edit

Introduction

Huntington Beach is in Orange County in Southern California. Once known as Pacific City, it started as the southern terminus of the Golden West railroad line. Huntington Beach is world-famous as "Surf City", from the 1960s Jan and Dean surf rock song of the same name, and much of surfing culture started and continues to evolve there, from surfing styles to surfing apparel companies that started there. Huntington Beach is also mentioned by name in the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari", where "at Huntington and Malibu they're shooting the pier". The year-round temperature averages 20 degrees C, and good weather can be had every month, though the months of January to March can be rainy. Peak season is from late May to early September. The beaches on any given summer day may have as many as 500,000 visitors when it is particularly hot inland.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Bolsa Chica Wetlands. Huntington Beach boasts the largest unspoiled coastal wetlands in California where many migratory birds stop and nest.
  • Huntington Beach Pier. the second most popular sight here, after the beach itself.
  • Main Street. is a shopping and gathering place for residents and tourists alike, with sidewalk cafes, surf shops and live music all vying for attention.
  • Huntington Beach. has some of the largest stretches of open-sand beaches in all of California, as well the Huntington Beach Pier (one of the longest concrete piers in the world), site of world-class surfing and volleyball events yearly.
  • Running/Walking/biking/rollerblading. There is a wide boardwalk right by the pier. It is part of the Huntington Beach Bike Path. The Bike Path runs for about eight miles along the beach. Heading south along the boardwalk is likely your best scenic scenario. Walking, riding a bike, running are all very safe. Many very good runners first thing in the morning - often as soon as the sun comes up.
  • Surfing. You can try your hand at surfing. There is a surf rental shop right at the boardwalk. Start with a boogie board for the day circa $15 US. There are many good surfers so they may get annoyed if you stand in the waves too long. Keep moving; this is your best bet. If you get tired get out (of their way) by heading to the hot sandy beach to rest up for more.
  • Relaxing. Take a walk up the Main street. There are a number of restaurants and a Starbucks.
  • Partying. There are so many bars on Main St. that you can meet with friends at any of them and have a great time drinking, dining, or dancing. During the winter, you can organize a "pub crawl" and have your group stop for a drink at every bar.
  • Nickel Nickel, 7454 Edinger Ave (Moving to 12827 Harbor Blvd). On weekend nights, the Huntington Beach video game arcade where everything costs only nickels to play is packed with teenagers.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

As with most of Orange County, Huntington Beach is serviced by John Wayne Airport (SNA IATA) in Santa Ana, located 17.5km to the northeast. SNA is served by many major carriers for flights from all regions of the U.S. and from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento in northern California.

Long Beach Airport (LGB IATA) is also within close distance (17mi/27km to the west) but is dominated by JetBlue Airways, which serves 14 destinations from Long Beach: Oakland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Chicago (O'Hare), Boston, New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles), Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. American (Phoenix), Delta (Salt Lake City) and Southwest(Denver & Oakland) also serve Long Beach too.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX IATA) is the largest airport in the area with connections from more destinations in the U.S. and internationally, located 59km away.

By Train

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink's Orange County Line serve Santa Ana, Tustin, Buena Park, and Irvine.

By Car

Huntington Beach is located at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and the Pacific Coast Highway, just under 14 miles directly south of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Interstate 405, which links John Wayne, Long Beach, and Los Angeles International Airports, intersects Beach Boulevard about 6 miles north of Huntington Beach.

Parking: The best place to park is the city parking located right at the beach. The entrance is just north of Highway 1 (the PCH) and the main street. You will conveniently be able to unload watercoolers, surf boards and the kids all safely without having to cross streets. It saves on lifting and lugging as well. You can wash off and change clothes right next to the parking at the water showers and washrooms. Washrooms are adequate but small. They also get wet and sandy during the day.

If you're on a budget, you can usually find some parking in nearby neighborhoods. But watch for street signs that may indicate parking is only allowed at certain times or days. This may require a little more walking if you're headed to the beach, but it's not too much.

Top

edit

Getting Around

OCTA Route 1* North and South runs along the Pacific Coast Highway, servicing all of Orange County's beaches. Routes 33 and 35 South directly run into Huntington State Beach. Routes 21** South, 70* West and 72 West end at Sunset Beach. Routes 25 South, 29 South, 172 West and 173** South all serve Huntington's downtown and its beach.

For route 1 North make sure that the banner reads Cal State Long Beach and not Newport Transportation Center. For route 70 make sure it reads Sunset Beach and not Goldenwest Transportation Center. No service on weekends.

Top

edit

Eat

  • Fred's Mexican Cafe, 300 Pacific Coast Hwy. Ph (714)374-TACO. Great Mexican food & the best Margaritas north of Tijuana. There is no better view of the Huntington Beach pier than Fred's patio. Good prices and a favorite of the locals!
  • Chronic Tacos, 328 11th St, ☎ +1 714 960-0339, fax: +1 714 960-0094. Located a few blocks from downtown, this place offers a full menu of extremely tasty tacos, burritos, and other Mexican cuisine served from behind a counter. Prices for a giant burrito are around $5.50 (includes guacamole, cheese, meat, and a choice of other fillings). Two pool tables are also available for $0.75 per game.
  • Islands, 7861 Edinger Ave, ☎ +1 714 897-4619. A Californian chain, this is a great place for family, serving hamburgers, salads, and hotdogs.

