View of Huntington Beach, California from the pier

A Local’s Guide to Main Street Huntington Beach

Things To Do in Huntington Beach, CA

In honor of the start to the annual U.S. Open, I decided to provide visitors near and far with the inside scoop on my local hangout: Downtown Huntington Beach (aka Main Street USA). As a HB native, this is my least favorite time of the year when the city becomes overrun with tourists, teens and too many people who don’t know proper beach etiquette. But hey, if you’re going to do the U.S. Open, you’re going to to the U.S. Open right.

First things first, let’s talk parking. If you’re thinking about parking somewhere for free, good luck with that. You’d have better luck walking from your homeland to the beach if you really need to save a buck that bad. I suggest using the state beach parking lots. They’re your best shot at finding a spot in a timely manner and you get your moneys worth by avoiding early closing times and meter maids. Position wise, try to park in one of the lots before main street so you can avoid the massive herds of people roaming the streets. Disclaimer: this is specific to parking during the U.S. Open, any other time I park off a side street like Orange or Walnut for free no problem or in one of the parking structures off Main.

So you’ve parked, now what? Get your butt out on that sand and get some much needed tanning done. If you’re the type of person who likes to be dead center in all the action than either side of the pier is the place to be. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience than you’re going to have a to trek down to 17th or 20th to get away from the bulk of the crowds. A local’s word to the wise: HBPD is out for blood every single day of the week. If it looks like there’s anything other than water or soda in your cup, they’re going to hassle you. So if you’re going to drink, prepare ahead of time and put it in a water bottle that doesn’t show color.

At this point, your skin is cooked to a burnt crisp and your stomach is rumbling. But where to eat? There are plenty of options, meaning that there are plenty of tourist traps. I’m sorry, but if you eat at Fred’s, Duke’s or BJ’s you’re not doing it right.

Here are my suggestions for the best places to eat based on what you’re in the mood for:

If you’re in the mood for a good, gourmet burger at a place where it’s happy hour seven days a week, 25 degrees is your place. If you’re looking for some yummy pizza, wings and craft beer then hit up Pizza Lounge. Or maybe you need a marg and some tacos. If that’s the case then grab some grub at Dos Toros or Wahoo’s if you’re in a rush. For a more fancy dining experience try Cucina Allesá, it’s some of the best Italian food I’ve had since my trip to Italy (more on that later). If you’re like me and you love some good sushi then you must go to Sushi on Fire! It’s always crowded so you’ll probably have to wait but if you put your name on the list you can wait next door at the wine bar while you enjoy a crisp, refreshing drink.

By the way, most of these places are kid friendly! PS. Please don’t drink and drive, it’s not worth it (refer to my earlier comments on HBPD if in doubt).

That’s a wrap for now. Stay tuned for my next post for more info on how-to maneuver your way through HB nightlife. Cheers!

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