This Friday, Huntington Beach becomes ground zero for the kickoff of the 2019 AVP tour — but you already knew that. What’s the inside scoop on things to do, great places to grab food or where to find a parking spot in Huntington Beach? We asked the pros and the AVP team about some of their tips and recommendations for you. Keep reading for the lowdown.
…Inside The AVP Event
Let’s start with the obvious. The Huntington Beach Open starts serving up the action Friday, May 3rd at 9am. We’ve got the full event schedule right here.
Our advice: Regardless of what day you plan on attending, show up early to get through the event check-in area (on the Pier). This is especially the case if you purchased Club AVP tickets or Courtside Boxes. The check-in line grows quickly and we want to make sure you soak in all the sites – and we’re not just talking about the starting matches.
Here’s the layout of the venue (this is where you bookmark this article).
If you’re looking to have some fun away from the courts – or just questing for cool merch – there’s some sweet stuff worth checking out in the Sponsor Village. Here are just a couple highlights:
Wilson has a ton going on this year, onsite. First, find their booth to grab free player cards of their sponsored AVP athletes (Casey Patterson, The McKibbins, Kelly Reeves, Tri Bourne, Irene Pollock, and Stafford Slick to name a few) then jump in the photo booth to be the star of your own player card!
Next, sign your name on the 10-foot inflatable volleyball (no word yet on if that’ll be making it to the courts with the pros. Likely, not.)
Before leaving the Wilson booth, use their volleyball vending machines and customize your own AVP Official Game Ball (add your name or a phrase, whatever you can think of…within reason). How cool is that?!?!
New partner of the AVP and the brand behind “Act of KINDness” is KIND snacks. Not only will they be adding delicious bars to the event, but they’ll also be joining AVPFirst and their Community Corner event on Sunday. It’s a chance for free volleyball lessons with the pros, some awesome snacks and lots of encouragement for the kids participating.
Another new partner is Rockwell, maker of big, badass watches. Their booth will showcase their top-notch gear – including the brand spankin’ new special edition AVP branded watches you can get at the Huntington Beach Open!
Of course, nothing beats a bit of beer or wine on the beach for Cinco De Mayo weekend. While we don’t allow outside alcohol at the event, the AVP Wine & Beer Garden will be well stocked. Swing by the Stella Rosa Wine Garden or the Giant Kona Oasis this weekend (big shout out to the city of Huntington for permitting us to drink on the beach 🙌🏼). It’s a great place to buy ice cold beer or play some bar games in between matches. Or, to be honest, you get a good view of numerous outer courts as well as TVs to seen Stadium court matches, so we don’t blame you if you never leave.
Parking ProTips and Checking In
There is beach parking for five solid miles south of pier – just make sure to come early. There is also a large parking structure just off of Main Street between Walnut Ave and Olive Ave, but generally speaking, beach parking fills up quickly! (And if you’re lucky, you might be able to snag some FREE residential parking just a few blocks away from the beach.)
We can’t wait to see you all three days BUT, keep in mind that Championship Sunday gets crazy and you’ll need a little more time to navigate — Even check-in for VIP tickets. We suggest getting there as soon as the venue opens, allowing yourself time to get your tickets or put your towel down in General Admission before the first serve is up.
Tips For Down At The Beach…
Some of this is going to be obvious, but we have to say it: Bring water. While there are some shaded areas, they are available first come, first served. So plan ahead!
The weather is looking GOOD this weekend, so that means sunscreen. Our partner Klenskin will have free samples at their booth but don’t hesitate to bring your own.
Another insider tip: the Huntington Beach sand is deep and dusty so be mentally prepared for some tough walking between courts and maybe bring something to cover your face when watching between outer courts.
Getting Around Huntington Beach
Like we already told you, parking down by the beach is going to be rough. So consider looking for some of the other areas around town. On the bright side, if you plan on staying the whole day (and into the night) you can leave your car near some of the nightlife. Remember you’re only one quick cab / Uber / Lyft ride away from anywhere you need to be down here!
As for places the AVP athlete and staff like hanging out, consider making a pit stop at Legend’s Sports Bar. Its combination of good food and outdoor seating makes it a great place to chill with your feet up. And if you want to roll around the corner, you can check out The International Surfing Museum between matches 🏄🏽.
While food and drinks will be available at the event, we like supporting our local community as well! Here are some local eats we’d recommend you tasting while you’re visiting from out of town. A couple from the top of our list:
The Acai King- While you may want to stop for breakfast, 6-time AVP champion Emily Day loves ending her day here. The pro tells us, “I love getting a cold acai bowl here after playing a long day of volley. Refreshing and the perfect treat after a long day of winning 😉.”
Eat Chow – Although this is not walking distance and is a short drive down the 1, the food and the view are definitely worth it.
Sushi on Fire – This spot is a favorite dinner spot for AVP Staffers, including the social media team, in-stadium production team, and announcer Mark Schuermann. “After being on the sand all day, we walk up the street and enjoy some yummy sushi and sake, recapping how the day went.”
Sugar Shack Cafe – Since 1967, these guys have been serving up kick-ass breakfasts that’ll power you for the day. We’ve only heard it helps with hangovers 😏.
Are you a Huntington Beach local — or been in town before? We’d love to hear some of your recommendations for places you like in town. Let us know on Twitter, FB and Instagram!… And who knows? Maybe we’ll be hanging at your favorite joints this week!