My family has a habit of going to Huntington Beach to celebrate 4th of July, and this past weekend was no different.

Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade

Every 4th of July, this Surf City hosts an all-day celebration that has its streets jam-packed with visitors not just here for the sand and beach, but for its annual 4th of July parade, free live music entertainment, and fireworks right off its pier.

My mother-in-law has a lovely condo practically right on the sand, within easy stroll to the waves of the pacific, the pier, and the lively main street full of trendy restaurants and shops.

Beach Condo

We can simply leave our car in the parking garage for 3 days, walk to the parade, walk to restaurants, and best of all, 5 or 10 minutes before the fireworks start, we simply walk out of the condo with our beach chairs, plop down somewhere in front of the pier, watch the fireworks, and walk back home to sleep, leaving the massive crowd to hike to their cars, and sit in bad traffic to get back home. This is by far the most stress-free way for us to view the 4th of July fireworks–if we ignore the 6 hours drive to get to Huntington Beach.

The city closes its major streets along the beach to get ready for its 10AM parade. We woke up at 8:00AM, to bring our beach chairs to claim front row seats on the parade route. As we sat there sipping our coffee, and eating donuts waiting for the parade to start, we were entertained by bikers and runners often dressed in patriotic attire taking advantage of the open street.

5k Runner

The parade started almost promptly at 10AM, and for two hours, the streets were lined with troops of marching bands, cheerleaders, fire engines, soldiers in camouflage uniforms, Humvees, old styled cars, tall horses, and even miniature horses all decked out in cheerful red, white, and blue.

Huntington Beach High Cheerleaders

Old Car

Fire Truck

Skater Float

WWII troop

Miniture Horse

All were cheered on by spectators waving American flags that crowded both sides of the street. With the majestic Pacific Ocean as the parade’s backdrop, and soaring show-planes in the skies, a sense of patriotic pride was abundant in this beach town.

Jets in the air

After the parade, we had all American burgers and hot dogs lunches purchased from the street vendors by the pier, and spent the rest of the afternoon building sand castles, and catching nice waves with our boogie boards. And then spent way too much time in the pool.

After dinner at a sea-view restaurant, we joined the crowd on the Main Street, holding on to ice cream cones, which we licked fast.

Huntington Beach Main Street

Just before 9PM, we each took a beach chair, and walked out to the beach. We had no trouble finding an empty spot for ourselves by the pier even though it was packed, thanks to the massiveness of sandy Huntington Beach. I loved seeing the fireworks close, when the fireworks exploded into an expanding ball of bright colors, it felt as if you can just reach up and touch it.

Fireworks off of the pier

The next morning, the beach was peaceful and quiet, only a few surfers could be seen on the waves. We packed into our car, and spent the day driving back home.

Peaceful morning on the beach

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