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17 Things to Do in Huntington Beach that Belong on Your Itinerary

17 Things to Do in Huntington Beach that Belong on Your Itinerary

Once you plan the ultimate summer road trip, these are the things to do in Huntington Beach you should have on your itinerary.


5 min read

July 02, 2021

A trip to Orange County isn’t complete without visiting Huntington Beach. Miles of sandy shoreline in O.C. are commonly frequented by millions of tourists, surfing enthusiasts, and more—it’s a brilliant place to vacation any time of year. It wouldn’t hurt to treat yourself to a staycation in this SoCal paradise. And once you plan the ultimate summer road trip, these are the things to do in Huntington Beach you should have on your itinerary.

The Huntington Beach Pier is one of 123 historic places and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Orange County.

Things to Do in Huntington Beach

1. Stroll Along the Huntington Beach Pier

The Huntington Beach Pier is the heart of the city. Capturing the spirit of Surf City in the best way, the pier stretches about 1,850 feet. Not only is the Huntington Beach pier a great place to explore, but it’s also one of the most photographed spots in town.

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2. Shop in Downtown Huntington Beach

There’s always something happening in Downtown Huntington Beach. But if you really want to get in on the action, visit on Tuesdays to take part in Surf City Nights. The downtown streets transform into bustling hubs with local artisans, fresh produce, live music, and more—the shops and restaurants excitedly open their doors extra wide for visitors.

Stop, be still, and take a moment to watch the sunset painting the sky with its magic in Surf City U.S.A.

3. Watch the Sunset at Huntington Beach

There’s nothing quite like watching the sun go down over the glistening blue waters at the beach. Plan an unforgettable outdoor date with your S.O. and enjoy watching the sunset at Huntington Beach as you listen to music and share snacks from the many food trucks that line the boardwalk.

4. Attend a Huntington Beach Bonfire

The stories told and memories made around a bonfire are unparalleled. Three out of Surf City’s sandy shores have fire pits, including Huntington City Beach, Huntington State Beach, and Bolsa Chica State Beach. If you’d like a more elevated experience, several oceanfront resorts also have bonfires where you can chill with refreshing beverages and s’mores.

You've heard of forest camping as well as desert camping. Now get ready to experience beach camping at Huntington Beach.

5. Spend a Night at a Huntington Beach Campground

What if you could fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves and wake up just a few steps from the beach? Well, Huntington Beach’s RV parks and campgrounds give you just that. There are campgrounds accommodating RVs both at Bolsa Chica and Sunset Vista, providing you with a beach camping experience like no other.

6. Wander Around Main Street Huntington Beach

Main Street in Huntington Beach has been around for more than a century and keeps getting livelier with an ever-growing list of shops and restaurants. Grab a burger, pop into the surf shops and boutiques, and have fun wandering around one of the most popular streets in Huntington Beach, California.

Don’t try to stop the waves, learn to surf and buy the coolest gear from the many surf shops in the O.C.

7. Visit Huntington Beach Surf Shops

Whether you’re just getting into surfing or are a pro looking to upgrade your board, you have to check out Huntington Beach’s surf shops. Some of the most famous surf shops in the state are found here, so you can’t leave it out of your itinerary.

8. Catch a Wave at Huntington Beach's Surf Spots

Now that you have your board, get ready to ride waves. Lucky for you, many of Orange County’s beaches have the reputation for being some of the best surf spots in California. After all, Surf City U.S.A. isn’t a nickname you take lightly.

The only thing better than a day at the beach is a day at the beach with your four-legged friend.

9. Take Fido to Huntington Beach Dog Park

Also known as Central Park, the Huntington Beach dog park is a beautiful spot to have a picnic and let your pup run free. Enjoy an afternoon with your four-legged best friend and play fetch. Keep in mind that Huntington Beach is also home to several dog-friendly beaches in SoCal, so don’t forget to hit them up if your pup loves splashing in the sea.

10. Show off Your Moves at a Huntington Beach Skate Park

Are you more of a skater than a surfer? You’ll love hitting up Huntington Beach’s skate parks. A local favorite is the Vans Off the Wall Skatepark on Center Avenue. Free, well-maintained, and secure, this skatepark is one of the best things to do in Huntington Beach for those who like to do flip tricks.

Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve protects a coastal wetland and upland, with migratory and resident threatened and endangered species of wildlife.

11. Hike the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail

Set in the 1,300-acre Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, this easy, three-mile hiking trail is a beautiful stroll featuring lots of birds, fish, and awe-inspiring ocean vistas. You may come across ducks, pelicans, maybe even a seal or two as you explore this beautiful reserve in Huntington Beach.

12. Rent a Boat at the Huntington Harbor

Nestled in a picturesque corner of the city, Huntington Harbor encircles a cluster of five small islands, featuring a fun beachfront. Explore the shopping and dining spots along the coast and charter a boat or a kayak to further explore the waters.

The International Surfing Museum displays historic surfboards, provides information about legendary surfers, and shows classic surf films.

13. Check out the International Surfing Museum

The International Surfing Museum is a must-visit, especially for surfer dudes. The non-profit museum's goal is to preserve the history of surf culture—it’s dedicated to Duke Kahanamoku, who is widely credited as the person who popularized surfing as a sport.

14. Travel Back in Time at Old World Village

Somewhat of a hidden gem in Orange County, the Old World Village hosts plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues with an old-world feel. Enjoy live music, tasty treats, and other fun activities while exploring this spot in the city of Huntington Beach.

Live that Surf City U.S.A. lifestyle and treat yourself to the max—who said you need to travel to splurge?

15. Treat Yourself to a Night at one of the Huntington Beach Hotels

While Huntington Beach, California is known for its laid-back lifestyle, there are many upscale resorts perfect for a romantic getaway, a solo splurge, or anything in between. If you want to feel like a tourist in your own state, Huntington Beach’s hotels are worthy options to have on your radar.

16. Learn about Huntington Beach History at Newland House Museum

A tour through the Newland House Museum is perhaps the most unique way to learn about Huntington Beach’s history. Considered to be the oldest house in the city, this Queen Anne-style residence is a monument to the region’s past.

17. Go Surf Fishing at Bolsa Chica State Beach

The beautiful Bolsa Chica State Beach is popular for a wide range of outdoor pursuits, the most unique of which is probably surf fishing. Perch, cabezon, croaker, California corbina, and shovelnose guitarfish are some of the many species you’ll come across while surf fishing here. 

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