Better known as Surf City, it boasts the longest uninterrupted stretch of beach on the West Coast. The city has a lot of attractions, parks, theaters, malls, and restaurants – but let’s faces it: the main attraction will always be the beach.
There are several beaches to choose from, each one with its own personality. Some of them are managed by the city and others are part of the State Park system.
Huntington City Beach (and Pier)
The Pier @ Main Street is the most popular beach in HB. It is usually very busy – and for a good reason. A wide sandy beach, very clean with fire pits and barbeques. Nice surf most days of the year and plenty of surfers making the best of it.
If you love beach volleyball, you can either jump in and play a few games – or just watch various teams beating the ball around the net.
On some days it gets too crowded on this stretch of beach because of surfing or volleyball competitions. Checkout out the calendar before you make your way here.
My favorite place is Zack’s because they have a large selection of bikes, surfboards and bodyboards. They also have a good selection of snacks and sandwiches for the hungry.
If you don’t feel like fast food, you can walk a few steps to several good restaurants. Two of them are right on the beach. Others are on Main Street.
Parking can be a challenge. Especially on the weekend. If you get here early enough, you might be lucky to find a parking spot right on the beach. Otherwise, just head to one of the parking structures around Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway - or part at Pacific City Mall.
Huntington Dog Beach
A paradise for dogs and dog lovers. It is located along Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint Ave and 21st Street, right under a cliff.
Even if you don’t own a dog you can come here to watches dogs training their owners how to catch a Frisbee or a ball.
Bolsa Chica State Beach
One of the best beaches for swimmers and beginner surfers. The shallow waters prevent the waves from getting too high, which also makes it ideal for families with smaller children.
This beach is located along Pacific Coast Highway between Warner Avenue and Seapoint Street – to the north of the pier.
Across the street, you can find Bolca Chica Wildlife Preserve. A protected wetlands area with a large variety of birds, small animals, and plants. Read more here
Huntington State Beach
At this beach, you will find a lot of fire rings, Barbeques, restrooms and showers. It is also wheelchair accessible – with ramps and designated disabled parking areas.
This is located along Pacific Coast Highway, between Beach Boulevard and Brookhurst Street – to the south of the Pier.
Huntington Beach has one of the best beach bike trails in Orange County. It is paved, safe and very long. The trail starts from the Santa Ana River at the south end of the state beach and runs through the city of HB, then continues north through Bolsa Chica state beach. It runs for 8 miles of mostly level and paved ground.
You can extend your ride by continuing through Sunset Beach to the north or Newport Beach to the south.
You don't have to bring your own bike. You can rent one at Zack's.
Cars and bikes are not allowed on the pier, so you can enjoy a peaceful stroll on the pier. Along the way, you will find a few shops offering souvenirs and kites.
A new shop opened close to the tip of the pier that offers fishing supplies and rentals. You can grab everything you need to start fishing.
Towards the end of the pier, you will find Ruby’s restaurant. The food is acceptable, but the views are amazing.
When you reach Ruby’s, this is not the end of the Pier. Keep going around it to get to the very tip of the pier and enjoy an unobstructed view of the ocean.
Pacific City Mall
The mall has some anchor stores like H&M and Tommy Bahama as well as unique boutiques like Chico Hats and Molly Brown's Swimwear.
You can also find some great restaurants like Ola Mexican Kitchen which serves tasty Mexican fare with amazing views of the ocean.
Another good choice for dinner is the Old Crow Smokehouse which serves a variety of barbequed meats and fish.
- Sun, Sand & Surf: The Ultimate Guide To Orange County Beaches
- Afoot & Afield Orange County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide
- Huntington Beach - Then and Now
Ola Mexican Kitchen
The food and service are excellent. We especially like their Lobster and Shrimp Enchiladas, Fish Tacos, and Ribeye Fajitas.
The complimentary chips and salsa are more than enough for starters, but you can choose a more filling appetizer from the extensive menu.
The complete this delicious meal, we always order the Tres Leches, a traditional Mexican buttercake made with three kinds of milk.
21040 Pacific Coast Hwy F200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Bluegold is another restaurant with a great view at the Pacific City Mall in Huntington Beach. This one offers new American Cusine with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. Menu items vary depending on availability.
We recently tried their breakfast while admiring views of the beach and the pier from the floor to ceiling windows.
We ordered scrambled eggs and an omelet. They were both fluffy and tasty. The dishes come with salad, but if you prefer you can order your favorite style of potatoes.
If you are an early riser though, then this place is not for you. They open for breakfast at 9 am.
21016 Pacific Coast Hwy d200, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
On a recent visit, we sat at the balcony and enjoyed our brunch while gazing at the pier and the surf.
We tried the Socal Breakfast Burrito and the Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos. Both were very tasty and filling. I especially liked the burrito wich was stuffed with Eggs, Onion, Bacon, Red Pepper, Cheese, Fries and Avocado.
The finalie was a baked cockie with bread puding and vanilla ice cream.500 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA
Huntington Beach hosts many popular events throughout the year. Check their calendar here to up-to-date info.
Here are some of the events worth mentioning:
The Great Pacific Air Show
The air show is a big event with three jet teams from three countries and more than two million people attending the three-day event. Every year a different group of flyer teams is assembled to provide an amazing spectacle for the millions of viewers.
The event can last up to 4 hours on each day and is mostly free to attend. You can claim a spot on the beach to enjoy the show. But if you prefer you can pay from $30 to $1600 for a reserved viewing area. Get more details here. https://pacificairshow.com/
Every Friday 10 am to 7 pm. Arts, crafts, and handmade gifts. Sometimes extended into the weekend.
Surf City Nights:
Every week on Tuesday 5 pm to 9 pm. Farmer's market, bounce house, street performers (musical and non-musical acts), restaurant samplings, sidewalk sales and specials from local restaurants
Surf City Blues, Brews & BBQ:
At the microbrewery "Brew Bakers". Every 3rd Saturday.
Bolsa Chica Wetlands and Mesa Tour:
Every third Sunday of every month (10 a.m.)
4th of July Parade
A 2-hour parade that starts from PCH and Main and a fireworks show at 9 PM.Huntington Beach, CA
300 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Surf city website www.surfcityusa.com
Official city website: www.huntingtonbeachca.gov
Some photos are from Wikipedia