Huntington Beach has been named one of the “Best City to Live in Orange County” by the Orange County Register several years running and it’s easy to see why. It is a charming community with ideal weather, with a strong economy overflowing with a variety of good jobs, a wide range of housing options, and an excellent educational system. Though it is known for its outstanding, year-round surfing, HB is much more than that! In addition to the beach, it has numerous city parks where you can enjoy the always sunny weather. You can also boat, fish, stroll the beach (even bring your dog to the Huntington Dog Beach.) As far back as I can remember, Huntington was always the go-to beach for everything from suntanning, to surfing to just strolling on the sand enjoying the beautiful sites, sounds and even smells of this gorgeous Southern California Beach town!
Many of the events at Huntington Beach are focused around the beach during the summer. The U.S. Open of Surfing is featured on the south side of the pier. Huntington Beach is a stop on the AVP beach volleyball tour. All year round, you can find special events here that you won’t want to miss. They have the Huntington Beach Film Festival where you can watch 4 days of movie screenings and talk to the filmmakers themselves. Or come celebrate the close connection that surf culture and cars have shared over the years at the Beachcruiser Meet – relive the past with some classic woodie station wagons, Volkswagen Bugs and many other cars one associates with beaches and surfing! Speaking of cars, you might want to check out the Concours d’Elegance for great car show featuring a wide range of cars and motorcycles. If you’re a fan of dogs like my family is, you definitely don’t want to miss Corgi Beach Day in celebration of everything we love about this adorable breed or the Surf City Surf Dog event – an actual surf contest for dogs! If you prefer something faster (and louder) come down to the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow – the only beachfront airshow on the West Coast. Or come down to Main Street any Tuesday night for Surf City Nights and enjoy a local farmer’s market, craft vendors, entertainment and more. It’s always a lively event and a great way to spend an evening with family or friends!
And that just barely scratches the surface of all there is to do in this magnificent beach town! You can explore the Bolsa Chica Wetlands or visit the Shipley Nature Center to get your nature fix. Or you can take surfing lessons, rent a bike to cruise the beach, enjoy a beach bonfire – any activity you can think of that you associate with a great beach, you can find here.
With so many great options in Huntington Beach, it’s hard to decide where to go first! Since it’s Surf City we’re talking about, let’s start close to the beach. Main Street Huntington Beach provides a vibrant mix of surf shops, souvenir shops, vintage stores and more. It’s also peppered with a terrific array of eateries to satisfy everybody’s cravings and provide a nice respite from all of the shopping. I can’t possibly name ALL of the great shops here but some of the standouts are: Jack’s Surfboards, Rockin Fig Surf Headquarters, and Jax Bicycle Center – all are fixtures in downtown and really sum up what the culture of the beach is all about. While you’re there you will find a restaurant for every palate – from sushi to steaks to tacos and more!
If a slightly more laid back atmosphere appeals to you, just a few blocks down PCH you can visit Pacific City. Here you’ll find an awesome selection of shops, spas and restaurants to enjoy while savoring the great views of the beach from this elevated location. The shops here are a balanced mix of big name stores and boutique shops with a smattering of health and beauty options and some outstanding local restaurants.
If it’s too sunny or windy at the beach, head inland to Bella Terra where they offer something for everyone and every occasion, in a laid-back, coastal-casual style that’s the OC at its best. Dine at the tastiest restaurants. Shop the coolest boutiques. Enjoy state-of-the-art theaters and free live entertainment for all ages.
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