10 Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach – Top Beaches, Pier, Romantic Places, and Tips on Parking

4.8/5 - (5 votes)

Crisp ocean air, endless summer vibes, and an irresistible laid-back lifestyle – if these sound enticing, Huntington Beach, California, might just be the perfect destination for your next getaway. Having soaked in its vibrant atmosphere and sampled an eclectic mix of experiences, we’ve got the inside scoop on the best Things to Do in Huntington Beach.

Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach
Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

From early morning surf sessions against the backdrop of a fiery sunrise, to lazy afternoons exploring quirky shops and eateries, followed by picturesque sunsets accompanied by the rhythm of local music – Huntington Beach is more than just a city, it’s a symphony of unforgettable moments waiting to be explored.

But here’s the real deal: it’s not just about being a famous surfing destination or the city’s undeniably cool vibe.

In this article, I have curated the best of these vibrant and diverse experiences, ensuring your visit to Huntington Beach is nothing short of spectacular.

List of 10 Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach PierThe pier is the centerpiece attraction of the beach and offers excellent views of the ocean. You can also rent fishing gear and kites on the pier.
Huntington City BeachThis beach is one of the most popular attractions in Huntington Beach and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.
Downtown Huntington BeachThe downtown area is a beautiful place to explore, with plenty of shopping stores, restaurants, and bars.
Huntington Central ParkThis park is the largest in Huntington Beach and offers a variety of activities, including disc golf, four playgrounds, Shipley Nature Center, fishing, and horseshoes.
Bolsa Chica Ecological ReserveThis reserve is a popular spot for birdwatching and hiking, with over 1,200 acres of wetlands, salt marshes, and coastal dunes.
Huntington Beach Art CenterThis center features contemporary art exhibitions, classes, and workshops.
Surf LessonsSurfing is a popular activity in Huntington Beach, and there are plenty of surf schools that offer lessons for beginners.
Sugar Shack CaféThis café is a local favorite and serves delicious breakfast and lunch dishes.
Huntington HarborThis harbor is a great place to rent a boat or kayak and explore the waterways.
Old World VillageThis village is a unique shopping and dining destination that celebrates German culture.
10 Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Consider reading: Best Things to Do in Los Angeles

Huntington Beach Pier: Where Ocean Adventures Begin

As one of the iconic landmarks in Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Pier offers a fantastic starting point for your coastal adventures.

Huntington Beach Pier
Huntington Beach Pier: – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

This must-visit attraction provides a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Take a leisurely stroll along the pier, soaking in the panoramic ocean views, the invigorating scent of saltwater, and the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves.

Don’t forget to capture the breathtaking sunsets that paint the sky in vibrant hues, creating a picturesque backdrop for unforgettable memories.

Huntington City Beach: A Seaside Paradise

For an authentic beach experience, look no further than Huntington City Beach. This pristine stretch of sandy shores is a paradise for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts alike.

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Lounge under the warm California sun, build sandcastles with your loved ones or dive into the refreshing waves for a rejuvenating swim.

With its miles of unspoiled coastline, Huntington City Beach is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and embrace the coastal lifestyle.

Downtown Huntington Beach: Vibrant Culture and Charm

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and charm of Downtown Huntington Beach. This lively hub offers a plethora of entertainment, dining, and shopping options.

Downtown Huntington Beach
Downtown Huntington Beach – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Explore Main Street, lined with surf shops, boutique stores, and trendy cafes, and experience the unique atmosphere that defines this beach town.

Discover hidden gems, savor delicious cuisine at local eateries, and soak in the laid-back ambiance that characterizes downtown Huntington Beach.

Huntington Central Park: Nature’s Oasis

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility in the sprawling Huntington Central Park. Spanning over 350 acres, this urban oasis offers a wide range of recreational activities amidst nature’s beauty.

Huntington Central Park
Huntington Central Park – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Hop on a bike and explore the winding paths, enjoy a leisurely picnic under the shade of towering trees, or marvel at the stunning botanical gardens that showcase a diverse array of flora and fauna.

Huntington Central Park is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts and a haven for those seeking serenity.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve: Discover Nature’s Wonder

Nature enthusiasts will be captivated by the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a coastal wetland brimming with biodiversity.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Embark on a scenic hike along the trails that meander through marshes and open water habitats, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich ecosystem.

Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant bird species that call this reserve home, including graceful herons, majestic ospreys, and colorful shorebirds. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a true gem for nature lovers.

Huntington Beach Art Center: Immerse Yourself in Creativity

Indulge in the vibrant arts scene at the Huntington Beach Art Center. This dynamic space showcases a diverse range of contemporary artworks from both local and international artists.

Huntington Beach Art Center
Huntington Beach Art Center – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Explore thought-provoking exhibits that span various mediums and genres, and immerse yourself in the creative energy that permeates the center.

Engage in workshops and events that celebrate artistic expression and gain a deeper appreciation for the thriving art community of Huntington Beach.

Surf Lessons: Ride the Waves in Surfing Paradise

As the birthplace of West Coast surfing, Huntington Beach is a surfer’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete novice, taking surf lessons here is an experience like no other.

Join a reputable surf school and learn from experienced instructors who will guide you through the fundamentals of riding

the waves. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you catch your first wave and embrace the thrill of surfing in this legendary surf destination. It’s an exhilarating adventure that epitomizes the spirit of Huntington Beach.

Sugar Shack Café: A Breakfast Haven

Indulge in a delicious breakfast at the Sugar Shack Café, a beloved local institution. With over four decades of serving up mouthwatering morning meals, this charming eatery is a must-visit.

Sugar Shack Café
Sugar Shack Café – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Treat yourself to their famous “Shore Shack Breakfast,” featuring eggs, bacon, pancakes, and delectable cinnamon rolls.

The cozy, retro atmosphere and friendly staff create a warm and welcoming environment that perfectly embodies the beach town’s laid-back vibe.

Huntington Harbor: Discover a Waterfront Wonderland

Venture beyond the shoreline and explore the picturesque Huntington Harbor.

Huntington Harbor
Huntington Harbor – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Rent a kayak or paddleboard and glide along the tranquil waterways, admiring the stunning waterfront homes and luxurious yachts that grace the marina.

If you’re lucky, you might even encounter playful dolphins or curious seals frolicking in the calm waters.

Huntington Harbor offers a serene retreat and a unique perspective on the coastal lifestyle.

Old World Village: A Taste of Europe in Huntington Beach

Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Old World Village, a hidden gem that transports you to a slice of Europe within Huntington Beach.

Old World Village
Old World Village – Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

With its timber-framed buildings, cobblestone streets, and lively beer garden, this charming shopping and dining destination captures the essence of a traditional German village.

Browse through unique boutiques offering imported goods, savor authentic German cuisine at the renowned restaurant, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere during special events and festivals throughout the year.

Huntington Beach is a coastal paradise that offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, cultural delights, or thrilling adventures, this Southern California gem has it all. So, pack your sunscreen, embrace the laid-back vibe, and get ready for an incredible journey of exploration and relaxation in Huntington Beach.

Romantic Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Visiting Huntington Beach with your partner? Here is a recommendation for Romantic Things to Do in Huntington Beach:

  1. Take a gondola ride through the canals of Huntington Harbour with Sunset Gondola. Customize your ride with flowers, chocolates, or a message in a bottle for a truly romantic experience.
  2. Indulge in a couples’ spa day at an oceanfront resort spa like The Waterfront Beach Resort. Treat yourselves to massages for two or other rejuvenating treatments.
  3. Enjoy a breathtaking sunset at the Huntington Beach Pier, the longest recreational pier on the West Coast. Watch the sky transform into a palette of vibrant colors and cuddle up with your partner as the stars emerge.
  4. Share a flight of award-winning brews at local breweries like Four Sons Brewing, Riip Beer Co., or Golden Road Brewing. Alternatively, savor boutique California wines at Main Street Wine Company while enjoying delicious food options.
  5. Explore the beauty of nature at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Take a walk along the boardwalk, hike the easy trails through wetlands and mesas, and spot various bird species and wildlife.
  6. Immerse yourselves in the coastal city’s charm, culture, and relaxation, experiencing a variety of activities and attractions that cater to couples looking for quality time together.

Note: This list includes popular and highly recommended romantic activities in Huntington Beach, offering a diverse range of options for couples to create memorable experiences.

