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5 Things to Do in Huntington Beach CA for a Perfect Surf City Getaway

Whether your passion is land or sea, food or family fun, Huntington Beach CA is home to world-class entertainment and activities that will pack your vacation with a sun-kissed punch. Known as Surf City USA, you’ll find plenty of activity to enjoy—even if you’re more of a landlover. From sunrise to sunset, there’s nothing like watching surfers tackle these famous waves. With ten miles of spectacular beach to enjoy, your visit to HB can include activity and relaxation, exploration and rejuvenation. Huntington Beach is less than forty miles from LAX or ten miles from SNA, so the perfect Surf City getaway is only a heartbeat away. Based on my recent visit to HB, here’s a must-do list of activities to include in your own beach vacation.

For an old-school beach experience, head to Ruby’s Diner. Burgers are popular here, as is the all-day breakfast, and a milkshake is a must. Located on the HB Pier, you can grab a prime seat in the 40s-inspired diner perfect for watching the US Open of Surfing. If you’ve worked up an appetite, I recommend sharing a wet burrito at Wahoo’s Fish Taco. My favorite is an Outer Reef Burrito with carnitas and red sauce, though you do have to sample the fish tacos at least once for a flavor-packed SoCal experience. For a classic beachfront dinner, grab a table at Duke’s Huntington Beach. Since HB is where Duke Kahanamoku introduced surfing to the mainland in 1925, dining at this homage to The Duke is a local rite of passage. For brunch indulgence, head to Tanner’s for wood-fired brioche French Toast, topped with Nutella, grilled strawberries, honey mustard butter, and bourbon aged maple syrup.

Main Street is home to an abundance of shops for all your beach needs. At Huntington Surf and Sport, you’ll find HB souvenirs and all your water sport necessities. They host demo weekends where shoppers can try out surfboards, wetsuits, fins, and more for free, so you can find the perfect equipment to match your needs. Main Street is also home to Surf City Nights, a weekly street festival with farmer’s market vendors, retail sidewalk sales, and live entertainment. In the Pacific City open-air plaza, you’ll find local shops and eateries alongside a few national retailers, so whether you need a quick outfit from H&M or want to take home some beach-inspired decor, this is a great beachfront shopping center to explore. Right next door is Lot 579, where local eateries tempt the tastebuds. Tease your sweet tooth at Frosted Cupcakery, or pick up a bag of beans at Portola Coffee Roasters.

Huntington Beach offers an oasis of outdoor adventure and sport for all skills and experiences. Walk or cycle the 10-mile paved boardwalk for a breezy day along the beach. Sign up for surf lessons or stretch it out with oceanfront yoga. Use one of the free beach volleyball courts, or set up your picnic headquarters at one of the free bonfire rings. You’ll find more than five hundred of them available for free use along the coastline. Into fishing? There’s no license required to fish off the Huntington Beach Pier. If viewing sea life is more your style, hop a short cruise for whale and dolphin watching. Throughout HB, you’ll also find seventy parks including Huntington Beach Central Park which houses Shipley Nature Center with 18-acres of native habitat, an educational center, and more.

Take a stroll along Main Street to see the impressive Surfing Walk of Fame honoring surf legends and champions. You’ll notice the statue of Duke Kahanamoku in front of Huntington Surf and Sport. For an in-depth look at surf history, visit the International Surf Museum for an abundance of exhibits and interactive displays. Huntington Beach is also home to an incredible assortment of festivals and events. The second annual Like Totally 80s Festival features bands including Men Without Hats and A Flock of Seagulls, and takes place May 13, 2017. The annual Vans US Open of Surfing—the world’s largest surf competition—takes place July 29-August 6, 2017. This nine day festival also includes skateboard and BMX competitions, art exhibitions, special retail exhibits, and movie premieres. For food enthusiasts, you’ll want to visit during the Taste of Huntington Beach, which takes place annually on the last Sunday in April. The all-inclusive ticket includes sampling menus from local restaurants and catering companies, as well as sample sips from wineries and breweries, with live entertainment, too.

With so much to do in Huntington Beach, you’ll want to find a special place to call home for a few days. During my recent stay, I enjoyed Paséa Hotel & Spa, located directly across from the beach and within a short walking distance to all of the above recommended activities. Paséa pairs contemporary luxury with an inviting coastal style, so guests can enjoy upscale service in a laid-back environment. From open-air meeting space to Aarna, Paséa’s Balinese-inspired spa, and a large infinity pool with amazing beach sunset views, Paséa is a perfect spot to relax during your stay in Huntington Beach. I loved the easy access to the beach and Pier, neighboring shops and eateries, and friendly staff and services available on-site.

Huntington Beach offers warm temperatures year-round with an abundance of activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway to rejuvenate the senses, or an action packed itinerary to challenge your adrenaline, HB is a fabulous and convenient vacation destination. For a free HB travel planner and more ideas for your Huntington Beach getaway, visit

Photo credits: CT Shier.

Where I stayed / started

Paséa Hotel & Spa Huntington Beach

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