huntington Beach's three beachside campgrounds.
A terrific Los Angeles area beach---Orange County's
Huntington Beach---AKA Surf City!The town of Huntington Beach in Orange County offers 8 1/2 miles of spacious beaches, and these beaches have plenty of room for you and your family to enjoy the Pacific Ocean even on the most crowded of summer days. You'll find plenty of parking, a pier and strolling area to explore, a bike path for "getting athletic," and even a beach that will welcome your pet!
The long stretch of ocean passing through Huntington Beach is administered in 3 separate units: (1) Huntington State Beach, (2) Huntington City Beach, and (3) Bolsa Chica State Beach. All three of these areas offer restrooms, parking and cold-water rinse-off showers at intervals along the shore. Plus, there are snack bars and beach equipment rental locations spaced along the beach front, as well. Along some parts of the beach you'll also find an amenity not offered by many beaches these days---fire pits---dozens of them! Huntington Beach is one of the few places in Southern California where you can still make an old-fashioned beach bonfire!
The Huntington Beach PierThe modern, all-concrete Huntington Beach pier (California's longest pier!) is delightful for fishing, people-watching or taking a stroll.
You can walk out to the end and enjoy a meal or a snack at Ruby's Diner, a restaurant featuring incomparable views of the Pacific Ocean. Ruby's Restaurant offers typical diner-style meals in the $7 to $15 price range. You'll find varieties of hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and fried-fish platters. Ice-cream desserts are a focus here, from the 14+ flavors of malts and shakes (made from scratch with real ice cream) to banana splits and brownie sundaes. They have a children's menu, and when I visited with my grandson, they promptly gave a mini-box of four crayons to him so that he could draw without getting bored while awaiting his food!
Other Huntington Beach Pier fun: At little shops out over the water, you can buy souvenirs of Huntington Beach or rent/buy a kite. The Surf City Store on the Huntington Beach pier carries HB logo products. Souvenirs start at $2 for trinkets like surfboard-shaped refrigerator magnets, starfish, or sand dollars. More expensive items are zip-front sweatshirts for $33 or surfboard-shaped clocks, around $25. Priced midway between those extremes are souvenirs like mugs, hats, and tees, all beach-themed. Another interesting store on the pier is the Kite Connection. You can find kites starting around $14, or drop $300+ for a pro model! The folks at the Kite Connection are true kite specialists who can offer you helpful advice concerning your kite-flying questions. Plus, the Kite Connection gives free kite-flying lessons!
And, of course, on the Huntington Beach pier, you can fish! Don't have your gear with you? There's a rental shop out on the Huntington
Beach Pier, as well! The "Let's Go Fishin'" bait shop on the pier rents fishing equipment at very reasonable prices.
The Huntington Beach Bike PathHuntington Beach's concrete bike and jogging path stretches for miles.(Actually, bike trails run on and off throuout the whole greater Los Angeles area...the Huntington Beach stretch is just one small part. After leaving Huntington Beach, the path continues on into Newport Beach, as well.)
The Huntington Beach bike path is a great place to people-watch as you jog, bike, or skate. At one time or another, I've seen dogs pulling their skateboard-riding owners; dogs in the children's seats of bikes; wind-skaters (it's like wind-surfing...and involves catching wind in a sail to propel the skater along) and wind-skateboarders; bikes with arm (instead of foot) pedals; parent-child bicycles built-for-two (with the front half tall for the adult and the back half of the bike small for the child); people in wide-tired wheelchairs made for rolling along in the sand without sinking down into it; teams of cyclists in colorful matching spandex uniforms... well, the list could go on and on! Come stroll along the path at Huntington Beach and see what interesting and unusual sights that YOU can see!
Huntington Dog Beach!In Huntington Beach, there's even a special beach area where you can bring your dogs and pets! It's "Huntington Dog Beach," and you can find it right along the Pacific Coast Highway at its intersection with Golden West. Even if you don't own a dog, it's great fun to just watch the excited animals run along the sand and wade through the surf. Each dog here is very obviously enjoying the "time of his life!"
If you'd like to bring Fido for a fun romp, here's a Google map to the Huntington Dog Beach.
Directions to Huntington Dog Beach: There are a number of ways to reach the Dog Beach area, but an easy way is simply to take the Goldenwest Exit off of I-405, pass by the Westminster Mall, and keep heading until Goldenwest dead-ends into the Pacific Ocean!
Dog-lovers will want to note that as you drive from Interstate 405 towards the beach, you'll pass an unassuming little restaurant called the Park Bench Cafe, in Huntington Beach's Central Park. Believe it or not, the Park Bench Cafe has a separate dog menu! Dining is outside, and Fido is welcome to eat right alongside you. Even if you don't own a dog, it's great fun simply to watch the doggies and their owners enjoying an outing together here!
The Park Bench Cafe's address is 17732 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, California, 92647. The Park Bench Cafe's phone number is 714-842-0775. For further info about this interesting restaurant, here's a link to the Park Bench Cafe's website, www.ParkBenchCafe.com.
Los Angeles Area Beaches --
Main Street, Huntington BeachAcross the street from the Huntington Beach pier (on Main Street, Huntington Beach), you can enjoy the little downtown area that's been built to satisfy the strolling window-shopper. You can find various restaurants and shops, all with a beach-town atmosphere. The cuisine in the restaurants along Main Street ranges from the all-American to the exotic. Foodies will love Main Street for the fact that most of the restaurants here are NOT members of a chain! You'll find ORIGINAL menus here.
