Huntington Beach, California is a popular destination for passionate surfers, nicknamed Surf City, USA. The Orange County city’s 9.5-mile long sandy beach attracts millions of visitors year-round, and many have decided to stay, making Huntington Beach one of the fastest growing cities on the West Coast. Huntington Beach has a unique beach town vibe that is half exciting and half laid-back, and all visitors seem to fall in love with it. Visitors can dine at great restaurants, or plan a romantic wedding. Here are the best things to do in Huntington Beach. Scroll to see the full list with photos or jump to the table of contents.

Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach Pier

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If you keep walking from Main Street and cross the Pacific Coast Highway and the beach, you will end up at the Huntington Beach Pier, one of the top Huntington Beach attractions to see on your romanticday trip.

The iconic heart of the city, it is a pier of indulgence - its only purpose is pure fun. It invites visitors to enjoy a stroll along its 1,850 feet that stretch all the way to the Ruby's Surf City Diner.

It is the place where people come to watch surfers and where surfers come to meet their buddies and discuss the latest opportunities.

The pier is also a favorite among fishermen, even young beginners who are learning how to cast a line from their grandpas. The magical sunsets attract hundreds of tourists every evening. The pier is so picturesque that few hardly think of its rough past.

Built in 1904, it was destroyed by powerful storms on three occasions and once by an earthquake. Originally built entirely of lumber, it is now made of steel reinforced concrete protected by epoxy, and it can withstand almost anything nature wants to throw at it. The pier is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Huntington Beach Pier Map

Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington Beach

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No other city besides Huntington Beach can say that their downtown consists of a pier and the best beach in town, great bars, fabulous restaurants, ice cream shops, nail salons, and fashion boutiques.

Downtown Huntington Beach is made for pleasure in the true spirit of Surf City, USA.

If you are wondering what to do in Huntington Beach today, there is always something happening downtown, but on Tuesdays during Surf City Nights, the city really comes alive.

Three blocks of Main Street are closed for traffic and lined with sidewalk stalls selling everything from farmers’ fresh produce to flowers and crafts. There is music and live performances of all kinds and even kids’ dances, bounce houses, and a pony or two.

Downtown Huntington Beach is one of the best things to do in Huntington Beach, California. More California vacations.

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park

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This state beach is located on Pacific Coast Highway, stretching for two miles between Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach south and the Santa Ana River on the boundary with Newport Beach.

Just an hour from Los Angeles, Huntington is the most popular beach in town, and it’s a great place to spend a day surfing, swimming, fishing, taking a stroll by the water, or doing absolutely nothing in the shade of your umbrella.

There are all sorts of facilities for those who cannot sit still and do nothing, from volleyball courts and basketball courts to hiking and biking trails.

Huntington Beach State Park is one of the best things to do in Huntington Beach, California.

A paved trail goes for 8.5 miles, connecting Huntington Beach and Bolsa Chica beach. Huntington State Beach is a popular surfing beach, especially in late spring, summer, and the fall, when swells come from the south to produce prime waves. Swimming is fun but the strong current and rip tides make it risky for non-swimmers. Fishermen love Huntington Beach, especially in the summer during Grunion Run, when large crowds enjoy catching fish with their bare hands.

21601 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92646, 714-536-1454, Map

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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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Bordered by Pacific Coast Highway on one side and residences and oil fields on the other, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a 1,300-acre coastal estuary with a range of habitats, from open water, mudflats, and salt marshes to coastal dunes. It was created as a sanctuary for migratory birds and wildlife and for the protection of the coastal wetlands and endangered species that call it home.

You can walk through the reserve along the five miles of trails and look for resident and migratory birds – there are almost 200 species that are regularly spotted. Visit the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Interpretive Center off Warner Avenue to learn more about the efforts to preserve wetlands and to find out about the scheduled wetland tours given by one of the local conservation groups.

