Surf City USA is so much more than just your average California beach town. This dreamy Orange County destination offers an endless list of fun things to do no matter the time of year. As a local, of course I love a nice, relaxing beach day just as much as the next person. But sometimes, I’m feeling a little more adventurous, eager to try something new or even get my heart rate up a bit. Luckily, Huntington Beach has activities that do all of that and more. Here are 7 fun things every visitor should add to their Surf City vacation itinerary.
If you’re visiting Huntington Beach, it’s only fitting you take part in the city’s namesake activity! Not a pro? No worries. Surf City offers several options for surfing lessons to accommodate all experience levels. You can even rent surfboards by the hour if you want to take it at your own pace. Tip: rent a wetsuit if you’re visiting in the winter. It’ll keep you warm and still allow you to experience surfing in the off-season.
The Huntington Beach Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Orange County. After you’ve explored downtown, cross the PCH and take a stroll down it to the end (one of my personal favorite weekend activities). Along the way, you’ll get to witness some of the world’s best surfing, take in the beautiful coastal view and even hit a couple souvenir shops. Once you get to the end, hit up Ruby’s Diner for a great meal or milkshake to refuel.
A favorite for both tourists and locals alike (myself included), explore Huntington Beach’s breathtaking coastline by renting a bike! With a 10-mile paved beachside trail from Warner Ave. to the Santa Ana River, it’s the perfect way to get a little exercise, soak up some sun and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze.
Whether it’s a special occasion or just another Sunday, I love gathering up my friends and family for a cozy beach bonfire. Huntington Beach offers free pits at Huntington City Beach, Huntington State Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach. Just grab a blanket, all the s’mores favorites and some firewood! Tip: the rings can fill up fast, so arrive early or reserve a picnic area in advance!
If extreme sports are your thing, then you must not leave Huntington Beach without visiting the official Vans Off the Wall Skatepark. Located just off the 405 freeway near Bella Terra Shopping Center, the park offers free admission to everyone plus a Vans store and snack shop. Even if you’re not a skater, it’s still a great spot to watch boardriders of all ages show off their skills.
Home to some of Surf City’s most unique species of wildlife, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is the perfect activity for nature lovers. Walk the 5 miles of trails along the wetlands and you’ll find birds, marine life and even some endangered species as well a variety of exotic plants. Early morning or sunset strolls are the most ideal time for a visit, allowing you to skip the crowds and enjoy the beautiful, serene scenery.
Once you’ve explored downtown Surf City, head south to Huntington Harbour for a day at the marina! Rent a kayak or paddle board and row through the sea of yachts and sailboats while marveling at the waterfront mansions. This is both a great form of exercise and a relaxing on-the-water activity that the whole family can enjoy!