Huntington Beach, the birthplace of Californian surf culture, is a destination officially known as Surf City USA and hosts the US’ premier surfing event each year in July – the Vans US Open of Surfing.
With a relaxed way of life fused with contemporary style, Huntington has carved the perfect edge of cool and laidback luxury.
So, what can you do when you land in Huntington Beach to immerse yourself in the surf culture?
Where to stay for the perfect surf holiday
With a quality range of accommodation options appealing to families and couples alike, Huntington Beach’s oceanfront hotels take laidback luxury to a whole other level.
Perched at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and mere steps from Huntington Beach Pier, sits the spectacular brand new Paséa property. A modern oasis with an unrivalled sense of coastal style, guests of the hotel can indulge in exclusive luxury yet still feel comfortable with the sand between their toes.
In Spanish, paséa means to take a stroll. It’s the combination of the words “Pacific” and “Sea” and evokes the pace – as in slow-and-steady. Under the golden sun of Southern California, the hotel provides everything one could ask for: a rooftop deck and bar overlooking the Pacific Ocean, wetsuits in your room, Wi-Fi by the pool and a Balinese-inspired spa with indoor and outdoor treatment areas. Each of the 250 ocean-view rooms and suites embrace Surf City USA’s beach lifestyle, with ocean and surf-inspired décor.
With beachfront rooms and suites, award-winning dining, swimming pools, gym and spa, The Hyatt Regency sets the scene for a memorable Californian retreat. Boasting contemporary Spanish-style architecture, the hotel offers a full range of guest services and activities, including surfing lessons at Surf City USA’s beach!
Just a stone’s throw to the beach and the vibrant scene of the Main Street, the Shorebreak Hotel is a surfside boutique property with a relaxed coastal vibe. With cool ocean blues, open-air patios, cozy fire-pits and award-winning surf photography on show at Aaron Chang’s Photo Gallery, Shorebreak takes the essence of Surf City USA to a whole other level.
Get the look
First of all you need to dress the part. There are so many surf shops in the area selling the latest trendy gear. Here are some of the places to check out:
What a classic! When in Huntington Beach, one cannot miss stopping by Huntington Surf and Sport. With men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories you’re sure to find something for everyone in the family. Thinking about buying a surf board? Huntington Surf and Sport has you covered! A stock list on their website lets you know which boards they have currently, updated each Friday, so you can know before you head into the shop. Huntington Surf and Sport also rents their boards for as little as $15, so you can get your surf session in!
Rip Curl’s flagship store, located close to the beach, has everything you need for a day of surfing for the entire family. While stocking up on beach necessities, you can rent surf boards, skateboards, wetsuits, and body boards for the afternoon, or the entire day! The iconic brand boasts a large storefront in Huntington Beach, with a view overlooking the waves. A knowledgeable and friendly staff are there to help you along the way to find your perfect fit, whether it be a t-shirt or a surfboard!
Consistently voted the number one surf shop in Orange County, Jack’s Surf Shop promises a find for every member of your family. A massive array of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories awaits each and every customer, along with some native Orange County surf shop experts. From surfboards to flip flops, Jack’s has become the go-to shopping destination for the Orange County beachgoer. In addition to a storefront in Huntington Beach, Jack’s Surf Shop Outlet is also located here! You can find amazing steals from the retail stores, marked down at outlet prices.
With only two storefronts, Surf City’s Toes on The Nose provides men’s clothing for coastal lifestyle and activities. Ranging from button-ups to beach hats, Toes on the Nose, located inside the Hyatt Regency, allows locals and visitors to truly live the beach lifestyle. In addition to clothing, Toes on the Nose teaches family surf lessons, rents beach cruiser bicycles, and other adventure packages such as s’mores on the beach or yoga sessions. For those looking for the ultimate beach adventure and lifestyle, head over to Toes on the Nose.
