As an iconic historical 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.
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 12:00 am. From Los Angeles, it's 40 miles south and about one hour without traffic.
At 1,855 feet, it's the longest pier in Orange County, California and the 5th longest on The West Coast.
Planning to visit? Here are some tips:
Fridays and Saturday nights have a big bar crowd. Tuesday nights are crowded due to the street fair Surf City Nights from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
The best time to visit the Huntington Beach Pier in California is weekday afternoons.
Bring jacket for night-time even during summer
The souvenir shops on the pier are less expensive
Check Weather: On a clear day, you can view it all
The Pier was built in 1904 by the Huntington Beach Company. It was originally constructed of pine at 1,000 feet.
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 2018 terms, the cost would now be $2,465,240.00!
Fast forward to 1930, an 8-foot extension was added with a cafe at the end. In 1939, a squall 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. By 1988, 250 feet of the end is taken out from storm surf and the pier closes.
In 1989, it was listed on the California Register of Historic Preservation.
Finally, in 1992, it reopens with completely new construction. In 1996, Ruby's Diner opens.
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Consistent surfing conditions are year round. Santa Catalina Island produces ocean swells by an effect 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 make it appealing.
The best time to go surfing is during the week.
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 State Beach.
Surfing in HB 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 weighs 6 to 7 pounds.
Surfing history accelerated with the arrival of Duke Kahanamoku. Credited as the father of modern surfing, he rode the waves 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 the first ticket.
Huntington Beach Pier Directions/Address
Navigate to the Huntington Beach Pier with the following address or map:
Address: 60 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Hours: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM
Cross street is Main Street.
Directions: From Los Angeles, take exit 18.
See parking options below.
Where to Park at Huntington Beach Pier: Lots, Strand, Promenade
How much it costs to park varies by location and whether it's during peak season or not. There may be restrictiions due to events. Read The signs carefully.
- Metered Parking. Cost is $1.50 an hour, 2 Hour Maximum. Enforcement hours are 6:00 am to Midnight.
- Pier Plaza Parking Lots consists of (2) Rates per day are $15 or $1.50 an hour.
- Main Promenade.
- Strand 155 5th St. Enter on 6th. Hours 9:00 am to midnight. First 15 mins is free. Be advised that this is a small lot.
Lot 1. 315 Pacific Coast Hwy. Tel: (714) 536-5281
Lot 2. 6th Street/PCH
Enter at Walnut/3rd or on Olive. First 30 minutes are free.
Park up to 2 hours for $1 an hour, 2 hour max.
Max Daily, Non-Peak $15
$27 for 4th of July
Flate rate of $5 after 9:00 pm. The day ends at 3:00 am. Validated parking is valied up until 9:00 PM. There are restrooms available.
Daily max is 18 or 20 depending on the time of year (peak Vs. Off Peak.
First 2 hours is $2 or $6 during Peak season. $2 or $3 each 20 min after. Monthly is $50.00. Parking Map PDF
Fishing at The HB Pier
Fishing at The Huntington Beach Pier is free. Hours are from dawn to dusk. You do not need a license, however certian rules and regulations apply:
You may not use greater than (2) two rods, hand lines, nets etc.
If you hook a fish on the pier, you can not go onto the beach to capture it unless you possess a license.
Certain fish are protected. If unsure, release. A fine can be susbstantial. See California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 671.
Examples include Great White Sharks, Garibaldi (state marine fish), Green Sturgeon, giant black sea Bass. Groupers, For questions call The Califiornia Dept of Fish & Wildlife (831) 649-2870.
To report a fishing violation in progress, call 1-888-334-2258
Where can I rent fishing rods? Let’s Go Fishing has rod rentals and bait. Tel: (714) 960-1392
Great events happen year round in downtown off main street. Here's some you don't want to miss.
1. Professional Volleyball. AVP takes place in May north and south side. General admission is free. Visit avp.com for dates.
2. US Open of Surfing.
This event occurs in late July and stretches into August. 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. vansusopenofsurfing.com
3. Kite Party In Mid March.
A kiting event open to the public. 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. kiteparty.com
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. 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. The event starts at 7:00 am. (714) 536-5486.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Time Does the Huntington Beach Pier Open or Close?
It opens at 5:00 am and closes at 12:00 midnight.
What are The Huntington Beach Pier Fishing Hours?
Hours are from dawn to dusk.
Do You Need A Fishing License?
You don't need a fishing license from a pier in California so long as it's not for commercial purposes.
HB Pier Fishing Rules:
a. No more than two rods, two lines or two nets.
b. Say you hooked a fish on the pier. You can't come onto the beach to secure it without a license or you risk a citation.
Note: Make sure you know which fish are protected!
For Full Rules: Visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing
What are the rules for the Pier?
No skateboards, roller skates, or bikes
No Jumping OFF!
Dogs are not allowed
NOTE: Originally published on April 23, 2016. Updated Jan, 2019