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Take a Day Trip to Huntington Beach

By Edited Jun 9, 2014 1 2

Hang Loose in Surf City USA

And Discover All The Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Anyone who remembers the old Beach Boys songs from the 1960s will remember "Surf City USA." The actual Southern California community referred to in the song is the city of Huntington Beach, California. This lovely beach community is over 100 years old, and has been enjoying decades of endless waves and fabulous surf since long before its founding. If you want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, then Surf City is the place for you. Listed below are some of the activities which you might find enjoyable during your day at the beach.

Surfing in Southern California

Huntington City Beach

The City Beach is 3.5 miles long and is considered one of the top beaches on the West Coast. Experienced surfers, including those from the USA Surf Team, find the swells to be particularly challenging. At the same time, along the shoreline families can enjoy swimming, picnics, bonfires and playing in the water.                     

The Strand at Huntington Beach Park consists of 8.5 miles of paved boardwalk, passing alongside the beach. The strand is wide enough for bicycling, skating, jogging, or just taking an evening stroll at sunset.

At the north end of City Beach is a dog beach where you can let your dog off the leash to run and play on the sand and in the water. Our family members have enjoyed many pleasant hours strolling along this beach, watching our daughter's dog frolic along the shore with many other canine friends. The beach is so open and long, that dog conflicts are rare.

If you are not familiar with the City of Huntington Beach, you may also want to check out some guide books:

Quick Amazon link to Huntington Beach guide books.

Huntington Beach Pier

During your day in Huntington Beach, you can stroll the length of Huntington Pier. This 1850 foot long pier is at the foot of Main Street, on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Highway. The pier has actually existed at that spot since 1904, although it has been rebuilt several times. It is one of the longest piers in California. You can fish from the pier, or shop at the Surf City Store and The Kite Connection. If you do want to fish, there is a bait and tackle shop located on the pier. You can go there to rent fishing rods and reels. You don't even need a fishing license to fish from the Huntington Beach pier.

Huntington Beach Rules

Like any beach town, even the Huntington Beach City Park has to have a few rules. In general, you should know that the beach closes at 10 p.m., alcohol and smoking are not allowed on the beaches, glass containers are not allowed, fires are only permitted in the fire rings, and you cannot surf in an area where a black flag is on display.


There are plenty of restaurants across the street from the beach, along the Pacific Coast Highway and on Main Street. You can find anything from a Dairy Queen or a Starbucks in the area, to Wahoo's Fish Tacos, sushi restaurants, and fresh, wholesome California cuisine. You may even want to try to catch a patio table at the Sugar Shack, a popular Huntington Beach restaurant that has been around since the 1960s. Breakfast there is particularly popular. If you are in the mood for some Hawaiian food, go to Duke's, known for its traditional Hawaiian cuisine and fabulous ocean views.


While visiting the area around Main Street and the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach, you'll want to stroll in and out of the local shops in the area. Mixed in with the coffee shops, pubs and restaurants you'll enjoy darling boutiques, gift shops, souvenir shops and clothing stores of all types. This is a great place to find a souvenir of your day in Surf City.

There are other great places to shop around Huntington Beach, as well. You may want to go to the Bella Terra Shopping Center near the 405 Freeway at Beach Boulevard where you can shop in an adorable shopping center with water fountains and cobblestone walkways designed to recreate an Italian Tuscan village. Or, you may want to try the shopping center that has been voted one of the Best in Orange County, 5 Points Plaza at the intersection of Main Street and Beach Boulevard.

Huntington Harbour

If you are a boating enthusiast, you'll want to visit the secluded port of Huntington Harbour. You can either dock your own boat there, or you can rent a variety of watercraft including kayaks, canoes, inflatable rafts, pedal boats and hydro bikes. What a wonderful way to enjoy the plentiful wildlife in the area.

Visit the International Surfing Museum and Surfing Walk of Fame

Huntington Beach is famous world wide as a place for surfers to congregate and practice their sport. To celebrate this spirit, you may want to visit the International Surfing Museum at 411 Olive Avenue in Huntington Beach. Among the exhibits you will find there is a surfboard that was once owned by Duke Kahanamoku, considered the father of surfing, a camera that Bruce Brown used to film the movie "Endless Summer," old photos and posters, and a Dick Dale guitar, all while enjoying surfing music.

In addition, you may want to see the handprints and footprints of famous surfers that have been cast in cement along the sidewalk in front of Huntington Surf and Sport near the corner of Main Street and the Pacific Coast Highway, and explore the nearby Surfing Walk of Fame.

More Fun Things to Do in Huntington Beach

There are plenty of things to do in Huntington Beach. If swimming, surfing and fishing are not on your agenda during your day trip to Huntington Beach, there are plenty of other activities to keep your busy. You might want to visit the Huntington Beach Central Park at 18000 Goldenwest Street. It 350 acres of open space and includes an equestrian center, soccer fields, playgrounds, and two lakes. In addition, there is an Adventure Playground where young children can raft on a small pond, go down a mudslide, or play on a rope bridge. For the adults, there is also a golf course in Huntington Central Park, as well as other golf courses nearby.

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do during a day trip to Huntington Beach. The most important activity you should plan is to just have fun. This city is meant for it!

If you are going on vacation to Southern California, you may also want to read some of these articles:

Top 10 Things To Do In Laguna Beach

Top 10 Things To Do In Newport Beach California

Top 6 Things To Do Near Disneyland

Scuba Diving Adventures in Laguna Beach

New Attractions at Southern California Theme Parks

Enjoy the Laguna Beach Summer Art Festivals

Take a Ferry to Catalina Island

Both Residents and Tourists Will Enjoy this Fascinating Book



Jul 5, 2011 2:54pm
I used to live in Huntington Beach and loved the fire pits at night after most of the beach-goers had gone home. Thanks for the fun article. I wasn't aware of the hand and footprints!
Jul 21, 2011 4:50am
With so many beaches to see in Southern California it is easy to miss some of them. Your article on Huntington Beach has made this a must-see beach when I next visit the West Coast area of California. Good stuff.
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