Warner Ave. and PCH, (opposite Bolsa Chica State Beach), Huntington Beach, CA, 714-846-1114, Map

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Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra

Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra

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Music lovers should look no further than the Huntington Beach Symphony Orchestra, which aims to deliver music to the community in all different styles and genres to suit a variety of tastes. To that end they deliver regular concerts throughout the year and also feature a youth choir.

There is also a focus on education through music, and the orchestra runs a series of outreach programs with the aim of making music accessible to all. Aside from their educational endeavors, there are also events dedicated to providing information on all aspects of artistic processes related to music such as presentations on conducting. These events are great for those who want to dig a little deeper.

PO Box 3296, Huntington Beach, CA, 714-275-5524

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Bolsa Chica State Beach

Bolsa Chica State Beach

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Don’t let the fact that Bolsa Chica State Beach used to be known as “Tin Can Beach” back in the 1960s put you off the idea of visiting. Nowadays it’s famous for a whole range of outdoor pursuits that don’t involve cans of any kind, and visitors can enjoy surfing the perfect barrels that the waves in the area provide.

If you prefer gentler pursuits then fishing is a popular pastime at this beach as is bird watching. There are picnic areas available if you fancy a bite to eat, and you can work off your lunch by walking along a trail that skirts the beach for over eight miles.

Bolsa Chica State Beach, From Sunset Beach to Seapoint Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA, Phone: 714-846-3460

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Huntington Harbour

Huntington Harbour

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Nestled in a corner of Huntington Beach, Huntington Harbour encircles a cluster of five small islands. Within the harbor and running between the islands are small picturesque waterways that are overlooked by a bustling beachfront featuring dining and shopping options.

Visitors to Huntington Harbour can charter a private boat for a tour of the canals, and the location is also popular with kayakers who can paddle the waters in a safe and relaxed environment. Due to the calm atmosphere there are plenty of opportunities to observe the local flora and fauna, and bird watching is a favorite activity in the area.

Huntington Harbour, 16252 Countess Drive, Huntington Bach, CA 92649, 714-969-3492

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Huntington Beach Art Center

Huntington Beach Art Center

© Huntington Beach Art Center

A community arts center and cultural center in one, the Huntington Beach Art Center is dedicated to presenting and showcasing artworks of all kinds of media by local artists. The aim of the center is to encourage curiosity and promote understanding of contemporary perspectives as well as cultural and historic ones. Every year, the art center makes an open call to the community and receives submissions from up to 300 artists annually, each vying for a spot in the year’s exhibit.

Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main Street, Huntington Beach, California 92648; Phone: 714-374-1650

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International Surfing Museum

International Surfing Museum

© International Surfing Museum

If you are curious to know about all things surfing related then be sure to stop at the International Surfing Museum. Their mission is simple: to impart the local love of surfing by taking visitors through the historical and cultural significance of the sport as well as showcasing rare and restored surfboards in their revolving collections.

Particularly noteworthy attractions include pieces such as motorized surfboards as well as a whole wealth of other surf related memorabilia. It is also said that the museum is a great place to come if you want some insider tips on the best places to surf in the area.

411 Olive Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-960-3483, Map

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Huntington Central Park

Huntington Central Park

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Sprawling over 300 acres, Huntington Central Park is the largest park owned by the state in the Orange County area and has a whole range of outdoor activities to suit all visitors. There are fire pits suitable for barbecuing as well as picnic areas and lush lawns perfect for playing games like Frisbee or simply relaxing with family and friends.

There are marked trails for those who want to go for a walk or jog as well as a flower garden showing off the local flora and fauna. Sporting events are held throughout the year and biking and fishing are also popular pursuits in the park.

Huntington Central Park, 18100 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714-536-5486

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Shipley Nature Center

Shipley Nature Center

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A testament to the local community, the Shipley Nature Center was created in order to preserve the natural environment of the region of Shipley so that future generations could enjoy it in the years to come. The nature center spans 10 acres within Huntington Central Park and is intended as a source of education on the local flora and fauna of the region.

