This year, Huntington Beach was named as “The Best Beach of California” by USA Today, and rightfully so…
During our recent visit to SoCal, we checked out some of the highlights that Huntington Beach, famously known as Surf City USA in Orange County is very well known for.
Sun, surf, sand, beach vibes and a laid-back surfer cool meets coastal chic lifestyle are what Surf City USA is popular for. Located in Southern California between Los Angeles and San Diego with 10 miles of uninterrupted pristine coastline, consistent sunny skies, and charming seaside downtown, this destination needs no convincing for you to plan your next beach getaway.
From luxurious oceanfront resorts and fine dining options along Pacific Coast Highway to relaxation for the adults and adventure activities for the kids, this Orange County destination has something in store for everyone.
Below are some of the best things to see/do when you make your way down there…
HUNTINGTON BEACH & PIER
This flawless beach and the iconic views of the pier is what people come to Surf City USA for, it is no doubt one of the topmost attractions.
Stroll along the pier’s 1,850 feet that stretch all the way to the Ruby’s Surf City Diner, rent a bike and ride along the paved 10-mile beach bike trail, watch one of the most magical sunsets over drinks and dinner, and of course, indulge in other kinds of activities – surf, fish, play beach volleyball, etc, or simply lay on the beach and get yourself a real nice tan 😉
HUNTINGTON BEACH DOWNTOWN
The best thing about this seaside downtown (main street) is that it is right across the pier and has a wide range of options – from amazing restaurants with a view to hip and chic bars to family shopping that can make a huge dent in your wallet, basically enough to keep you busy for a good part of the day, or night. Based on the time/day of the year, this is also where all the farmer’s markets or any other popular events are all set up.
Inspired by modern craftsman beach bungalows, Pacific City features patio dining options, outdoor movie nights, retail stores, and inviting spaces to hang out and enjoy the picturesque oceanfront view.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to do some quick shopping or somewhere to spend an entire day, Pacific City’s one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants/cafes, as well as their exciting on-site events, appeals to visitors of all ages. And don’t forget to get some #InstaWorthy shots against the beautiful murals at Pacific City.
DINE AT A RESTAURANT OVERLOOKING THE BEACH & PIER
There is something about dining with a stunning view that makes the food even more delicious, amirite or amirite!? 😉 We tried 2 different restaurants that gave us 2 unique and incredible views of the Huntington Beach and the pier.
Blue Gold in Pacific City has a bomb.com breakfast/brunch menu and we stuffed ourselves with way too much delicious food than our tummies could handle hehe, but not doing so would have been such a shame.
Went to Duke’s Bar & Grill right next to the pier for lunch, though their buffet had extremely limited options for us vegetarians we quite enjoyed the mimosas and the up close and personal view of the pier and an endless expanse of ocean that is separated by only a glass wall.
BIKE ALONG THE BEACH TRAILS
Voted one of the top 10 coastal trails in the United States by Coastal Living Magazine, the paved Ocean Strand runs for 10 miles along the Huntington Beach coastline – perfect for bikers, joggers, walkers, and skaters.
The Ocean Strand also connects to the Santa Ana River Trail for an additional 110 miles of recreation, ending in Big Bear Lake high in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Rent a bike (electric from Pedego is even better), cruise along the beach in style, and enjoy a self-guided tour of all the must-see attractions of Huntington, Newport Beach, and Long Beach along the way.
PAMPER YOURSELF WITH A MASSAGE
After a hard day of exploring and adventuring, its time for some R&R aka a pamper sesh is in order. Paséa Hotel & Spa’s Balinese-Inspired Aarna Spa sets a new standard of relaxation and rejuvenation. They focus on therapies using signature spa products that relax and cleanse the mind, body, and spirit, their therapy treatments are the perfect addition to your Huntington Beach getaway.
Besides the massage itself, we loved ‘lounging’ in the serene relaxation lounge, followed by soaking up the sun in the private garden enclave featuring tranquil waterfall, fire pits, and cabanas. Another plus, men’s and women’s facilities include a sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and a saltwater whirlpool. Coastal comfort and laid-back luxury all packed in one place, goes without saying that I never wanted to leave 😉
DESIGN YOUR OWN PAIR OF FLIP-FLOPS
Havaianas, the Brazilian maker of fashionable flip-flops is located on Pacific Coast Highway across from the Huntington Beach Pier where you can design your own pair of flip-flops, how fun is that!?
This 1,250-square-foot Havaianas store has a permanent customization station – choose a strap, contrasting footbed, pick out your favorite crystal charms (hint Swarovski), and once you have finally made up your mind on your picks a machine clamps everything into place in less than 2 mins. Slide into your new unique pair of flip flops and flaunt ‘em as you stroll along the beach.
RENT A DUFFY ELECTRIC BOAT AND SET SAIL
Another family-friendly adventure and a great way to relax for all is to rent an electric boat and cruise around Huntington Harbor. Rent a Duffy Electric Boat from Huntington Harbour Boat Rentals, go on a scenic trip around the canals and enjoy spectacular views from the water. Kayaking and paddleboarding are other popular choices among the locals and tourists alike.
CATCH EPIC SUNSETS AT THE PIER
One of the best things about Hungtinton Beach, which is also absolutely free, is going on a sunset stroll and people watching. Or simply park your behind on the well-maintained stairs right next to the pier and enjoy mother nature put on a spectacular show. Or even better, enjoy a harbor gondola experience.
SET UP A BONFIRE AND ENJOY S’MORES ON THE BEACH
Waterfront Adventures offers a bonfire and s’mores concierge service. Your personal beach butler will provide you with all the s’mores supplies you need, and set up a roaring bonfire in the sand, perfect for toasting marshmallows. It is only like the best way to end your day after soaking up the sun on the sand.
BONUS: OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
International Surfing Museum, Surfers Walk of Fame, Surfers Hall of Fame, Bolsa Chica Reserve, Newland House Museum, Bella Terra, Old World Village, Central Park, Secret Garden, Farmers Markets, Wine Tasting, Local Microbreweries & Craft Beers, Sunset Beach Historical Walking Tour, Surf City Comedy Club, Grab a shake at Ruby’s Surf City Diner (Salted Caramel, yum!) or get a Coffee at Coffee for 2.
So what are you waiting for, pack your bathing suits, board shorts, a pair of hiking shoes and enjoy a perfect weekend getaway at the Huntington Beach, #SurfCityUSA in Southern California, pretty perfect vacation destination any time of the year!