A Surfer Heads for the Water at Huntington Beach, California
Photo by Kodiak Greenwood

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach
Catch a wave in Surf City, USA

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.

Go to the International Surfing Museum, and you’ll see up close how this Orange County town, with 16 kilometres of beaches and consistent swells, got its nickname of Surf City, USA (don’t miss the World’s Largest Surfboard on display). Surfing forefathers George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku both surfed here in the early part of the 20th century, and the U.S Surfing Championship—now summer’s Vans U.S. Open of Surfing—was first held here in the late 1950s.

Surfing is so big here, even the dogs are into hanging ten! The annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Dog Beach features a multi-heat dog surfing competition. Dog owners and their pooches hail from as far as Florida, Australia and Brazil! Surf dog competitors have twelve minutes to catch their top five waves and be judged by local celebrities and surf judges on confidence level, length of ride and overall ability to ride the wave. 

If you'd rather run than hit the waves, you can still get in the surfing spirit by racing the Surf City USA Marathon (which also includes a half marathon or 5K), held on the first Sunday of February every year. Finishers receive a surfboard-shaped medal after running the flat beachfront course throughout Huntington Beach.

Year round, surfing definitely sets the tone, and even if you never grab a board, there’s shopping at leading surf retailers and great viewing of some of the local dudes riding the waves alongside the landmark 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. Huntington’s newest outdoor mall, Pacific City, is where you’ll find one-of-a-kind artisanal eats and stylish boutiques—all with an ocean view.

You can get a taste of the Surf City life with stays at Huntington Beach's luxurious beach resorts—like the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach (known for its kid-magnet pool playground), Waterfront Beach Resort, and Paséa Hotel & Spa, opened in 2016. Check out Paséa’s Treehouse Bar for a rooftop cocktail at sunset. Or discover the more natural parts of town by trying horseback riding in the 354-acre Huntington Central Park, or by hiking and bird-watching in Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a restored wetlands and one of Southern California’s most vital coastal habitats.

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Photo by Scott Mansfield

Southern California

Discover Orange County

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August
Average (°C)
June - Aug
35°
High
11°
Low
Sept - Nov
31°
High
5°
Low
Dec - Feb
15°
High
2°
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Mar - May
26°
High
5°
Low

Whether it’s manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, “The OC” stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always-amazing Disneyland Resort, roughly a 1-hour drive south of L.A. and 2 hours north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best-loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun metre.

“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.”  --actor Dennis Quaid

Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA. 

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Courtesy of Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Indulge in Mediterranean elegance, world-class golf courses and five-star service at this Newport Beach resort

Tuscan elegance paired with panoramic ocean views is central to the eternal allure of...

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Irvine

This centrally located Orange County city is the perfect home base for shopping, dining, and kid-friendly exploring

Irvine’s central location—72 kilometres from Los Angeles, 135 from San Diego, and 15 minutes from...

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4 Luxury Resorts in Orange County

Enjoy unparalleled views, world-class golf, fine dining, and much more at these high-end destinations

With long stretches of golden sand, prime surfing spots, excellent dining, and top golf courses, the good life doesn’t get much better than along...

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Irvine Spectrum Center

With a Ferris wheel and Spanish ambience, this shopping center expands the definition of “mall”

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Orange County’s Best Beaches

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Spotlight: Anaheim

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Amazing attractions, shopping and dining in the one-of-a-kind Orange County town

With its laid-back atmosphere and unbeatable attractions, this vibrant city on the north-west side of Orange County has become a popular...

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Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, was the first winery in California.
The magic of Disneyland, walking through the tunnel underneath the train station to Main Street, it just transports you to other places and other times.
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Pacific Coast Highway - South

Beach Towns, Iconic Theme Parks
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Start your coastal cruise in this elegant city hugging the coastal mountains, where classic Spanish architecture gives the region a sun-washed European look straight out of the Riviera. Though Santa Barbara, nicknamed “the American Riviera,” may have a burnished antique look of much of the...

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End your trip with at this sunny, waterfront city. Downtown, shop at Horton Plaza, or catch a baseball game at Petco Park. See the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. Next, explore one of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, Little Italy, North Park, South Park, East Village—pedestrian-friendly...

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Orange County is the cultural center of the surf world and Huntington Beach is like the heartbeat.
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July/August

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Vans U.S. Open of Surfing by William Fovall/Flickr
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Trip 5-7 days 10 stops

Highway One Classic

Take the trip that captures the heart and soul of the Golden State
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Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

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