Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Huntington Beach - Where Dogs Ride The Waves

Gretchen Rossi & Tamra Barney of The Real Housewives of Orange County during a friendly phase
When I think of Orange County I think of Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi, and all the other blondes and color-treated gals who make up The Real Housewives of Orange County cast. As entertained as I am on Monday nights watching the cat scratching, gulp-drinking, awkward confrontations, and odd clothing and mate choices, I forget, Orange County isn't all that. It's also sort of The Surfing Capital of Southern California. Or one of them. And it has one of the best dog beaches IN THE COUNTRY. All of this exists a mere 40 minutes drive my house. So one morning, we got up a little early, put our bathing suits on our pale white bodies, loaded the pup and some sunscreen into the car and took off.

It was the first time my dog had ever been to the ocean. At least I think so. I got him when he was about 9 months old from the pound so you never know. All I can report is he acted like he'd never touched sand, saw seagulls or sniffed seaweed before. He absolutely loved it. Minus the sand that sometimes got in his eyes.

Harry looks even a little more attractive around surfers.
Below is Kenyon. Nancy and Brian, Kenyon's owners, really inspired this first foray. They've been going to Huntington for years, staying at dog-friendly hotels, and having a blast.

Kenyon, the sweetest dog on the planet aside from my dog.
I had no idea how easy all of this was. To get there, most people go from Hollywood and take the 5 South forever. And it's only "forever" because of the traffic. I can say this because that's what we did and it was a big doggie downer. But on our way home we found ourselves on the 60 and that was a far better, more human choice. Next time, that's my plan. On the way I'll hop on the 5 South for a little bit, get onto the 60 East - I'm sure I'll be happy to see it, get on the 605 South for about 10 minutes and drop down to the 405 towards the PCH. It sounds complex but it actually works quite well and you get there without all that 5 mishegoss which, like I said, if you've experienced The 5, you know of what I speak.

You think I've watched The Californians on Saturday Night Live? 

Dude, I live it. 

Tasty Waves
I'm happy to be made fun of for my love of freeway shortcuts when the ocean is involved.

Happy fellas at the beach
Just some small but helpful tidbits of information: Dog Beach is located in Huntington Beach between Seapoint Ave. and 21st Street, along the PCH. It's open between 5AM and 10PM. There are two parking lots specifically for the dog beach area. They're between Seapoint and Goldenwest. Meters there cost $1.50 per hour and they take Visa/MC. There are other lots as well, and I'm not sure all of them take cards. As for even more specific information regarding exactly where the dog portion of the beach is, rules of the beach regarding food and conduct, events taking place, etc. here's a DOG BEACH LINK that will answer many of your questions. As for accommodations, my friends recommend The Hilton. They say, "It's clean and luxurious, especially for a place that takes dogs." 

So put on that sunscreen and...

Aloha Mr. Hand!

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