Huntington Beach is one of my favorite cities in Orange County, California. There are so many things to do in Huntington Beach. From the pier to the bike trail to the fire pits and more! Huntington Beach aka Surf City USA is worth the drive even if you’re coming from LA. I have enjoyed some of my favorite Southern California sunsets here.

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what to do at huntington beach

When I go to the beach in HB I love going to Huntington State Beach and/or Huntington City Beach which are right next to each other. Huntington State Beach goes from Newport Beach North to Beach Blvd where Huntington City Beach begins. The other beach in this area is Bolsa Chica State Beach. Each of these beaches has fire pits but if you want to be near the Huntington Beach Pier or play on the volleyball courts you’ll want to be at the city beach.

Enjoy Free Parking with the California State Library Parks Pass

The California State Library Parks Pass is an incredible free resource that you can access with a library card. How it works is that you can check the pass out from the library and receive free parking at over 200 state parks and beaches. I have been able to check it out multiple times but how accessible the pass is will depend greatly on how popular it is in your area. I have had friends tell me that there is a 6 month waiting list to check it out from Huntington Beach libraries where I have never had to wait more than a few days if that when checking it out from Long Beach Libraries or Porter Ranch where I live now. If you have a Los Angeles Public Library card you can place a hold on the pass directly from the LAPL app and it will notify you when the pass has arrived at your local library for pickup.

In Huntington Beach, you can use the pass at Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington State Beach. It is $15 to park at the beach but it is free when you have the pass. You can read more about the California State Library Parks Pass here.

Huntington Dog Beach

huntington dog beach

There are not many dog-friendly beaches in both Orange County and LA County. If you have a small dog a beach with calmer waves like Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach might be the best option for you. However, if you have a dog that can handle bigger waves Huntington Dog Beach is an excellent choice. This is a 1.5-mile stretch of beach location near lifeguard stand 22 which is in between Goldenwest and Seapoint off of Pacific Coast Highway. If you are traveling with your dog this is a great city to visit as they have several pet-friendly hotels. Every April and every October you can enjoy SoCal Corgi Beach Day. It is such a fun event with hundreds of corgis coming together for a fun day.

The Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail

huntington beach bike trail

I got my beach cruiser years ago but it wasn’t until recently that I was finally able to bike at the beach. I had so much fun riding on the bike trail while having a beautiful view of the beach. The trail as a whole is 8 miles long but of course, it is up to how you far you want to ride. The trail end points are Santa Ana River Trail at SR 1/Pacific Coast Hwy. and Warner Ave. and N. Pacific Ave.

Catch a Wave

huntington state beach

I love riding my boogie board at the beach and hope someday that I can learn to skimboard. A few years ago I did take a surfing lesson from the Clint Carroll surf school that I found on Groupon. For me, the waves were too big to navigate, and learning to surf here was incredibly rough. But, others in my lesson did better so if you’re interested in trying this is a great way to learn.

Enjoy a Fire Pit

huntington beach fire pits

During the summer and especially on weekends it is difficult to be able to get a fire pit unless you arrive early. We have an entire blog post dedicated to beach bonfires in Orange County with all of the locations and suggestions to make it more enjoyable. You can check out that blog post here.

Visit the Pier

I love walking on the pier for some great views of the water and surfing. You’ll find a few small shops as well as the Broad Street Oyster Company at the end of the pier for a meal.

Find the Surfing Walk of Fame

surfing walk of fame

Located on PCH right by the Huntington Pier is the Surfing Walk of Fame. This Walk of Fame is very different than the Walk of Fame in Hollywood but a perfect fit for Surf City. If you like finding things like this check out my post on Walks of Fame in Southern California.

Polar Playground

polar playground

They create amazing cotton candy characters that are edible works of art. The list of available characters changes daily. A cotton candy character is $20 but the characters are gigantic so multiple people can share one. For an extra $2 you can add an LA baseball hat. The lines are long so be sure to arrive early.

On Sundays, they open at 1 pm. We arrived at 11:55 am and were 7th in line. We had our characters by 1:30 pm. At peak times the wait can be roughly 3 hours. The characters are amazingly detailed and almost too cute to eat. They have a bagging area to help keep it as fresh as possible for you. Please note they are closed Monday-Wednesday.

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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