Huntington Beach may be known as Surf City, USA, but there's more to do than practice your pop-up. Located 35 miles south of bustling Los Angeles, this seaside city feels like a different world. Perpetual summer weather drenches the area in sunshine and good vibes. If you're looking for an escape from the ordinary, Huntington Beach provides.

01Go to the Beach

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The obvious thing to do in Huntington Beach is to visit its award-winning beaches. As a magnet for surfers from around the world, Huntington Beach regularly hosts World Surf League contests. Visitors can also enjoy volleyball, bonfires, and concerts out on the sand. The 1,850-feet-long Huntington Beach Pier provides seemingly endless views and cool ocean breezes. Grab a table at one of the many restaurants around the pier and watch the waves crash as you dine on world-class cuisine.

02Browse Boutiques and Surf Shops

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All around the Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street, you'll find trendy boutiques, vintage stores and surf shops perfect for exploring. Then branch out to these surrounding neighborhoods for more retail therapy:

  • With the ocean as its backdrop, Pacific City is a modern retail center carrying the latest fashions and gifts.
  • Find sunglasses and bathing suits at one of the many surf shops found in Downtown Huntington Beach.
  • 5th and PCH is home to both stylish boutiques and laid back surf shops.
  • Bella Terra has familiar, high-quality chains with all your favorite brands.
  • Kids and teens will find everything they need at one of many family-friendly shops at 5 Points Plaza.
  • Old World Village is a shopper's delight with novelty stores full of quirky items and imports.

03Soak Up the Culture

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Huntington Beach is all about arts, culture, and surfing. Two centers showcasing Huntington Beach's art and lifestyle can be found along Main Street. The Huntington Beach Arts Center features exhibits and collections from the local arts community. Come to Main Street on a Tuesday night for Surf City Nights for local music acts and street fare. The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum shows the history of surfing in the area, including the world's largest surfboard.

04Treat Yourself at a Spa

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Wellness is one of the cornerstones of life in Huntington Beach. Relax at one of the city's resort spas, book a facial in a Balinese-themed treatment room, or take a eucalyptus steam at a waterfront wellness center.

05Find Fresh Food and Entertainment at the Farmers Market

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Every Tuesday night, the first three blocks of Main Street are blocked off for the Huntington Beach Farmers Market as part of Surf City Nights. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., find seasonal produce and artisanal foods. Sample wild honey, gourmet salts and olive oils, and don't leave without a cut bouquet to freshen your room. Order dinner from one of many food vendors and enjoy live music at this family-friendly event.

06Unwind With a Cocktail Huntington Beach Style

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Huntington Beach boasts a whole host of bars and lounges where you can relax with your choice of carefully crafted cocktails or one of California's famous wines. Choose a seaside lounge for a glass of wine and cheese plate, or hit up one of Huntington Beach's talented mixologists for a cocktail especially tailored to your tastes. Huntington Beach only gets more amazing after dark.

07Still Give Surfing a Try

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Although there is a ton of other things to do in Huntington Beach, it's still the perfect place to put your surfing skills to the test. After all, it is known as Surf City, USA. Take some surf lessons available every day of the week. If surfing isn't your thing, there are plenty of paddleboard and kayak rentals to get you on the water. Huntington Beach has endless ways to get you up and moving.

08Take a Tour

Rent a Bicycle and See the Sights EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER / Getty Images

There are many ways to get familiar with Huntington Beach's attractions: Get an overview of Huntington Beach with a guided tour by bus or boat, or take a walking tour. For a more unique way to experience the city, join a trail ride and explore the coast by horseback. Pedal and electric bicycle rentals available for independent exploration of the city.

09Get Close to Nature

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Huntington Beach is home to 70 parks and wetlands. Huntington Harbour is your scenic gateway to outdoor enjoyment. Private charters, boats, kayaks, and paddleboards are available to rent. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Center offers some of the best birding in the country, and Shipley Nature Center has walking trails and butterfly and hummingbird gardens for year-round contemplative enjoyment.

10Run With the Dogs

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Huntington Beach won't leave dogs or dog-lovers out of the fun. Huntington Dog Beach is famous in canine circles and was voted as one of Orange County's top attractions by "Forbes Travel Guide." Find it on Pacific Coast Highway where dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach between Seapoint Avenue and 21 Street. There are also public restrooms for people and doggie waste bags for the dogs. Once a year, Surf City Surf Dogs attracts surfing dogs from all around to hang 20 on their own surfboards.