Docents are available to answer any questions visitors may have. There are leafy spots where you can sit, and relax and you can also find trails, streams, lawns, and pathways. In addition, the center features different themed gardens, and visitors can either follow one of the educational programs available or opt for a self guided tour on one of the trails.

Shipley Nature Center, 17851 Goldenwest St, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714-842-4772

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Old World Village

Old World Village

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If you like your shopping and dining experiences to take place in an old world setting, then look no further than Old World Village. In operation since the 1970s, the village is designed with cobbled streets, giving it a period feel, and it has a wealth of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment outlets to keep you busy. If you are looking for fun things to do in Huntington Beach, California with kids, this is a great place to visit.

All the businesses are privately owned to provide an eclectic mix of venues and boutique experiences such as local handicrafts and gift shops. The village hosts events throughout the year such as Oktoberfest and even dachshund races if you want to witness something truly unique.

Old World Village, 7561 Center Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714-895-8020

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Newland House Museum

Newland House Museum

© Newland House Museum

For those interested in the history of the Huntington area, the Newland House Museum is a must-see. Built at the end of the nineteenth century and spanning over 500 acres, the home has been lovingly restored for visitors to enjoy, and it contains period memorabilia of the Newland family and their ten children.

The area was also previously used as a farm to plant local produce, and there are tours provided for those wishing to see an example of how inhabitants of Huntington used to live in days gone by. Newland House Museum is also famous for being the oldest home in Huntington Beach and is now under the management of the Historical Society.

Newland House Museum, 19820 Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-962-5777

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Surfers' Hall of Fame

Surfers' Hall of Fame

© Surfers' Hall of Fame

Quite simply, the Surfer’s Hall of Fame is a monument to all the great surfing legends who have made the voyage to Huntington to surf the crisp barrels the ocean here provides. The Hall of Fame is modeled on Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, and it has preserved the hand and footprints of surfing greats in cement.

The location is also close to Huntington Beach Pier, also the home of the annual surfing championships, so the area is literally steeped in surfing history. There are even bronze statues featuring famous surfers in the region, so if you are a fan of the sport then this is sight not to be missed.

Surfers' Hall of Fame, 300 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-841-4000

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Huntington Dog Beach

Huntington Dog Beach

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Californians are famous for their love of dogs, but Huntington goes one step further. Huntington Dog Beach is a beautiful stretch of beach along the Pacific Coast Highway between 21st Street and Seapoint Avenue, and it is reserved for the fun and games of our furry friends. Their human companions are allowed only if they behave.

It is such a pleasure to watch all sorts of dogs running freely along the mile and a half of soft sand, charging the waves and hopping after Frisbees. It is also a great place for their humans to make some new friends or meet up with old ones, have a picnic on the grassy area with picnic tables, or just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching their best friend have such a great time.

Huntington Dog Beach, 100 Goldenwest Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-841-8644

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Meadowlark Golf Course

Meadowlark Golf Course

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Just because Huntington Beach is called Surf City doesn’t mean that surf and water-based recreation is all it has to offer. Golfing enthusiasts can also enjoy exciting courses like the Meadowlark Golf Course. Characterized by lovely mature trees and rolling fairways of Bermuda and Kikuyu, the Meadowlark Golf Course features 5,609 yards of completely natural terrain and an old-school course designed by William P. Bell. It’s a par-70 18-hole course that is both challenging and utterly enjoyable and regarded by many to be a gem of southern California golfing. Enjoy fantastic food and drinks care of the Lark Ness Café to end your day and refuel after hours spent on the grass.

Meadowlark Golf Course, 16782 Graham Street, Huntington Beach, California 92649, Phone: 714-846-1364

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Four Sons Brewing

Four Sons Brewing

© Four Sons Brewing

Four Sons Brewing opened its brewery doors to the public in 2014. Since then, they’ve been pouring every ounce of their heart and minds into the brewing process. The result? Outstanding craft beers brewed from only the best ingredients that the brewery can get its hands on and through the most innovative techniques in the industry today.

