Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach

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Huntington Beach, California

The basics

With long stretches of sandy coastline and mild weather, life revolves around the shore in Huntington Beach. Families, dog lovers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts come to surf, play volleyball, kayak, swim, and bike year-round. Much of the action revolves around the iconic Huntington Beach Pier, one of the longest piers on the West Coast. The nearby downtown is lively and walkable, with restaurants, bars, and hotels.

Unlike in the surrounding cities, three of five beaches in Huntington Beach contain fire pits for evening bonfires. Dog lovers come to the city thanks to the Huntington Dog Beach, a rare spot to bring your dogs on the sand. Finally, bird watchers and nature lovers will enjoy the 1,400-acre Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a wetland area just off the shore.

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Things to know before you go

  • Over 500 beach bonfire pits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, except at Bolsa Chica State Beach, where you can reserve fire pits through two local restaurants, SeaLegs and Seasalt.

  • Access the deep-rooted surfing culture with a surf lesson, surfing event, surf shops, or the International Surfing Museum.

  • The Huntington Beach Pier juts into the Pacific at Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, offering excellent ocean fishing, strolling, on-pier dining, or watching the sunset.

  • RV camping is available beachside from October to May or year-round at participating beaches.

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How to get there

Befitting its Surf City USA nickname, Huntington Beach lies right on the Pacific Coast Highway. The city can be accessed by many major freeways in the greater Los Angeles area, including I-5, I-405, and I-10. The city has Long Beach to the north and Newport Beach to the south.

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When to get there

While year-round weather is excellent, September to November offers pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and lower accommodation prices. This is also the time for the popular Great Pacific Airshow and Surf City Surf Dog. Thousands of gray whales migrate through the area from December through April, creating excellent whale-watching opportunities. While the weather warms by May, the early summer season is marked by cloudy coastal weather called "May Gray” and "June Gloom."

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Enjoy beach volleyball

Huntington Beach may be known for surfing, but beach volleyball attracts many fans. All you need to participate is a beachside court, available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Balls can be rented at beach kiosks. You'll find two dozen nets on either side of the pier and more at Huntington State Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach. Sometimes it is just as fun to watch the pros, especially at the annual AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.

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