Romantic Restaurants in Huntington Beach

Looking for a Romantic Dinner at Huntington Beach? Here are some recommendations for you:

  1. Dukes: Enjoy wonderful food and a perfect view of the beach.
  2. LSXO: Indulge in Vietnamese fusion cuisine in a lovely and intimate setting.
  3. Bluegold: Delight in delicious food with a great ocean view at Pacific City.
  4. Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden: Experience a romantic dinner in the cozy atmosphere of Corona Del Mar.
  5. Rusty Pelican: Savor fantastic ocean views while dining at this Newport Beach restaurant.
  6. Tanners: Relish delicious cuisine with a stunning ocean view at Pacific City.
  7. Habana: Discover a romantic atmosphere and excellent food at this Irvine restaurant.
  8. Sushi ii: Treat yourselves to exquisite sushi at this Newport Beach eatery.
  9. Knife Pleat: Immerse yourselves in Michelin Star French cuisine at South Coast Plaza.

These are just a few of the recommended romantic restaurants in Huntington Beach and its surrounding areas.

Make sure to make reservations in advance, dress appropriately, and follow local guidelines and etiquette for a memorable dining experience.

Enjoy exploring Huntington Beach with your partner!

Parking Tips in Huntington Beach

Wondering where to Park in Huntington Beach. Here are some tips for you:

  1. Newport/Balboa Peninsula: Find free street parking in this area, which is just a short ten-minute drive from Huntington Beach.
  2. Main Parking Garage: Utilize the free parking for up to 20 minutes, or pay $1 per hour for up to an hour. The garage is located behind BJ’s and Hurricanes.
  3. State Parks Pass: Consider purchasing a $195 pass for state beaches, including Huntington Beach, if you visit frequently or plan to explore other state beaches.
  4. Downtown Neighborhoods: Explore the neighborhoods around downtown for free parking options, albeit with the possibility of a short walk.
  5. Pacific City: Enjoy a convenient location for exploration with paid parking available at this shopping center, which offers a splendid ocean view.
  6. Be Mindful of Guidelines: Remember to review local guidelines and adhere to parking etiquette in Huntington Beach. Some areas may have time limits or require permits.
  7. Special Events: Stay informed about parking restrictions during peak seasons and special events, such as the Pacific Airshow.

Keep these tips in mind to enhance your parking experience in Huntington Beach.

Experience the Vibrant Nightlife of Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, renowned for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere, offers a vibrant nightlife that is sure to captivate visitors.

After the sun sets, the city comes alive with a variety of activities that guarantee unforgettable evenings.

From movie screenings on the beach to thrilling haunted houses, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Huntington Beach at night and discover why each activity is an absolute must.

Watch a Movie on the Beach

One of the most enchanting experiences in Huntington Beach is attending Moonlight Movies on the Beach.

During the summer months, this event allows locals and tourists alike to gather on the sandy shores and indulge in free outdoor movies. \

As the sun sets, the giant inflatable screen near the pier lights up, creating a magical ambiance under the stars.

Whether you bring your own blankets and snacks or choose to purchase delectable treats from onsite vendors, this immersive movie experience will leave you with cherished memories of enjoying the cinema by the sea.

Visit the OC Night Market

For a lively and diverse night market experience, look no further than the OC Night Market.

Held several times a year at the OC Fair & Event Center in nearby Costa Mesa, this vibrant gathering is a culinary paradise.

Explore the countless vendor booths showcasing an array of mouthwatering food, refreshing drinks, and unique crafts.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere filled with live entertainment, games, and activities.

The OC Night Market offers a sensory extravaganza that will ignite your taste buds and leave you entertained throughout the evening.

Laugh out Loud at The Rec Room

If you’re in need of a good laugh and a great time, The Rec Room is the place to be.

This comedy club and bar, located inside GlowZone Huntington Beach, promises an evening filled with side-splitting humor and enjoyable activities.

Take a seat and be entertained by both local talents and renowned comedians as they deliver hilarious performances.

Enjoy a selection of drinks and indulge in delectable food while engaging in friendly competitions with games like pool, ping pong, and arcade machines.

The Rec Room offers the perfect combination of laughter, entertainment, and relaxation, making it an ideal spot to unwind and have fun.