Matsu Japanese Restaurant, 18035 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 848-4404. Japanese restaurant with nice atmosphere and a red-lit sushi bar. The prices are good for quality sushi. Try the lunch time menu offered during the weekdays which includes bento-box meals that are enormous for about $10, and the sushi and sashimi lunch specials are half the price of the dinner versions.

  • Ruby's, ☎ +1 714 969-7829. Huntington Beach Pier. A great place for family with 50s diner feeling and great hamburgers, hotdogs and milkshakes. It's located at the end of the pier, so it offers lovely views of the Pacific, the Huntington Beach coastline, and (on less smoggy days) Catalina Island.
  • Sugar Shack Cafe, 213 1/2 Main St, ☎ +1 714 536-0355. 213. A favorite cafe for locals, famous in Huntington Beach for great breakfasts and amazingly low prices.
  • Duke's, 317 Pacific Coast Highway (At the base of the pier), ☎ +1 714 374-6446.
  • Mangia Mangia, 16079 Goldenwest St (Head towards Westminster), ☎ +1 714 841-8887. Basic strip mall restaurant with excellent authentic Italian food edit
  • Hangout Too Southern Bar & Grill, 16446 Bolsa Chica St, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 (Cross Street: Heil Avenue), ☎ +1 657 204-9306. 11:30AM to 11PM Daily. Casual Restaurant near Bella Terra & Huntington Harbour Serving New American Food. Craft Beers, Burgers, Seafood, BBQ. Outside patio that's dog friendly with free parking.
  • Slater's 50/50 Burgers by Design, 8082 Adams Ave, ☎ +1 714 594-5730. Burgers, beer and lots of bacon. Select from menu or design your own burgers, but you have to like bacon to eat here. Good selection of beers too.

Top

edit

Drink

  • Aloha Grill, 221 Main St, ☎ +1 714 374-4427. This upstairs bar and grill has a luau vibe and friendly staff. This may be the only place you can go where you would be gay not to ask for a rainbow (Rainbow is the name of their world-famous tropical drink).
  • Longboard Restaurant & Pub, 217 Main St, ☎ +1 714 960-1896. Good, cold beer and a delicious menu. Their appetizers are tough to beat.
  • Hurricanes Bar & Grill, 200 Main St # 201, ☎ +1 714 374-0500. Delicious drink options include blended drinks such as their Rum Runners, and the food menu has Caribbean cuisine. It's a cool place to be with great "scenery" for the guys, but the service isn't always nice to people in large groups so be aware.
  • Killarney's Irish Pub, 209 Main St, ☎ +1 714 536-7887. Whether you want a Guinness on tap or delicious Irish cuisine, Killarney's is well-suited to fit your needs.
  • Jan's Health Bar, 501 Main St, ☎ +1 714 536-4856. Fresh and healthy soups, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and fruit drinks.
  • Huntington Beach Brewing Company, 201 Main St, ☎ +1 714 960-5343. Ste E, Great Micro Brews, Food and Girls.
  • Mama's on 39, 21022 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 374-1166. Family Style dining in a casual atmosphere. "Great vibe...great food...great place."
  • Pete's Sunset Grille, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway, ☎ +1 714 845-4775. Located inside the Hyatt, Vacationers and locals take advantage of nightly happy hour, 4 - 7PM in the Pete's Bar. Complimentary valet parking available for up to three hours, with a minimum purchase of $25 and proper validation. Enjoy a sunset cocktail!
  • House of Brews, 16903 Algonquin St (direction Seal Beach off Warner Avenue), ☎ +1 714 377-3893. Great place for beers and a game of pool with friends.

Top

edit

Sleep

There are accommodations from beach campgrounds to five-star resorts along the Pacific. The beach campgrounds are open year round and usually full.

  • Huntington Beach Inn, 800 Pacific Coast Highway, ☎ +1 714 536-7500, fax: +1 714 536-6846.
  • Best Western Regency Inn, 19360 Beach Blvd, ☎ +1 714 962-4244, fax: +1 714 963-4724.
  • Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, 21500 Pacific Coast Highway. A luxurious Spanish-inspired hotel with views of the Pacific. Includes a heated pool, direct access to the beach, surf pros, tennis, biking and Camp Hyatt.
  • Comfort Suites Hungtington Beach, 16301 Beach Blvd., ☎ +1 714 841-1812. Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 3PM. Great Hotel Suites for Economical Prices and breakfast in the morning!! $89.99-129..99.
  • The Waterfront Beach Resort, 1100 Pacific Coast Highway, ☎ +1 714 845-8000. Recently remodeled rooms 7 suites. Pet friendly, Shades Restaurant & Bar, Tennis court, Fitness center, volleyball court, laundry facility, and more.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Top

Huntington Beach Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Huntington Beach

This is version 8. Last edited at 11:12 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License