Blessed with 10 miles of sandy beach and a Mediterranean climate, Huntington Beach is the perfect playground. Stay at one of our oceanfront resorts that cater to parents and children, explore the great outdoors by land or by sea, and savor inventive cuisine served in laid-back eateries. Let’s make some memories.
ENDLESS OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Surf City USA prides itself on its endless summer, and with that comes countless things to do outside. You’ll never get bored—board or no board.
Hang ten as a family in the official Surf City USA. Rent boards if you’re an experienced shiver, or take a lesson if you’re a novice pod. Numerous surf schools offer group and private lessons, and various local beach concessions and surf shops rent boards. For current listings, refer to the latest Huntington Beach Visitors Guide, available online, at the Visitor Information Kiosk at the foot of the pier, at the Welcome Center at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, and at various businesses throughout downtown Huntington Beach, including hotels.
Another fun way to hit the water as a group is by renting kayaks and paddling the calm waters of the Huntington Harbour. This amorous, European-inspired pocket of islands and navigable waterways is a serene surprise in itself, blending the mystique of waterfront estates and luxury yachts with water adventure-seekers. Kayak rentals are available at several spots along Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach. Our water adventures guide has all the details.
Explore town as a family on two wheels—or four—by renting bicycles or a surry and pedaling the 10-mile paved beach path. Recognized by The League of American Bicyclists as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community, Huntington Beach boasts 10 miles of uninterrupted shoreline, and running parallel to it is a paved beach path offering the perfect route for a smooth bike ride. Head south and pedal down to Newport Beach, or go north and cruise into Sunset Beach. Numerous shops along the coast rent pedal power; check out our biking guide for tips.
There’s no better way to unwind as a family at day’s end than with a quintessential beach bonfire. Gather and connect around the warm glow, toast ooey-gooey marshmallows for the sweetest s’mores, and do it all with ease thanks to bonfire packages, courtesy of our luxury oceanfront resorts. Refer to our beach bonfires guide and get roasting.
Off the wall since 1966, Vans opened this free skatepark in 2014, featuring a 42,500-square-foot concrete paradise of ramps, rails, rollers, bowls, gaps, stairs, kickers, planters, and a volcano component. Open daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., the skatepark welcomes skateboarders every day but Wednesday, when it’s reserved for BMX riders. Hit neighboring skate-themed Grinderz for savory burgers and fries. The skatepark is located at 7471 Center Avenue near Old World and Bella Terra.
Huntington Beach is home to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, the largest saltwater marsh between the Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary. This natural gem covers 1,400 acres of fresh and saltwater wetlands habitat, a boardwalk over the marsh, and five miles of easy trails through the lowlands and mesas—all perfect for a nature stroll with the family. Stop by the kid-friendly Bolsa Chica Wetlands Interpretive Center for lessons in the reserve’s ecology, native species, human history, and habitat restoration. The 1,400-square-foot space hosts educational talks and exhibits featuring live marine species and reptiles, different species of taxidermy, and interpretive panels. Visit our guide to learn more.
FAMILY-FRIENDLY OCEANFRONT RESORTS
Stay and play at one of Huntington Beach’s coastal resorts, who adoringly cater to the needs of visiting families—and their pets.
The surfer-chic Kimpton Shorebreak Resort at Fifth Street and Pacific Coast Highway boasts some unique offerings for kids, including a 40-foot climbing wall for ages 12 and up inside their newly remodeled fitness center, giant chess and Jenga games in their outdoor courtyard, boardgames—just ask the front desk—plus nightly fireside s’mores from 5-10 p.m. Grabbing a more substantial bite is a breeze at their Pacific Rim-inspired Pacific Hideaway restaurant, and via room service from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Beach days are a picnic thanks to complimentary towels, chairs, boogie boards, sand toys, and more.
The sprawling, Mediterranean-style Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa at Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway features three outdoor pool areas, a children’s water playground, convenient beach bonfire packages, complimentary beach amenities at the Beach Hut, and a full slate of recreation activities from June through Labor Day, including Mermaid Magic, think swimming with mermaids in mermaid tails; Cosmic Sliding, a laser light show at Slyders Water Playground; Dive-In Movies at Mankota’s Pool; kite building and flying; sandcastle making; poolside surf lessons; jumbo Jenga; and more. Toes on the Nose, Hyatt’s onsite adventure partner, makes renting bikes, beach toys, boogie boards, and surfboards a snap, and even hosts surf lessons for families. Meals are made easy with three-onsite eateries, a grocer, and room service.
The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel, at Huntington Street and Pacific Coast Highway hosts two outdoor pools, waterslides, and its brand new Driftwood Beach Club, featuring poolside bonfire packages like pizza parties and morning roasts. Beach bonfire “butler” services are available through Waterfront Adventures, located on the beach between towers 11 and 13 in front of resort. Other adventures include bicycle, surrey, boogie board, and beach gear rentals
KID-FRIENDLY CULINARY SCENE
While Huntington Beach prides itself on its award-winning global cuisine, we also keep things cooking at the kids’ table. Numerous kid-friendly eateries have crafted fun menus of savory bites and sweet treats for the littles, paired with casual environments fit for any age.
Sugar Shack Cafe, a decades-old family-owned breakfast and lunch spot along Main Street, delivers a tasty kids menu of breakfast and lunch favorites, all under $7.
At the base of the pier sits Duke’s Huntington Beach, summoning the islands with Hawaiian-inspired fare, fresh seafood, a scrumptious kids menu, and an outrageous Sunday brunch buffet priced at just $12 for keikis under 12.
At the end of the pier, Ruby’s Diner throws it back to the 1940s with diner-style fare and kids menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus frosty milkshakes. Watch them on social media for details on Family Night, where kids eat free alongside at least one adult entree.
Fred’s Mexican Cafe, perched at the corner of Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway, serves up Mexican plates, sandwiches, Taco Tuesday specials, and a killer view of the coast.
Pacific City and adjoining LOT 579, a modern food hall, have it all for family feasts, from gourmet cafeteria-style bites at Lemonade and half-pint burgers at Simmzy’s pub to the Kids “Guppy” Plate at Bear Flag Fish Co. and chocolate-dipped bananas at Hans’ Homemade Ice Cream.
And of course, there’s plenty of pizza. Grab a slice from ZeroZero 39 Pizzeria on Main Street or The Pizza Press on Fifth Street.
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