Get Spooked at Huntington Beach Manor

For those who crave an adrenaline rush and enjoy a good scare, Huntington Beach Manor is an attraction not to be missed.

Operating during the Halloween season, this haunted house will transport you into a world of suspense and fright.

Venture through the manor’s dimly lit rooms and winding hallways, where you’ll encounter creepy characters and spine-chilling special effects.

With its eerie ambiance and hair-raising surprises, Huntington Beach Manor guarantees an unforgettable thrill.

This spine-tingling experience is recommended for ages 13 and up, offering a perfect opportunity to face your fears and create lasting memories.

Enjoy Live Music at J King Neptunes

When it comes to live music and an energetic atmosphere, J King Neptunes is the place to be.

Located near Sunset Beach, this bar and grill offers an impressive lineup of local bands and DJs, playing a wide range of genres to suit all musical tastes.

Immerse yourself in the infectious beats, dance the night away, and let the music carry you to new heights of enjoyment.

Savor delicious food and drinks, and if you’re feeling bold, take part in the exhilarating karaoke nights.

With its lively ambiance and fusion of music, J King Neptunes is the ultimate destination for a night filled with rhythm and revelry.

Final Thoughts on Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Having personally experienced the sun-soaked magic of Huntington Beach, I can confidently say that there’s nothing quite like it.

The palm-lined streets, refreshing ocean breeze, and captivating Pacific waves create a paradise for beach lovers.

The vibrant downtown with its culinary delights and the serene walks along the iconic Huntington Beach Pier truly capture the city’s charm.

My cherished memories include escaping to the tranquility of Huntington Beach Central Park, where I was surrounded by lush greenery and lively local wildlife.

The city’s electrifying nightlife is unforgettable, whether it’s enjoying live music at a beachside bar or having a romantic candle-lit dinner with an ocean view.

If you’re seeking a blend of thrilling surf, warm sunshine, vibrant local flavors, and the joys of nature, look no further than Huntington Beach.

Prepare your bags, grab your sunscreen, and let Surf City USA enchant you. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like watching a Huntington Beach sunset while savoring the last bite of a fish taco by the shore.

Experience Huntington Beach and let it create an unforgettable chapter in your travel diary, just as it did in mine. I eagerly await hearing about your own sun-kissed adventures!

FAQs on Best Things to Do in Huntington Beach

What are the top attractions to visit in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach, popularly known as “Surf City USA”, offers many iconic attractions. Top locations include the Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington State Beach, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and Huntington Central Park. For surf enthusiasts, the International Surfing Museum is a must-visit.

What are the best outdoor activities in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Surfing, swimming, beach volleyball, biking along the Huntington Beach Bike Trail, hiking in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and bird-watching are some popular outdoor activities.

Are there family-friendly activities in Huntington Beach?

Absolutely. Families can enjoy a fun day out at the Huntington Beach Adventure Playground, visit animals at the Shipley Nature Center, explore interactive exhibits at the Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest, or simply have a relaxing day at the beach.

What are some unique food experiences in Huntington Beach?

The city has a vibrant food scene. For seafood, try Duke’s Huntington Beach. Head over to Old World Village for German cuisine. Don’t miss out on the gourmet food trucks that line up at the beach, and the Surf City Nights, a weekly street fair with plenty of food options.

Are there any notable events happening in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach hosts many annual events like the US Open of Surfing, the Great Pacific Airshow, the Cherry Blossom Festival, and Surf City Nights. It’s recommended to check the local event calendar as these can change from year to year.

How is the nightlife in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach offers an exciting nightlife with a range of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Main Street is the epicenter of night activities, offering live music and rooftop bars with stunning ocean views. Notable spots include Pacific Hideaway, Baja Sharkeez, and Perqs Night Club.

Is Huntington Beach dog-friendly?

Yes, Huntington Beach is extremely dog-friendly. Huntington Dog Beach is a dedicated beach area where dogs can run off-leash. Many restaurants and shops in the city also welcome dogs.

What are the transportation options in Huntington Beach?

Huntington Beach can be navigated easily by car, bike, or on foot. The Surf City USA shuttle operates during peak season and there are bike rental services for those looking to explore the city’s scenic bike trails. Uber, Lyft, and traditional taxis are also readily available.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply