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Huntington Beach Pier: Directions, Hours

Huntington-Beach-PIer-Visitors-Guide

An iconic landmark. the Huntington Beach Pier is the crown jewel of downtown. Symbolic of surfing culture in Southern California, it dates back to the founding of the city. It has survived numerous storms causing damage five times spanning decades. It measures 1,855 feet and is the longest pier in Orange County, California. Historically preserved, it was listed on the California Register of Historic Preservation in 1989.

    Navigate to a topic below.

  1. Directions

  2. RV Camping

  3. Events

  4. Parking

  5. Surfing

Visiting encapsulates simplicity. Watch surfers, pelicans, skateboarders, or volleyball. Stay for the sunset. The Huntington Beach Pier hours are 5:00 am with curfew at midnight. From Los Angeles, it's 40 miles south and about one hour without traffic. 

If you're planing a visit, here's some tips. Fridays and Saturday nights have a big bar crowd. Tuesday nights are crowded due to the street fair Surf City Nights (5 to 9 pm). The best time to visit the Huntington Beach Pier is weekday afternoons.

  • Bring a jacket for night-time even during summer
  • The souvenir shops on the pier are less expensive

What's not allowed on the HB Pier?

  • Dogs are not allowed on the pier
  • No Smoking
  • No riding skate boards, roller skates, or bikes

Staying close to the beach? Bike rentals run $10 a day. A few rules: bikes, dogs, skateboards, smoking or jumping off are forbidden. 

The Huntington Beach Pier was built in 1904 by the Huntington Beach Company. It was originally constructed of pine at 1,000 feet long. By 1910, barnacles weakened the structure and with a winter storm in 1912, a large portion collapsed into the Pacific Ocean.

In 1914, a concrete pier took its place and the length was increased to 1,350 feet. The cost of construction was $100,000. Calculated for inflation, in 2016 terms, the cost would now be $2,365,250.00.

Fast forwarding to 1930, an 8-foot extension was added with a cafe at the end. In 1939, a Chubasco with 23 feet waves took out 300 feet. In the year 1940, repairs were made yet again increasing the length to 1,832 feet. By 1983, yet another storm destroyed 30 pilings and 500 feet of deck. 

In 1985, the pier reopens with a restaurant called the End Cafe. in the year 1988, 250 feet of the end is taken out from storm surf and the pier closes. Finally in 1992, it reopens with completely new construction. In 1996, Ruby's Diner opens.

There are 5 active piers in Orange County of various constructions.

Name of Pier Length In Feet Construction
Huntington Beach1,855Concrete
Seal Beach 1,835Wood
Newport 1,032Wood
San Clemente 1,296Wood
Balboa 919Wood


Huntington Beach Pier Directions & Address

Huntington Beach Pier
Address: 401 CA-1 Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Hours: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Cross street is Main Street. Contrary to some it does not have a designated address nor on PCH as many believe.
Directions: From Los Angeles, take exit 18.
See parking options below.

Parking

Parking for the Huntington Beach Pier is split into two lots.

  1. Pier Plaza Parking Lots. Rates per day currently are $15 or $1.50 an hour.

  2. The address is 315 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

    NOTE: Parking may be restricted due to events.

  3. Main Promenade. Enter at Walnut/3rd.
  4. First 30 minutes are free
    Park up to 2 hours free
    Max Daily, Non Peak $15
    $27 for 4th of July
    Flate rate of $5 after 9 pm.

  5. Strand. 155 Fifth Street. Enter on 6th. Hours 9:00 am to midnight.
  6. Daily max is $18
    First 2 hours is $2, $2 each 20 min after

    Parking Map PDF


Surfing History & Conditions

Consistent surfing conditions are year round. Santa Catalina Island produces ocean swells by an affect called edge diffraction. Diffraction occurs when a wave is obstructed which causes it to change direction and wrap around. Due to the beach facing south-west, it benefits from the storms off the Mexican coast. Although quality is not high, the quantity and consistency makes it appealing.

The best time to go surfing is during the week as weekends are very crowded. The winter time has the best waves and consistency. Surfing board rentals line PCH. For those who want to learn surfing, there are a number of options. Beginners are better off going to Bolsa Chica Beach.

Surfing in Huntington Beach has a long history. During the 1920s, Bill Higgins, a former Lifeguard captain, built boards out of solid redwood. Weighing around 135 pounds, they sometimes caused head injuries when lost by surfers. Today's boards weigh 6 to 7 pounds. Surfing history in Huntington Beach accelerated with the arrival of Duke Kahanamoku. Credited as the father of modern surfing, he road the waves frequently next to the HB pier in the early 1930s. A gold medal swimmer in the 1912 Olympics, he relocated to Hollywood in the 1920s. Befriending locals, they copied his surfboard design which left a lasting impact.

During the 1950's surfboard maker Gordie Duane played a prominent role in turning the city into what is now known as Surf City USA. Duane opened the first retail store selling his own boards. According to the Los Angeles Times, his shop became a hangout spot for kids who played hooky and then went surfing. As a result, the city made surfing illegal after 10 am. Duane received a ticket.

Annual Events

Seminal events happen year round. Here's some you don't want to miss.

1. Professional Volleyball. AVP takes place May 21 to 22 north and south side.

2. US Open of Surfing in late July. A week long competition, this event brings the best surfers in the world to HB. Although it's the largest event, there are many others.

3. Kite Party in Mid March. A kiting event open to the public to watch. Held two days, participants must be experienced and register. There are professional demonstrations and lessons. The event is sponsored by The Kite Connection with a store on the pier. Tel: (714) 536-3630.

4. Surf City Splash on January 1st. These brave souls take the polar plunge at high noon. Pancake breakfast starts at 9:30. This event benefits the surfing museum. Registration is $20. 411 Olive Ave. Tel: 714-698-9837.

5. Huck Finn Fishing Derby for Kids in mid August. A free event for Ages 4 to 15. Prizes provided for the largest fish caught in each bracket as well as best dressed Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher. Tel: (714) 960-8870

6. Huntington Beach Pier Swim in mid June. A race that features 16 age division even one for 65 and over. Serious business. Approximately 300 people participate. Awards are given to the top three finishers in each bracket. $25 to enter. No guts, no glory. Event starts at 7:00 am. (714) 536-5486.

RV Camping At Sunset Vista

Sunset Vista Campground is an RV park in Downtown HB that's affordable alternative to the hotels. The season runs October 1st to May 31st*. Rates are $70 a night plus a $10 admin fee. Experience great views. Be sure to lock your bikes at night.

  • Outside showers and 2 restroom facilities
  • Water and electricity: 30 and 50 amp connections
  • No RV sewer hook-up although there is a disposal station

Beach Parking & Camping
103 Pacific Coast Highway
Phone: (714) 536-5286

*NOTE: No camping is allowed during the air show. 

Hitorical Sources