Orange County Beach Tour
Huntington Beach is my hometown and I try to visit at least once per year. I’ve amassed a decent amount of Huntington Beach images over the past 14(?) years since I became more serious about photography, and I’m always tempted to go back to the pier for a few more. In recent visits, I’ve tried to expand my horizons and make a greater effort to visit the other beach cities between Long Beach and Dana Point.
The Huntington Beach segment of this trip was a whirlwind of photo excursions mixed with family and friend visits. Having not seen many CA friends since pre-covid days, it was nice to both catch up socially as well as have some scenic photo excursions.
Here’s a bit of a Orange County photo dump:
Day 1: Sunrise at Seal Beach
I’ve always meant to get photos from Seal Beach since it’s the closest pier to the north of Huntington Beach, but the shuttered restaurant on the end of the pier burned down in 2016 which led to several years of repairs and construction. I believe the pier has been fixed for a couple years now so I made sure to make it down there for sunrise.
Day 1: Sunset at Long Beach
I know Long Beach isn’t in Orange County but it’s the north end of the range I’m willing to drive from Huntington Beach so I tend to lump it in with the rest of my Orange County wanderings.
We met a friend in Long Beach for dinner and drinks so decided to do a photo excursion beforehand. We started over by the Queen Mary and thought about moving across the river but eventually decided to take it easy and let the kids run around before we tried to get them to sit down for dinner. It seems like there’s a lot of construction on the Long Beach skyline so it wasn’t the best photo op anyway. Here’s a few images from around the Queensway Bay, and I’ll also double post a few images of the Long Beach skyline taken from Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, respectively.
Day 2 (and a little Day 4): Balboa Sunrise
I’ve gone to Newport Beach for sunset quite a few times, but for some reason I’d never really made it over to the Balboa pier — I decided to remedy that this trip, making sure to get both images of the pier as well as some of the other nearby spots like the Balboa Island Ferry & Balboa Fun Zone. I also stopped by again later in the week when I went to the Newport Beach pier for sunrise and got a few extra pictures of the Balboa pier with morning clouds.
Day 2 & Day 3: Huntington Beach Sunset & Sunrise
Obviously I had to go to Huntington Beach. I ended up there for both sunset and sunrise, although neither was particularly noteworthy. There was a surf competition that weekend which meant there was a lot of structures set up south of the pier. It also just doesn’t look the same without the Ruby’s sign.
Day 3: Dana Point/Laguna Beach Sunset
Probably the best sunset of the trip and we failed at being in position for the afterglow. We drove to Dana Point thinking we’d go to the Dana Point Headlands, but upon arriving there realized that the trail area is only open 8am-4pm on Tues/Thurs/Sat. I took some photos from the road, and we decided to go to Laguna Beach for sunset instead. It was a Saturday night and downtown Laguna seemed crazy busy (as one would expect) so we decided to go to Crescent Bay Point Park. The view towards Laguna Beach was accessible, but there was a memorial service in the area with the sunset-facing views so after sky color faded over Laguna we decided to start the drive home. Of course it ended up being the one day of our trip with amazing color after the sunset and we watched it… from the car on PCH. Oh well!
Day 4: Newport Beach Sunrise
I decided to visit Newport Beach again for sunrise, this time starting at the Newport Beach pier, taking in a scenic cloudy sunrise with a lot of nice reflections. I also did a quick stop by the Balboa pier to get some images with clouds, then went home to pack up and head to Burbank for family visits then onwards to Santa Monica.