When you think of Huntington Beach, I’m betting the term ‘Surf City, USA’ comes to mind. As home to the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, world’s largest surfboard and annual US Open competition, it’s hard to think of it as anything else. But this city has much more to offer than what you hear in the classic Beach Boys song. If you want to live like a local but still get the essential Huntington Beach experience, I’ve planned a day for you.
Like most cities, Main Street is where everything happens. Lined with boutiques, restaurants, spas and more leading down to the iconic Huntington Beach pier, this street has (literally) everything. Though with any city, especially tourist destinations, there are places that are worth the visit and ones to avoid. Luckily, I’ve experienced the good, the bad and everything in between, so you don’t have to.
First things first: coffee. Start your morning at Milk & Honey (stay tuned for more on that later). This little café has the best coffee in downtown, and is known for their delicious Lavender Latte. Take it to-go and start your stroll down towards the waterfront, taking in the fresh ocean air. For HB’s best breakfast, head to the famous Sugar Shack, which has been on Main Street for almost 50 years and has definitely become a landmark. However, be prepared to wait. This place is always bustling with tourists and locals alike, but I can say, it’s well worth it.
After breakfast, it’s time for some shopping. Downtown is home to a wide range of stores, with favorites like Forever 21 as well as cute one-of-a-kind boutiques. There’s also every surf/skate shop you can imagine, including Rip Curl, Quicksilver, Active and more, with HB’s own Jacks Surf Shop leading the pack. I personally love American Vintage (on Main) and Love Lola (on PCH) for the fellow trend obsessed.
Then, what better way to end a day of shopping and sightseeing than with a cocktail? Head up to the waterfront, turn left, and head upstairs to BLK. When I say BLK is a hidden gem, I am not exaggerating. A little bit off the main drag, this new restaurant offers an impressive menu of upscale American food and drink. From classic margaritas to specialized Moscow Mules, it satisfies all types of taste buds. Oh, and did I mention the absolutely stunning view? Lounge on the rooftop patio and watch the sunset for a truly unforgettable evening.
What’s your favorite spot in downtown Huntington Beach? Share your experience in the comments!