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An aerial view of the Huntington Beach, California, shoreline
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Spend time on the beach, discover surf culture, and dine and shop by the ocean in Huntington Beach, California.

There are places that resonate with you long after you’ve bid them goodbye. Huntington Beach – with its perpetual summer, laid-back ambience and fun-loving culture – is one of those locales. That’s the thing about this gorgeous, sunny beach town. You arrive with an abundant list of things to do and see, then leave feeling like you could stay longer. Like all good stories, you don’t want it to end.

Beach Vibes

Huntington Beach, affectionately known as Surf City USA, lulls one into an easy-going Southern California state-of-mind. Rent a bike and pedal your way around this coastal town. Mild breezes accompany you as you wheel down beach pathways or make your way into the charming downtown. At Huntington Beach Pier, an iconic landmark, the chill atmosphere continues. Stretching half a kilometer into the Pacific Ocean, it's the ideal spot for a casual stroll or to watch surfers navigate the waves. Catch a friendly pickup volleyball game on the nearby shore. End your day roasting s’mores at a classic California bonfire or just gazing out over the Pacific Ocean. Day or night, you’ve got 16 kilometers of wide-open, sandy coastline and surf to enjoy.

Roasting s’mores at a cozy beach bonfire

Roasting s'mores at a cozy beach bonfire
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Southern California Surf Culture

Huntington Beach is famous for its surf, attracting professional and amateur surfers from all over the world. Sign up for surf lessons near the iconic pier or watch the show unfold as surfers navigate the endless waves. Right off Main Street, check out the International Surfing Museum. It’s the place to learn about the fascinating history and culture of surfing. Outside the colorful museum, be sure to take a selfie with the world’s largest surfboard. The board was actually part of two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: World’s Largest Surfboard and the Most People Riding a Surfboard at Once, when 66 people rode the 13-meter surfboard toward the coast without assistance. End your surf culture tour at Huntington Surf and Sport – a trendy store featuring surfboards for sale and rent, California-style apparel, beach blankets and super-cool accessories.

Riding the waves off the coast of Huntington Beach

Riding the waves off the coast of Huntington Beach
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Eat, Drink and Shop in Surf City USA

Beyond the surf and sand, spend quality time dining and shopping at Pacific City, a stylish oceanfront marketplace. Located on the waterfront, it’s your go-to location for boutique shopping, farm-to-table dining and outdoor concerts and events. Within the complex, browse the Lot 579 food hall for stand-outs like craft burgers and beers at The American Dream or gelato-on-a-stick at Popbar. If you’re a seafood fan, jump on the Pacific Coast Highway and head to Duke’s Huntington Beach, where the Hawaiian-influenced menu is a special treat. The restaurant is named for legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku who brought the sport to Huntington Beach in 1925. To end your day, watch the sunset at SeaLegs at the Beach. Dipping your toes in the sand with a nice glass of wine and delicious appetizers like the Baja ceviche is the ideal scenario to reminisce on your trip.

The evening scene at Pacific City, a local hub for shopping, dining and entertainment

The evening scene at Pacific City, a local hub for shopping, dining and entertainment
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Getting There

Fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and rent a car. It’s a 45-minute drive to Huntington Beach via Interstate 405 South. Or, connect to and from other North American cities easily via John Wayne Airport (SNA) in nearby Santa Ana, a 20-minute drive from Huntington Beach. Ground transportation to all area airports is easy via Lyft, Uber or Best VIP Worldwide.