Best Tourist Trap Orange County 2008 - Huntington Beach Pier
It's crowded, usually sun-drenched (except during the May Gray and June Gloom, of course—but let's not tell the tourists about those), fun for folks of all ages and about as California Baywatch cliché as you can get. But that's what the tourists come for, so that's what the Huntington Beach Pier delivers. Cluttered stands selling doodads line the pier and prepare our tourist for the big milkshake-and-burger draw at the end—the bait of the trap, as it were. Ruby's Diner, which screams 1950s Americana and seems less like a chain because of where it's perched on the pier (even though there's another one at the end of the Seal Beach Pier just up PCH), serves diner fare that tastes better than usual with all that sea salt in the air. Old fishermen still park themselves on the pier's cement edges and cast their lines well into the evening, rarely lifting an eye to the surf competitions that go on seasonally near the south end.