Huntington Beach is accustom to big crowds, but there are only so many parking spaces available and a mass of people flood into Surf City during the Vans US Open of Surfing.
Beachfront parking will be at a premium and tough to score, but there are several big parking structures that dot the downtown area that will get you close to the action. Get lucky and you may even find meter parking that you can swoop into on the streets.
The biggest tip: Get there early. The later you wait, the more frustrating it will be as the lots fill up.
Here are some places to park if you’re new to navigating the US Open of Surfing:
The Pier Plaza parking lots, both north and south of the pier, will get you close to the action, but be warned many of the spots are held for staff and athletes. If you can nab a spot, expect to pay $2 an hour or $15 daily max.
There are spots close to the sand along Pacific Coast Highway, with metered spots from Goldenwest Boulevard to Beach Boulevard that cost $2 an hour.
If you don’t mind a bit of a trek along the beach trail, try the lots near Huntington Dog Beach between Seapoint Street and Goldenwest, and then walk south toward the pier. The parking lots there feature electronic parking meters that print out parking passes for your dashboard. The cost is $2 an hour.
Another option is to park at the Huntington State Beach at Beach Boulevard and PCH, and walk north toward the pier. Day use passes there are $15. It’s a bit of a trek, but especially worth it if you already have a State Parks annual pass.
Downtown structures are a great option that also allow you to stroll through part of the city and do some shopping and eating after watching the action on the sand.
The 5th & PCH center’s lot at 155 Fifth St., has an entrance off of Sixth Street. It is open 24 hours with a daily maximum of $25. You can also valet for $6 for the first two hours and $2 for every 20 minutes after that, with a maximum rate of $20.
The Main Promenade structure, on the east side of Main Street between Walnut and Olive streets, has 830 spaces. Special event rates apply during the US Open, with a maximum daily rate of $20.
Pierside Pavilion, between 2nd Street and Main Street on Walnut Avenue, has 267 parking spaces and charges $6 an hour, with a $24 maximum for the day.
If you want to stay away from downtown, another option is to park at Pacific City just south of the pier at 21010 Pacific Coast Highway. Parking is $2 for every 20 minutes, with a $35 max at the sixth hour. There are discounts if you do some shopping.
Source: Orange County Register