Visitors can sample Four Sons Brewing’s award-winning beers at the taproom. Sip on light options like the Unicorn Kisses, the Hard Seltzer, or the CocoNutorious, or go for IPAs or Pales like Surf City and the Great One. Four Sons also offers stouts, porters, and sours. The taproom welcomes guests every day of the week.

Four Sons Brewing, 18421 Gothard Street Suite 100, Huntington Beach, California 92648, Phone: 714-584-7501

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Solita, Huntington Beach, CA

Solita, Huntington Beach, CA

© Solita

Solita might sell traditional Mexican street food, but it is not a street cantina. Solita is a sophisticated, beautifully decorated Mexican oasis with bright sunny colors, lovely décor, and a spectacular outdoor patio. Custom wood tables and comfortable banquettes offer cozy seating for those who like to linger over bold margaritas and delicious tacos.

The smell of the wood grill, fresh herbs, and garlic meet you as you walk inside and prepare you for outstanding authentic Mexican food with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and home-made salsa made from tomatillos and Mexican beer. Their large selection of inventive tacos will surely make you a devoted fan of Mexican food. Try the chorizo, sweet potato and bacon taco plate. It is hot, so make sure you have enough beer or water to douse the fire.

Solita , 7631 Edinger Ave #1508, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714-894-2792

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Duke’s Huntington Beach

Duke’s Huntington Beach

© Duke’s Huntington Beach

You will feel the spirit of Aloha when you come to the magnificent Duke’s restaurant on the very edge of the surf in Huntington Beach. Only a wall of glass separates diners from miles of sand and an endless expanse of ocean. Named by legendary Duke Kahanamoku, the Hawaiian athlete who brought surfing and the Aloha spirit to Huntington, this lovely beach restaurant offers the best Hawaiian traditional dishes with fresh fruits of the sea and offerings from the fields of California.

Focused on fish and seafood, Duke’s menu is diverse and inventive. You will find delights such as Tahitian shrimp, crab and macadamia nut wontons, and fresh Ahi sashimi. They have a variety of macadamia nuts in all incarnations. If you come for afternoon cocktails, Duke’s Barefoot Bar with its beach location will treat you with colorful tropical drinks with or without alcohol and many of Duke’s regular menu items.

Duke’s Huntington Beach, 317 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-374-6446

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Sushi on Fire

Sushi on Fire

© Sushi on Fire

Sushi on Fire is a lively restaurant on Main with customers who are willing to wait for half an hour or more to get their sushi fix. The spacious restaurant is dominated by the sushi bar where a group of sushi chefs are frantically mixing and rolling ingredients, concocting a number of dishes you would not expect to find in a Japanese restaurant, such as sushi tacos.

They call their fare “sushi fusion,” so expect inventive and imaginative sushi that is remarkably delicious even if it mostly caters to the Western palate.

They serve great hot sake and a few other Japanese dishes, but the huge sushi menu is so tempting and the names are so curious (Hello Kitty sushi!) that it is difficult to not want to try new things. Their fish is super fresh (just off the boat), the atmosphere is fun, and the restaurant is located in the middle of the shopping district, making Sushi on Fire a great place to stop for lunch or dinner.

Sushi on Fire, 301 Main St #103, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, 714-374-8885

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Bella Terra

Bella Terra

© Bella Terra

Aimed at all age groups and visitors from couples to families, Bella Terra, a self-styled beach town and a shopping and entertainment venue located at Beach Boulevard, offers something for everyone.

Aside from an entire host of shopping opportunities there are also a range of restaurants to choose from, whether you are looking for a romantic dinner for two, or a quick bite with the family. Once you are finished shopping and dining, you can check out the theaters and live entertainment shows throughout the year, or you can simply wander through the gardens and fountains or hang out in the amphitheatre.

Bella Terra , 7777 Edinger Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92647, 714-897-2533

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21 Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach, CA :