The endless summer lives on in Huntington Beach. Southern California’s beach culture thrives along this city’s curving shoreline, where you can bicycle down an oceanfront path, play volleyball, and, of course, surf.
You’ll find year round surfing here, and even if you never grab a board, you can view of some of the local dudes riding the waves alongside the Huntington Beach Pier. From the pier, it’s just a short walk to Main Street’s surf shops and restaurants, many with sidewalk tables or decks that let you bask in fresh ocean breezes and sun-soaked afternoons. For a list of all the great Southern California beaches go here. Continue to read and Visit Huntington Beach CA! You can also view all the best southern California beaches here.
Weather – Best Time to Visit Huntington Beach
The best tine to visit is during the late spring when temperatures are still warm but accommodations are much cheaper. During this period, the cost of a hotel room is $140/night on average. Save 40% per day compared to what you would have paid in June. Temperatures hover in the mid 60s, just a bit cooler than the average 70°F you would experience during high season.
Most visit during the summer, so expect higher hotel prices. The July 4th Holiday week (July 1st – 9th), the US Open of Surfing week (July 28th to August 6th) as well as the Labor Day week (September 1st – 5th) are particularly busy dates that you should avoid if you don’t like crowds.null
What Should You Pack?
When figuring out what to pack for the beach, there are two tips to keep in mind. First, forgetting an item isn’t the end of the world. Unless you’re heading for a remote, deserted island, chances are you can find a store where you can pick up the extras. Second, don’t stress out over making a packing list when there’s a stress-free beach travel essentials list for you below:
- Sunglasses and hats offer much-needed sunscreen and flip flops are perfect for navigating hot, sandy beaches. Go pack them now so you’re not kicking yourself later.
- What about those little items that make beach visits so much more enjoyable? For a little extra comfort on your trip, make sure you pack: Lip balm, sunscreen, bug spray.
- Beach toys and goggles are a must for kids. Building sandcastles and viewing the underwater wonders are perennial favorites.
- Take a first-aid kit with you. Hopefully you’ll only have to worry about a few minor scrapes from seashells, but having your own kit handy is a good precaution.
- Beach Bag – Your beach bag will likely contain a few of the items mentioned above. For a well-rounded bag, consider tossing in sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, first-aid kit and water-proof baggies.
- Beach Gear – No matter who’s supplying the gear, look to have the following items on hand: beach bag, beach chairs, beach towels, beach umbrella or tent, beach cart and a cooler.
- Remember: Don’t wait until you’re parched to drink. When you’re out in the heat and sun, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking regularly. So take along a water bottle as well.
Huntington Beach Attractions
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is an approximately 1,300 acre coastal estuary. Habitats include open water, mudflats, salt marsh, coastal dunes, seabird nesting islands, riparian, and freshwater marsh. More than 200 avian species have been identified at Bolsa Chica and the reserve is very popular with birders and photographers.
Huntington Beach Pier
A leisurely stroll offers stunning panoramic views of Catalina Island, Newport Beach to the south, and Long Beach and San Pedro to the north; aerial scenes of the surf action; and, of course, photo ops.
Huntington Beach State Park
Huntington in a great place to surf, swim, sunbathe, fish or just watch the sun set. There are volleyball courts, basketball courts, fire-rings for bonfires and a multi-use trail. A paved beachside trail runs for 8.5 miles between Huntington and Bolsa Chica State Beaches, with the 3.5-mile Huntington City Beach wedged between them.
Bolsa Chica State Park
Bolsa Chica is known for its outdoor activities that include surfing some of the perfect barrels formed by the large waves here. For something a little more laid back, you can enjoy fishing here as well as bird watching. There are picnic areas dotted all over Bolsa Chica and if you are looking for a way to take in the local scenery, then you can go for a walk on the purpose built trail that runs along the beach and stretches for over eight miles.
Huntington Harbour lies at one end of Huntington Beach and is known for its cluster of five individual islands. Between the islands and the harbor itself you will find serene waterways that lead to a vibrant area of beachfront. You will find shopping and dining options, and you can charter a private boat that will take you on a scenic trip around the canals.
International Surfing Museum
Anyone who is a surfing aficionado should not miss the International Surfing Museum on a trip to Huntington Beach and even if you are a novice surfer, this is still a great place to learn all about this great sport.