Quiver’s founders, Roland Verdugo and Steve Connolly, saw a major problem in the surf board industry and decide to change the way you buy a board. Instead of buying a surfboard that you think is going to work out, why don’t you rent the board for the day, or even a few minutes before purchasing it? That’s what Quivers is for. Daily rentals begin at just $39 and avid customers can purchase a membership for $99 per month. Pick out a surfboard with one of their experts, test it out for a wave, bring it back and try a new one! Once you’ve found a board you like, you can look into purchasing it or just keep renting the board through their membership programs.
Katin Surf Shop values it’s humble beginnings. Their strong materials originally made for boat covers quickly turned into custom swimming trunks for men. The first brand in California to make surf trunks, Katin continues to impress customers with excellent quality clothing and commitment to customer service. Since they value their community so much, Katin partners with A Walk On Water, a non-profit benefitting children with special needs. With an extensive inventory of men’s clothing ranging from swim trunks to flannels, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Katin Surf Shop
What to do
So you are decked out in your gear, you are staying in the hub of it all. Now you just need to get amongst the scene. These are just some of the things to see and do in the area:
International Surf Museum
The Surf Museum is one of the 125 icons of Orange County, and for good reason. Huntington Beach is one of the thriving surfing capitals of the world and interestingly enough, was founded by a woman that never surfed. Founder Natalie Kotsch was originally from Canada, but very quickly realized the importance of the surf culture in the city. She managed to preserve, catalog and bring to the public the history of surfing and the importance of Huntington Beach to surf culture. The museum is free for all to come and enjoy and view the rare items that Kotsch was able to preserve in the museum.
411 Olive Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Hit the Beach
Named best beach in California by USA Today, Huntington Beach’s shoreline stretches for 10 uninterrupted miles of wide opened sandy beaches making it a paradise for families, couples, dogs, and surfers. Five distinct public beaches sprawl along the coast, each with its own amenities and charm. Our sands are so inviting, in fact, they’ve won awards, including America’s Best Beach by Time Magazine, Best Beach in California by USA Today’s Readers Choice, and Best West Coast Beach by Coastal Living Magazine. Where perfect waves are born, Surf City USA attracts professional surfers and World Surf League contests. Our endless summer weather offers both relaxation and outdoor activities year-round. Some visitors favorites include: volleyball courts, bonfire pits, concerts and movies on the sand, and of course the iconic Huntington Beach Pier spanning 1,850 feet in length. Our pier sits in the heart of Huntington Beach and allows visitors and locals alike to experience the breathtaking views amidst the sounds of crashing waves and the ocean breeze. We are a beach that creates memories and holds a special place in the hearts of both our locals and visitors.
Van’s US Open of Surfing – July 28, 2018 – August 5, 2018
The Vans US Open of Surfing is the world’s largest surf competition and lifestyle festival. Each summer, over half a million people cruise the sand on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier for nine free fun-filled days. Watch as the best surfers in the world compete for one of the largest prize purses in the industry at this annual World Surf League qualifier.
In addition to surfing, the event includes world-class skateboarding and BMX competitions, movie premieres, retail and art exhibitions, and product demos and samples from your favorite action sport industry brands, including title sponsor Vans.
Post surf feed
Relishing in the delights of South California couldn’t be more iconic than sipping on the nectar of the vine and tasting the fruits of the sea while overlooking Huntington Beach’s pier with iridescent colours of pink, purple and orange of the setting sun. Whether you’d prefer to go fine dining or enjoy a meal over a more relaxed beachy ambiance, one of Surf City USA’s 275 restaurants will hit the sweet spot.
For a taste classic Huntington Beach, head to Pacific City’s Lot 579. It is here you will find a myriad of cuisines under one roof – from ocean-to-table seafood to fish tacos and even Australian meat pies at Pie Knot!
Named after the father of international surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, and located on the beach at Huntington Beach Pier, Duke’s restaurant and Barefoot Bar is where Hawaiian beach house ambiance meets premium seafood and prime steaks.
For a sophisticated yet cool casual Californian vibe, head to Sealegs, an award-winning Wine Bar in the heart of Huntington. Cuisine share plates made with fresh, local and sustainable items are paired with wines, while an extensive craft beer collection quenches a hard-earned thirst.
For more visit https://www.surfcityusa.com/
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