Flames licking and leaping inside the bonfire pits scattered along 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline aren’t the only things red-hot in Huntington Beach, California. This Orange County community, also known as Surf City USA, is experiencing a renewal.
With over 300 days of sunshine per year, vibrant surf culture, and sand for miles, Huntington Beach has long been a desirable destination. Now new developments like Pacific City, community beautification projects, and upgrades to existing neighbourhoods mean Huntington Beach, California is hotter than ever. Here are a few Huntington Beach hot spots to add to your Southern California (SoCal) vacation.
Three Huntington Beach Hot Spots
With a Craftsman-style beach bungalow design and coastal village vibe, the 6.5 acre Pacific City development reflects the Huntington Beach surf and sand lifestyle. Here you can wander through open-air boutiques, dine inside or outside at one of the restaurants, and visit LOT 579 gourmet market, home to award-winning SoCal eateries. Located on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with abundant beach and ocean views – even from the sinks at Dry Bar Salon – Pacific City is a sizzling addition to Huntington Beach, California.
Main Street & the Huntington Beach Pier
Located a short stroll from Pacific City, the iconic Huntington Beach Pier is the heart of Surf City USA. The 1850-foot pier, located at the intersection of Main Street and the PCH, is an excellent place to watch surfers, volleyball players, and others enjoying the Huntington Beach lifestyle. Stop at Duke’s restaurant and Barefoot Bar for a preferred view of the Huntington Beach Pier. Duke’s is named after Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of international surfing.
Main Street is home to family-run restaurants like The Sugar Shack, trendy boutiques, and a weekly market (Surf City Nights) and other community events. In late 2017, thirty dumpsters paraded down Main Street as part of a community beautification project. Featuring paintings by local artists, you can find these colorful (and functional) trash containers throughout downtown Huntington Beach.
5th & PCH
In 2017 Huntington Beach’s Fifth Street experienced a revival and rebranding. Intersecting the PCH one block from historic Main Street and the Pier, Fifth Street is now called “5th & PCH”. New eateries like The Pizza Press make-your-own pizza concept, stylish boutiques, and community events draw locals and visitors to this thriving neighborhood.
And on the corner of 5th and PCH, the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel recently completed a $3 million renovation. The surf-centric Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel is sporting fresh paint, refreshed hotel rooms, and Pacific Hideaway, a restaurant inspired by surf destinations around the Pacific Rim. Be sure to order the grilled fish tacos – they are superb.
For surf, sand, and a taste of SoCal lifestyle visit Surf City USA, and the sizzling Huntington Beach hot spots.
Good to Know – Huntington Beach Hot Spots
- Located at Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street, the Huntington Beach Pier is open daily from 5 am to midnight.
- The first three blocks of Main Street are pedestrian-only during the Tuesday night Farmers Market and Street Fair. At this weekly event, known as Surf City Nights, shop for goods from farmers, artists, and listen to music from 5 – 9 p.m. Main Street shops and eateries are also open and often hold sidewalk sales.
- Pacific City offers complimentary parking Monday – Thursday for 3 hours and Friday – Sunday for 2 hours. Valet parking is also available. Visit the website for more information.
- Family-friendly John Wayne Airport (SNA), provides international access to Huntington Beach, California.
- The Huntington Beach tourism website offers excellent information about the destination.
Where to Stay in Huntington Beach, California
Luxury and family-friendly accommodation options include the AAA Four-Diamond Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and The Waterfront Beach Resort (Hilton). I enjoyed the relaxed Kimpton Shorebreak and the new Pasea Hotel & Spa. Check out the Visit Huntington Beach website for a comprehensive list of accommodation options.
Have you been to Huntington Beach, California? What did you enjoy most about Surf City USA?
Read about more places to have fun in the sun in Orange County, California on the Travelling Mom family travel blog. If you travel to Huntington Beach, you might be interested in learning more about all of the fantastic things to do in nearby Palm Springs, California. For more information on travel in The Golden State, visit my friend Ana’s California Travel Guide.
Thank you to Visit The OC (Orange County) for hosting my recent visit to Huntington Beach. And thank you to The Travelling Mom for inviting me to travel on your behalf. It isn’t my first trip to Surf City USA – it’s a fabulous destination! Photo credits Luxe Travel Family unless otherwise noted.