Nicknamed “Surf City USA”, Huntington Beach is a popular resort destination for locals and international tourists. This 121-acre state beach has a long pier and a beautiful sandy beach with dunes sheltering many bird species.
Facilities include parking lots (open until 10pm), bathrooms, showers, lifeguard HQ and fire rings for bonfires. It is ideal for sunbathing, walking, fishing and watching pro surfers.
There are sandbars at the south end of Huntington Beach which shift in storms and can create rip currents and dangerous conditions. This often makes the beach unsuitable for swimming and novice surfers.
As it’s nickname suggests, Huntington Beach is an excellent surfing beach with great conditions. Prime waves roll in consistently from the south, particularly during the spring and autumn. When they reach shallower waters, the swell peaks to perfection as it unloads on the sand.
In 1910, the city founder, Henry Huntington, hired a Hawaiian surfer, George Freeth, to demonstrate the art of surfing on wooden longboards that were up to 16 feet long! The sport quickly caught on. The first ever West Coast Surfing Championships were held on the beach in 1959. From then on, surfing was part of the local culture with boards becoming lighter, shorter and more manoeuvrable.
Today, Huntington Beach is so synonymous with the history of surfing, it is home to the Surfer’s Hall of Fame and the International Surfing Museum which is crammed with longboards and memorabilia. It still hosts the US Open Surfing, the largest annual surf competition in the world.
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