Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Livin in LA - Vacation in Huntington Beach

As part of M&F's ongoing series 'Livin in LA - Vacation in LA'.

Huntington Beach is one of M&F's favorite cities in Southern California, and if we didn't love Hollywood, this might be where we would want to live.

According to Mapquest, the drive from Hollywood to Huntington Beach should take about an hour, but due to freeway traffic in LA, it took closer to 2 hours to drive there, and even longer to come back.  The inland section of Huntington Beach is like a giant suburb, and Beach Blvd. is filled with auto dealers and chain restaurants.  This is not the appealing part.  But the closer one drives towards the beach, the more that the city seems to take on a personality of its own.

The Huntington Beach that is next to the beach is just about perfect.  There are no costal homes or hotels along Huntington Beach because the PCH highway separates the community from the beach itself.  This seems to give the area a more public feeling than other beaches.  For visitors, you can pay for metered parking next to the beach or park a few blocks inland and hoof it like the locals, with an easy 5 minute walk to the sand.

Nearly everyone appeared young and good looking in HB.  Guess this is in large part because the pretty people of Huntington Beach are living right and taking care of their bodies.   There almost seems to be a dress code among the dudes living in Huntington Beach--and a dark t-shirt, skate shorts, and street wear hat constitues the required apparel.  As for the girls . . . well, there are more pretty girls here than any other area M&F has visited in Los Angeles.  The hottest girls look like models, and the 'average' girls are still pretty stunning.  There must be an ordinance against ugly girls in HB because there were none.

The best part about Huntington Beach is the dog beach.  Sponsered by DogBeach.org (Support!--it runs on donations), the HB dog beach stretches out for more than 2 miles north of the city.  Because there is enough space to walk and stretch out, it truly feels like a day at the beach, not at the dog park.   The dogs love the beach, and seem to respond to the off-leash freedom.  We have never seen an over-agressive dog here.  The dogs and their owners intermix peacefully with picnicking families and surfers all through the area.  Seriously, if you have a dog the HB dog park is a must visit and one of the best perks about living in LA~

The worst part about Huntington Beach is the constant presence of oil rigs.  Oil drilling was happening everywhere--next to people's houses in the neighborhoods, next to the beach, and even at huge stations planted in the middle of the ocean a few hundred yards off the coast.  It makes one wonder how healthy the environment is, even if the people who live here appear to be taking such good care of their bodies.

The street scene in Huntington Beach seems to draw a double line between stickers and graffiti.  The graffiti gets buffed right away.  Only scars of tags are left riding.  Stickers, on the other hand, do not get buffed and there are many huge combos that can be found throughout the city.  Perhaps this distinction is rooted in the fact that HB is a beach community, and therefore surf and skate stickers are inherent, which apparently makes it cool to tolerate street stickers, as well.  Thanks to a tip from CR M&F did swing by the sticker heaven that is TK Burger.  More pics of the street art from HB coming up.

The strangest thing about Huntington Beach on the day that we visited was a deep marine fog layer.  It was a gorgeous and sunny day 2 miles inland, but situated along the coast was a thick foggy marine layer that would thin out and then re-intensify as it rolled in waves.  It made for a strange day at the beach, but also led to some really great photos.   Click the jump for a super pic-heavy pictorial of M&F's vacation in Huntington Beach!

^above: M&F's Editor Greg and Shasta enjoying the Huntington Beach Sunset.

This is the inland Huntington Beach--a land of suburbs, chain restaurants, and auto dealers.  Also notice how nice the sky is before hitting the marine layer.

^As the drive got closer to the beach, you could see the marine layer begin . . .

^ . . . and then begin to intensify . . .

^ . . . and then all of a sudden you became swallowed up in the fog.  The temperature dropped 10 degrees and it looked like this! (seriously, just a couple minutes drive from the beautiful blue skies inland!)

^Huntington Bvld--and in the following photo you can see the buffed over scars of some tags from the PCHC-or the Pacific Coast Highway Club.  PCHC has made it up to Melrose and surrounding areas.  Very cool how these guys are tributing this area with the name.  Also interesting how they call it club not 'crew'.  Guess its like a country club living down here, and even the graffiti is exclusive in the OC!

^An oil rig drilling next to a house and some apartments in HB.

^Huntington Beach Crude--how'd you like this truck for a neighbor?

^A look inside the fence at the neighborhood drilling facility.  Once again, notice a woman leaving the house next door and the apartment complex in back.  Seems strange situated homes so close to active industry.

^The marine layer would come in waves, and this pic shows how the right side is out of the fog, while the left is just getting swept up in it.

^The neighborhoods in HB had a sleepy, suburban feel.  Local support is high for the Huntington Beach High School.  (Really? HB's mascot is the Oilers?  It might fit but it still sucks.)

^A lonely lifeguard station, alone in the fog.  Dig the bird flying in the pic.

^Same spot, a moment later after the fog somewhat lifted.  Strange how intense it was, and how quickly it changed!

^When you see a sign that says 'Drains to Ocean' next to a grate in your inland neighborhood, remember this is what it means.  Literally sewage from the streets spilling out into the ocean.  This is an eyesore, and another community health risk.

^A dog family walking in the fog.

^A hottie going for a bikini-jog, next to a dude walking his dog.

^Shasta finds a friend!

^Dead or dying fish in a bucket.  They look small.  Can these fish even be eaten?

^Eh, the fishermen did have to work hard for their fish.  They were standing right at the ocean break along the shore and this was a calm moment, as the waste high waves were pushing them everywhere.

***This is Part 1 of the Livin in LA - Vacation in Huntington Beach pictorial.  Check out Part 2!***

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