Huntington Beach works to promote an inclusive community where visitors of all backgrounds, races, genders, and abilities know and feel that they are welcome when they come to Surf City USA®.
Accessible TravelBack to Top of List
Huntington Beach’s two beach Mobi-Mats provide convenient shoreline access on Huntington City Beach. These mats lay on the sand and stretch all the way down to the water’s edge during high tide. Made of 100% recycled water bottles, Mobi-Mats prevent wheeled devices from sinking into the sand and make wheeling down to the coastline much easier for wheelchair users, people pushing strollers, people using walkers, and more.
The City of Huntington Beach installed the first Mobi-Mat on May 5, 2021 on City Beach at 6th Street (just north of the Huntington Beach Pier). A second one was installed soon after between First Street and Huntington Street (south of the Pier). The City is looking to add more Mobi-Mats along the nearly 10-mile-long coastline in the near future.
Beach wheelchairs are equipped with large, wide wheels that can roll through the sand without sinking. They typically require users to be accompanied by someone pushing them. These are lent out free of charge and you may be asked to leave a form of personal identification during your rental period. Some may be reserved ahead of time, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact beaches directly to make arrangements for rentals:
All-Inclusive Beach Playground
First opened in 2018, the All-Inclusive Playground on Huntington City Beach can be accessed from the existing pathways from the parking areas and beach path on the north side of the pier. The concept of the playground, created by Dave Bang Associates, Inc., is designed to be all-inclusive with the play units designed to provide accessibility and promote interactive play among children of all abilities. The entire play area is surfaced with rubber as approved by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The playground is open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call (714) 536-5486.
Adaptive Surf Lessons
Many people come to Surf City USA® to do just that – surf. Former professional surfer Rocky McKinnon set out to make surfing a more inclusive sport so those with physical disabilities are able to experience the thrill of catching waves. McKinnon designed a 14 ft. chair board specifically for adaptive surfing and currently offers hour-long tandem surfing or chair boarding lessons (both versions are accompanied by safety professionals). Learn more about McKinnon Surf & SUP Lessons and reserve spots here.
Adaptive Surfing Events
A Walk on Water Huntington Beach
A Walk on Water is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that harnesses the ocean’s transformative powers to deliver life-changing surf therapy to children with unique needs and their families. Their mission is to empower children with a feeling of pride and accomplishment as they unlock their inner athlete through the emotional and transformative experience of surfing.
The last Huntington Beach A Walk on Water event in July 2021 was filled with epic surf therapy, hugs, high fives, and shakas. Learn more about A Walk on Water HB here.
Life Rolls On They Will Surf Again Huntington Beach
Life Rolls On has hosted events in Huntington Beach since 2015. Founded by 3X World Adaptive Surfing Champion and 6X US National Adaptive Surfing Champion Jesse Billauer, Life Rolls on is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with various disabilities.
Their “They Will Surf Again” event travels around the U.S. to various ocean locations where one-day events draw volunteers and wheelchair bound individuals together for a day of surfing, inspiration, and camaraderie. Whether these individuals have not surfed since their injury or have never surfed a day in their lives, “They Will Surf Again” helps paraplegics and quadriplegics experience the thrill of riding waves. Learn more about Life Rolls On here.
Operation Surf is a program under Amazing Surf Adventures, a non-profit that has helped more than 500 active duty and veteran heroes. Their mission is to channel the healing powers of the ocean to restore hope, renew purpose, and revitalize community. The curriculum-based programs aim to inspire injured military and veterans to seek wellness in all aspects of their lives while providing the necessary resources, tools, and peer-to-peer support to continue this mindset indefinitely.
“The Impact of Ocean Therapy on Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” by Dr. Russell Crawford suggests that surf therapy offers an alternative form of nature-based therapy that could potentially be effective for treating veterans with PTSD. His research on the Operation Surf program showed that participants experienced a 36% decrease in PTSD symptoms, a 47% decrease in depression, and a 68% increase in self-efficacy.
Surf City USA® has hosted the week-long program multiple times, alongside similar events in Northern California and as far as England. The event in Huntington Beach has been accompanied by a motorcade down Main Street, opening ceremony, and, of course, surfers hitting the waves. Learn more about Operation Surf here.
Cultural EventsBack to Top of List
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month, the Aloha Fair, presented by LA Island Radio, hits the streets of Huntington Beach. Enjoy a Sunday Funday with cool finds, food, and live entertainment. Parking and admission are both free! Located at 16160 Beach Blvd. Learn more here.
OC Cherry Blossom Festival
Since the Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival’s inception, it has been inspired by and helped to fund an international student exchange program between Huntington Beach and its sister city, Anjo, Japan.
The Huntington Beach Sister City Association is a volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the tradition of friendship and cultural exchange with our sister city in Anjo, Japan. In 2013 the Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom festival was created by one of our student ambassadors as her Girl Scout Gold Award project after realizing the program was in jeopardy due to a lack of funding. The Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival features Japanese dance, music, cultural exhibits, arts, crafts and games and has become known for it's delicious Japanese food offerings! See more information here.
German Heritage Month at Old World Village
Old World Huntington Beach is a small German village, restaurant, and festival hall founded by Josef Bischof in 1978. Every July, Old World Village hosts celebrations in honor of German Heritage Month including wiener dog races, live entertainment, German markets, games, and more. This time of year celebrates the many Germans who immigrated to the United States in the 1600s. The events are family-friendly and everyone is welcome.
Past EventsBack to Top of List
A Great Day in the Stoke
Founded by Nathan Fluellen, a Great Day in the Stoke was created to be the largest gathering of Black surfers, complete with a surf competition, surf lessons, beach yoga, vendor market, and much more. Surfers representing everywhere from South Africa to the Caribbean to NYC flocked to Surf City USA® to get in on the history-making day. Learn more about the event here.
ISA World Surfing Games
September 2022 saw the return of the ISA's premier event to Huntington Beach for the first time in 16 years. As a significant innovation to the Olympic Surfing Qualification System, the winning men's and women's National Teams were allocated one Olympic slot each for their respective country/National Olympic Committee (NOC). Huntington Beach hosted 51 nations for the Games, and Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi – originally from Huntington Beach – and USA’s Kirra Pinkerton took home the wins for their countries.
Diverse Business OwnershipBack to Top of List
We are proud and grateful to have a diverse network of business owners as part of the Huntington Beach community. Check out these blogs all about black-owned and women-owned businesses in Surf City USA.