Things to do in Huntington Beach
Experience the most fun surf lesson ever! We Specialize in first time beginners, Private surf lesson rate:$120 includes Surfboard, Wetsuit, and a 1.5 hour surf lesson,or group surf lesson rate: 2 or more persons $90 each includes Surfboards, Wetsuits and a 1.5 hour surf lesson. Telephone: 714-782-4510 Web: Surfriders Academy
Bargain Bike Rentals
Beach cruiser bikes are $10 for an all day rental! The Huntington bike trail is conveniently accessible across the street so you can safely ride along miles of paved trail and enjoy the beautiful coast line view. Telephone: 714-362-5868 Web: Bargain Bike Rentals
Prince Charters LLC
Join Prince Charters on a relaxing, private harbor cruise with up to 12 friends, family or coworkers! Cruise the peaceful waters on a beautifully restored Classic Wood Boat in Huntington Harbour. Add Craft Beer on tap, Wine, Champagne or appetizers to any Harbor Cruise. Telephone: 714-642-9711 Web: Prince Charters LLC
Kula Nalu Ocean Sports
They are a Hawaiian-owned & operated facility. Surfing originated in Hawai’i and they are Proud to to share this part of our culture with you. They welcome each person with true Aloha and give to you the knowledge and skills to master Surfing, the Hawaiian way! Telephone: 714-369-8832 Web: Kula Nalu Ocean Sports
Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals
Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals, conveniently located in Sunset Beach, is the best place to rent duffy boats, stand-up paddle boards, and kayaks in OC! Telephone: 562-592-7877 Web: Huntington Harbor Boat Rentals
Best Restaurants in Huntington Beach
Duke’s $11 – 30
On the beach at the Huntington Beach Pier, Duke’s restaurant and Barefoot Bar invites you to enjoy a refreshing taste of the Pacific. Relax and take in the views while you enjoy the Hawaiian beach house ambiance and the freshest premium seafood and prime steaks, uniquely prepared and thoughtfully served. Duke’s offers lunch and dinner in the main dining area, along with cocktails and more casual fare in the Barefoot Bar. Telephone: 714-374-6446 Web: Duke’s
SeaSalt Wood Fire Grill $11 – 30
Their “farm-to-fire” grill menu combines the traditions of the Old West with a modern twist. Get ready to indulge in meat slow-grilled alongside seasonally fresh vegetables over an open redwood oak fire and topped with their own sea salt sensations blended in-house. Pair your meal with one of the “craft rim” libations, and you’ll be making California taste history. Telephone: 714-804-5545 Web: SeaSalt Wood Fire Grill
25 Degrees $11 – 30
25 Degrees adds an upscale twist to the traditional burger joint, offering unique burger toppings and a stellar wine list, as well as a full bar including signature handcrafted specialty cocktails and adult-inspired milkshakes, such as the famous Guinness Milkshake. Telephone: 714-960-2525 Web: 25 Degrees
Bear Flag Fish Co. $11 – 30
The best cut of the best fish. Fresh out of the ocean, expertly prepared. Getting that taste while eating healthy is what inspired Bear Flag in the first place. It used to happen on the back of a boat. Now Bear Flag Fish Co. brings it to you at Lot 579 in Pacific City. Telephone: 714-673-3474 Web: Bear Flag Fish Co.
Ways & Means Oyster House $11 – 30
Loading its menu with ocean-inspired bites, focuses on sustainably caught fish and fresh vegetarian plates. The oyster offerings will also expand including raw oysters and clams paired with mignonette, lemon, and tabasco; seafood towers; and creamy lobster bisque are just a few of the bites to look forward to. Located at Pacific City. Telephone: 714-960-4300 Web: Ways & Means Oyster House
Best Huntington Beach Nightlife
SeaLegs at the Beach
Visit SeaLegs at the Beach for your favorite wines and beers at Bolsa Chica State Beach. A full, upscale beach-friendly menu is also available to enjoy while watching the sunset or taking a break from surfing. Open Tuesday to Sunday, reservations are accepted for VIP cabanas, fire pits, lounge chairs, and Adirondack chairs. Telephone: 714-698-4188 Web: SeaLegs at the Beach
Hurricanes Bar & Grill
The 2,000-square-foot patio perched above Main Street offers ocean views and killer sunsets. Live local and regional sporting events are featured on the multitude of big-screen televisions inside and on the patio. Each night, you’ll find live entertainment and dancing featuring OC’s hottest bands and So Cal’s finest DJs. Telephone: 714-374-0500 Web: Hurricanes Bar & Grill
Black Bull Chop House
Twelve big screen TVs broadcast major sporting events and fun videos while guests try to hang on to “Bo”-dacious, a mechanical bull. Swing by Thursday through Saturday nights to experience Downtown’s largest dance floor in the back patio area. Telephone: 714-969-6700 Web: Black Bull Chop House
Baja Sharkeez combines the atmosphere and style of a south-of-the-border beach cantina with the latest in high-def and surround-sound technology. Head to Baja Sharkeez for lunch to enjoy specials from its mesquite-Mex broiler menu, including the popular Taco Tuesday special. Or join the nightlife on Main Street and take in a game on one of the many high-definition TVs both inside and out on the patio. Telephone: 714-960-5282 Web: Baja Sharkeez
This Santa Monica landmark of cool has opened a second location here in Pacific City, and with its combination of lounge spaces, outdoor patio, cozy, rustic-vintage design, specialty cocktails, DJs who know how to get the crowd going and – let’s not forget – ocean views, it’s already setting new standards for the OC. The food menu’s pretty great too. Telephone: 714-374-0399 Web: The Bungalow
Best Hotels in Huntington Beach
The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel
Relax and unwind or play and chase thrills, all without ever leaving the resort. Spend the day at one of our two sparkling pools with a waterslide* and hot tub or on the sand and surf. Make the most of your time in the sun with a cabana and beach butler service or a beach bonfire when the sun sets. Feed your sense of adventure on a boogie board or tandem bike. Pamper yourself with a blissful array of signature treatments at Drift a Waterfront Spa.
