One night in Huntington Beach, CA–Big Trip #4

We visited Huntington Beach in late October 2022, as part of Big Trip #4.

beach walk on Huntington City Beach
walking along the beach, before we were politely informed that Bugsy is not allowed there

Huntington Beach was a last-minute addition to our itinerary, added when we learned our friend Sara from VA was going to be in the next town on business. We lucked into a sweet campsite and had a great time in town, after a pretty hairy drive from Ventura through LA to get there.


Bugsy in her front yard at our campsite
Bugsy admiring the beach from her yard

We stayed at Huntington Beach RV Campground, a glorified beachfront parking lot next to Huntington City Beach. Campsites have power and water, and the campground has a dump station, but no real other amenities–except the ocean in the front yard.

the Airstream in the campground, viewed from the beach
looking at the Airstream’s front row campsite, from the beach

Our last-minute campsite was in the front row closest to the beach and it was wonderful except for the fact that the people in our site before us left dog doo everywhere. Considerate! The beach outside the campground is very wide and dotted with public fire pits.

beach view from the Airstream
the view out of our front door

The campground is walkable to downtown and adjacent to the bike path that follows the beach for miles. You know how Bugsy loves the beach… well, at this campsite, the beach outside our door was not dog-friendly. Boooo. There’s a dog beach a bit north of the Pier, but we didn’t have time to go there.

What we did

Since we were in Huntington Beach so briefly, I’m going to format this post differently and just walk you through our evening and the next morning.


Our campsite wasn’t ready when we arrived so we left the Airstream in a city lot down the street and walked over to F45 for a workout. This was our first F45 experience; we’ve now done a handful of F45 workouts around the country, and Coach Dorota in Huntington Beach is the best F45 coach we’ve had.

Downtown stroll

downtown Huntington Beach
downtown Huntington Beach

After setting up in our campsite, we walked Bugsy over to downtown Huntington Beach, a few blocks away. Downtown was cute and pedestrian-friendly, and full of shops and restaurants.

Dinner and drinks in Newport Beach

Sara was staying in Newport Beach, ten minutes from Huntington Beach, so we Ubered down there to meet her for dinner and drinks. Ritzy Newport Beach, as you may recall, was the setting for The OC. I’m sure you already realized that, though.

harborside cocktail at Lido Bottle House
harborside cocktail at Lido Bottle Works

We had a drink at Lido Bottle Works with the post-work hipster crowd. It was fun to feel posh sitting outsite and admiring the yachts in the harbor.

veggies at Fable and Spirit
delicious veggies at Fable and Spirit

From Lido we walked over to Fable and Spirit on the recommendation of a local colleague. What a great spot! The food and service were great, and it was just a really cool place.

Helmsman dive bar in Newport Beach
dive bar for nightcap

The bartender at Fable and Spirit sent us to Helmsman for a nightcap. It’s a cool dive bar with a good cocktail list, sports on TV, and a trivia night.

Morning run

along the Huntington Beach bike path
mid-run view along the beachfront bike path
under the Huntington Beach Pier
mid-run requisite artsy shot under the pier

The obvious place to go for a run if you’re staying in Huntington Beach RV Campground is along the beachfront bike path. It’s a lovely place to run, if a bit crowded, and it was fun to watch the surfers.

Breakfast and coffee

Sessions deli in Huntington Beach
avocado toast with a palm tree view

For breakfast, we walked back to downtown and had avocado toast at Sessions, a very California-feeling cafe. It’s a nice little spot and so close to home.

Java Point coffee in Huntington Beach
of course there’s a coffee shop in a surf store!

After breakfast, we grabbed coffee for the drive from Java Point, located in a surf shop, of course.

Drive to Carlsbad

J’s meetings in Carlsbad are the reason we added all this California stuff into our itinerary! It’s our next stop, an hour south of Huntington Beach.

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