Veronica Hill of California Travel Tips shares her guide to Huntington Beach — also known as Surf City USA! Stretching 8 1/2 miles between Newport Beach on the south, and Sunset Beach on the north, Huntington Beach is one of Southern California top summer destinations.
The city got its nickname for its famous surf, which boasts the most consistent waves in California — and on the West Coast.
Huntington Beach Pier — located on PCH at Main Street — is where you’ll find most of the action. Many of the Huntington Beach restaurants, surf shops, and attractions are found near the pier, making it a great place to start your visit.
The Surfing Hall of Fame is modeled after Graumann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. It pays tribute to the world’s best surfers, including Duke Kahanamoku. Check out the famous hand and footprints of surf legends like Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton and Corky Carroll, then walk over to Olive Street for a peek inside the International Surfing Museum.
Kahanamoku introduced surfing to the area in 1925, and the city has stayed true to its roots, hosting the renowned US Open of Surfing each July.
In February, more than 20,000 runners join their annual Surf City Marathon — a Boston qualifier with a stunning oceanfront course. And in September, charming Old World Village puts on one of the best Oktoberfests in Southern California, complete with dachshund races and authentic German cuisine.
Plan to stay the weekend, or even better an entire week, in HB. Three Huntington Beach hotels sit right on PCH, including the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, and the boutique Shorebreak Hotel. If you have an RV, check out Sunset Vista Campground, which is as close as you’ll get to the pier, or Bolsa Chica State Beach up the road.
Now when you’re down on the beach, you’ve got to try their famous cheese strips — also known as strips and cheese. They’ve been around for 50 years and can be found on almost every snack stand along the shore.
Huntington Beach Pier is one of the West’s longest public piers, stretching 1,850 feet in length. After walking to the end, reward yourself with a classic burger, milkshake or fries from Ruby’s Diner — or head across the street for an affogato or scoop of gelato from Mangiamo Caffe.
One of our favorite places to eat is Duke’s Restaurant — named after the famous Hawaiian surf legend. Come here during happy hour and you can get half off some of their best dishes.
Although surfing is definitely big, there are plenty of other things to do in HB. You can go cycling along 8 1/2 miles of boardwalk, play a game of volleyball on the sand, or take your pooch to Huntington Dog Beach at Goldenwest and PCH. (The Hilton Waterfront and Shorebreak Hotels are dog friendly!)
The 1,200-acre Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve — also known as the Bolsa Chica Wetlands — is an important migratory and nesting spot for birds, hosting over 300 different species. The Bolsa Chica interpretive center is open from 9 to 4 daily, where you can catch the scenic Mesa Trail. On the south lot, you can cross the wooden bridge to the Loop Trail, which travels 1 1/2 miles around the estuary. Public tours of Bolsa Chica are offered the first and second Saturdays of the month.
Around sunset, set up your beach chairs for a s’more roast and bonfire around one of the 600 fire pits in Huntington Beach. There’s no better way to end your visit!
Thanks for joining us in Huntington Beach. I’ll see you next time!
Veronica Hill’s California Travel Tips is a division of CaliforniaTravelExpert.com. Check out Veronica’s travel app guide to California, the California Essential Guide, for iTunes and Google Play on Sutro Media.
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