Huntington Surf Inn
Huntington Surf Inn continues that one-of-a-kind experience by featuring nine luxurious and charming rooms with different themes that depict the beach and surfing heritage of Southern California. Each room is air-conditioned and includes a microwave and a refrigerator to keep beverages cold. To further enhance your stay, we also offer complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, on-site parking, local telephone service, and large flat-screen TVs with high-definition cable. Feel free to leave your beach towels and Frisbees at home; we have all of the beach items you need at our hotel.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
Retreat to one of 517 coastal chic rooms and upscale suites overlooking Huntington Beach. Enjoy contemporary oceanfront lodging with balconies or a deluxe room with a private firepit on a furnished patio. Upgrade to a Regency Club room for lounge access with daily breakfast and refreshments or stay in a sprawling beach house-style suite with impressive views of the Pacific.
Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort
At this hotel, you will be situated just steps from the hottest sand in Surf City, USA, as well as at the epicenter of the Main Street scene. Inside the property, a relaxed, coastal vibe is created through spirited interior design, an open-air patio with cozy fire pits, elevated beach-chic dining and spacious, airy accommodations — many offering views of the Huntington Beach Pier.
Pasea Hotel & Spa
Adjacent to the Huntington Beach Pier, Paséa Hotel & Spa features a spa center and watersports facilities. Offering free WiFi, each air-conditioned room at Pasea Hotel & Spa has an ocean view. Rooms feature a flat-screen TV and a coffee machine. For your comfort, you will find guest bath robes and slippers. Guests can hire beach cruising bicycles. A range of activities are offered in the area, such as windsurfing and hiking. There is also a spa and a gift shop at the property.
Huntington Beach appeals to both active travelers and R&R-seekers, making it an excellent destination for all kinds of fun in the sun. The city’s highly regarded surf scene is the main reason why you should visit, though there are many ways you can experience the sport. Head to Huntington City Beach for a surfing lesson by the city’s famous pier, visit Huntington State Beach to watch local pros ride gnarly waves or check out Huntington Dog Beach to catch a glimpse of surfing pooches. When you need a break from the sun, sand and sea, learn more about the city’s favorite pastime at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum. Before the day comes to an end, retreat to one of Downtown Huntington Beach’s oceanfront eateries or rooftop bars to view an incredible California sunset.
Totally agree! Thanks for all your input and for taking the time to leave me comments!
Huntington Beach was my “hangout beach” when I was in high school. It was the most accessible to my friends and me from our inland location, so that’s where we’d all meet up. I experienced far too many Huntington Beach sunburns, that’s for sure (remember that sunscreen everyone!!)! When I lived in Florida, the local Hollister store had a large-screen TV on one wall that showed a live feed of Huntington Beach. I never minded waiting for my daughter when she wanted to shop and try on a bunch of clothes there as I got to take a “trip down memory lane” while I waited. I hope I’ll get to visit again one of these days. I’ll definitely be sure to remember my sunscreen!
I am curious where in Florida you lived that showed a feed for California LOL I live in Florida and where I am at we definitely do not have live feeds from California. Seems like they would want to promote their own state LOL Sounds like you had a wonderful childhood! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for writing out this lovely article and I must say its a must for everyone to read and digest.Beach travelling is always fun. I will be visiting Huntington Beach with my wife along side with the beach bag for maximum satisfaction. Features on Huntington Beach got all of my interest a bn out planning a visit to the beach. For someone out of the country, since need visa to visit the Huntington Beach? thanks for the review.
Hi, you can go to the US Visa information page to find out exactly what you will need. Some countries are different. So I don’t want to give you false information. Thanks for visiting my Huntington Beach CA travel guide.