Of course, you won't want to miss seeing the surf shops. Even if you don't surf, it's fascinating to look at the gear. Plus, one prominent surf shop has footprints of famous surfers in front of it, a la Grauman's Chinese Theater, and another has a surfer's "walk of fame," reminiscent of the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
In fact, there's so much to do on Main Street of Huntington Beach, that you'll find its own, separate page here in the Family-Vacation-Getaways.com website. To see all the interesting restaurants and entertainment possibilities on Main Street, use the following link to jump to the Main Street Huntington Beach page of this website.
Huntington Beach Farmer's Market & Craft FairsFridays from noon to 5 pm, you'll enjoy a Farmer's Market near the Huntington Beach Pier. Sponsored by the Orange County Farm Bureau, this is a great place to find fresh, locally-grown produce.
A Crafts Fair is often held in conjunction with the Farmer's Market. This unique arts and crafts bazaar features surfing- and beach-related handmade items. Though this crafts fair is not too large, you will not find more unique crafts anywhere! Much of the merchandise is surf-themed or nautical/boating themed, making this arts and crafts festival a very good "fit" for this Pacific Ocean location.
In the photo on your left, you can see surf board covers for sale. In the picture to your right, you can see a "surfer dude" ornament made from a starfish.
In addition to the clever beach souvenirs and trinkets, you'll find art work, clothing, purses, jewelry...in other words, a variety of interesting creations that you'll find fun to browse through.
Los Angeles Area Beaches -- Huntington Beach hosts many special events, too!
The Surf City USA Marathon (formerly called the Pacific Shoreline Marathon) is an annual event that occurs every February in Huntington Beach, generally early in the morning of Superbowl Sunday. Running takes place in direct sight of the Pacific Ocean! What a view!
In the photo on your left, you see my daughter running in an along-the-beach half-marathon...which, along with a shorter 5K run, a kids fun run, and an Active Lifestyle Expo, makes up a nice suite of events.
Not only is the course scenic, but its terrain is also family-friendly, for parents who are encouraging their teens to start running with them. The course for the 5K segment is totally flat, an ideal course for beginners! Both the marathon and half-marathon courses climb, but only a very little. The races use both the Pacific Coast Highway itself, and also the beachside biking/skating/jogging path. Therefore, both the road and the bike path are closed to other traffic for awhile during the races.
If you're interested in joining in on the fun, whether as a participant, a spectator, or a volunteer, you may discover all the pertinant information you need at the Surf City USA Marathon's website, www.RunSurfCity.com
The Surf City USA Marathon is just one of MANY special events you might enjoy while visiting Huntington Beach. Throughout the year, some of the top pro and amateur tournaments in surfing and beach volleyball occur right here in Huntington Beach. There are classic car shows, "extreme sports" events (where half-pipes are erected in the beach parking lots to accommodate skateboarders, in-line skaters and bikers), festivals featuring bands, etc.
If you love a crowd, head towards the Huntington Beach pier and downtown area. And yet, if you want to AVOID a crowd while enjoying the beach, Huntington is your ideal place, as well. That 8 1/2 mile strand of sand and surf is so long, you'll nearly always be sure to find a nice, quiet spot where you can just relax and "enjoy time alone" with your family.
Huntington Beach -- Maps and Directions
Print a PDF map of Huntington Beach to carry along in your carTo get to Huntington Beach, you can take the Beach Blvd. exit off of Interstate 405. (That's why it's called BEACH Blvd...because it heads to the beach!) Other exits off I-405 head straight to the beach, as well: Golden West, Magnolia, and Brookhurst.
Coming from Long Beach? You can take the Pacific Coast Highway south.
Coming from Laguna or Newport Beach? Take the Pacific Coast Highway heading north.
Map of Orange County: If you're unfamiliar with the area, then the above instructions won't mean to much to you you've seen a map of the area. The following PDF map of Orange County will help you to see the location of Huntington Beach in relation to other popular tourist areas. The city of Huntington Beach show up on the left hand side of the map. The popular tourist attractions of Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Medieval Times are marked with red squares near the top of the map.
Google map of Huntington Beach Pier area: Many visitors feel like they haven't "seen" Huntington Beach unless they've strolled along the pier. Others prefer the pier area because of the nearby availablilty of Main Street's stores and shopping. If you're headed specifically towards the pier area, then here's the link to a Google map to the Huntington Beach Pier to use as a guide in planning out your route.
Printable PDF map of Huntington Beach: If you'd like, you may print up the following detailed PDF map of Huntington Beach (from the city's official website.) This is an in-depth, street-by-street map of the entire city, including parks, libraries, schools...and even golf courses. Although it's difficult to read the map in its smaller versions, you may easily increase the size of the map...and the street names will become easily readable.
Parking map of beach areas: Huntington Beach has a plethora of parking in comparison with many other Southern California beaches...which is one reason why this is a good city for family beach outings. In the Google Custom Map of HB's beach parking lots (to your left,) you can see that almost the entire coastline of Huntington Beach is devoted to beachside parking lots. These are wide & clean, and they're dotted with restrooms and changing booths at intervals. The popular pier area is the most congested, but even on busy summer days, you'll find many parking spots available as long as you don't mind being farther away from the pier. Beach parking lots charge one set fee for entering; you may stay for the entire day for just as much as an hour or two. For this reason, many visitors who plan to "look around & leave" try to find metered parking...where they can pay for just the time they'll actually be staying. Metered parking exists along the beach, both along the curb and in metered parking lots. These spots tend to fill up quickly during busy periods.
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