I lived in California for several years, and Huntington Beach was one of our favorite destinations. My office had a volleyball team, and we played there against one of the insurance companies we worked with. It was an absolute blast, and one of the best times of my life. I highly recommend it.
I do too Babsie! Sounds like you had some great experiences in Huntington Beach!
Just curious, and I’m not sure if you know the answer, but it’s about the beaches in this part of CA. Are many of them open 24 hours a day? I’ve actually been to a few that close at dusk, and my family likes to hang out and relax well into the night. There’s nothing like dark, shimmering waters that reflect the moonlight and a cool evening breeze against your face.
Yes, Buck there are some beaches that are open 24 hours in this area. They are: Santa Monica Beach, Redondo Beach, Ocean Beach, and Coronado Beach 🙂 I agree, I love going for a dip after the moon is out! Thanks for stopping by!
Good writeup and wonderful topic. The Admin did a great job in putting this together especially figuring out what to pack for the beach, I have actually been a victim of similar circumstances once when I forgot to pack some certain items for my husband and kids, half way there I thought I could get it when we get to the destination, to my surprise, we could locate a single store that sells them.
Great Fasuan, glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.
Looking at Huntington Beach CA and things you write about it, it looks like a really a good place to spend time with my family,and am sure the kids are going to like it, especially the museum. I also am looking forward to visiting Huntington Harbour. I have a fascination with boats, and it looks amazing to me. Thanks for all the great information. Looking forward to a vacation in Huntington Beach!
It is a great family beach vacation! There are definitely things for the whole family to enjoy. Please let me know if you need any additional information.
Wow Huntington beach is beautiful, the pictures look charming. I wish am there right now, what a wonderful place, and the hotels looks amazing. With the details you have giving the this article, I think I am already to pack my bags for a Huntington Beach vacation! Really you have provided everything I need to start planning. Thanks for the article
Glad you enjoyed Chris and I hope you can visit Huntington Beach CA soon!
Thank you for this review that presented one of the best and beautiful places in the world. I love beaches but I have never gone to the best ones like this.
I hope I can have the opportunity to travel the world someday and will see with my eyes Huntington Beach. It’s one of my dreams in life to see other race of the people, in their own country, and if God permits, California is one of them.
You will enjoy California…its a destination all in it’s own and definitely a bucket list item. I hope you can visit Huntington Beach CA some day soon!
I see a lot of you guys are amazed to how beautiful Huntington Beach is. Yes, it’s true, this a perfect destination especially during summer. The wide space in the sands is ideal for outdoor sports like volleyball. And also, sun bathing! But don’t forget to bring with you some sunscreen protective lotion, as mentioned in the article’s packing list. Think about your health especially preventing skin cancer while enjoying the sun.
I agree Gomer, gotta have the sunscreen! Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.
Huntington Beach sounds wonderful, another place to add to my visit list.
This article is so informative and interesting, it clearly states everything you need to know in order to make a decision about your vacation destination.
It offers good descriptions of several restaurants, hotels and attractions. The choice of photos makes it look completely enticing.
I love trying different foods when I am on holiday, can you tell me which restaurant I should put at the top of my list when we visit? I am a bit of a foodie 🙂
I’ve bookmarked this for future reference.
Okay this one might not be on my list, but definitely head to LSXO for dinner when in Huntington Beach. Dishes range from more traditional to innovative among a stunning hideaway overlooking the Huntington Beach pier.
I didn’t know that Huntington beach was so beautiful, the pictures are stunning, it makes me want to go right now. Awesome list of things to pack, this will really help, thank you! I always have problems with packing:) The Paseo hotel is fantastic, the view is wow! I am just hesitating between the Paseo hotel, and the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, which one do you think is better? I mean which one has the most advantages in term of services, prices, and beauty? It’s hard to choose:)
Thank you for this excellent post!
Boy, that is a tough decision. You can click on the links and see which one will have a better price for when you are going. They both have great amenities and services. That is pretty much a tie. I am gonna have to say to look and see which is cheaper the time you want to go 🙂
A perfect destination for every surfer and every wannabe surfer like myself. The Surfriders Academy is a must do when I get here! Surfing is something I’ve always wanted to try but didn’t know who could teach me at least the basics Thank you Leahrae!
You are so welcome Effie! Yes, everyone should try surfing. Not as hard as you think. Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t easy! LOL
Loved this very useful posts, everything I need to know is here from what to pack, where to stay and what I can do at Huntingdon beach, i would love to go there one day, you know how to make it look like a really desirable place to be and am sure it is!
Glad you enjoyed Ann. You will have to visit Huntington Beach CA soon!