Sun, surf, and sand. Beach vibes and a laid-back lifestyle. If you want to put a pin in a city that best represents iconic California, all signs point to Huntington Beach — which rightfully touts itself as Surf City USA. Find waves and sun-kissed beaches here, along with all of the luxuries Orange County has to offer, only without pretense or attitude (forget what you see on Real Housewives of OC — Huntington Beach folks are the real deal). But that’s just the start. Pack your bathing suits and board shorts, but don’t forget a pair of hiking shoes and a growler — you know, just in case you run into some surprises along the way.
ENDLESS SUMMER WEATHER
Locals call their coveted climate “the endless summer” because Huntington Beach is blessed with 365 days of sunshine every year and an average temperature of 24 Celsius. Surf City USA revolves daily life around the great outdoors all year long, from the sparkling Pacific to our Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy Huntington Beach’s 16 kilometres of uninterrupted shoreline every day by soaking up sun, sand, and surf. Apparently, they’re not the only grateful ones, given Surf City USA’s growing list of accolades. In 2018, Huntington Beach was named “Best California Beach” by USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.
Five distinct public beaches dot the coast, each with its own amenities and charm. From north to south, the lineup is as follows: Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington City Beach, and Huntington State Beach. Fire pits can be found on both state beaches and City Beach, salty dogs roam freely at Dog Beach, and Sunset Beach retains that quintessential Southern California vibe.
Dotting Pacific Coast Highway are four exquisite luxury hotels, all within walking distance of each other as well as the charming downtown and the new shopping and dining marketplace, Pacific City. Kimpton Shorebreak Resort, at 5th & PCH, charmingly captures Huntington Beach’s surfer spirit and holds one of the best restaurants in town — Pacific Hideaway, a Pacific Rim-inspired space offering Latin American and Asian fusion fare, plus an eccentric craft cocktail menu. Continuing south, Paséa Hotel & Spa neighbours Pacific City and plays host to fabulous events, Bali- inspired Aarna Spa, and the whimsical treehouse bar at Tanner’s. The Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel, boasts the new Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge atop the new Twin Dolphin Tower, along with newly minted Drift, A Waterfront Spa. Finally, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa wins with Spanish-style Pacific Waters Spa and deliciously praised Watertable, plating West Coast comfort food in a refined rustic setting.
SIGHTSEEING IN HUNTINGTON BEACH
Here, nature lovers pay homage to the great outdoors. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands is the largest saltwater marsh along coastal California between Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary. More than 300 bird species have been spotted within its 1,400 acres of wetlands and trails. A stroll, jog, or cycle along the trails also affords visitors sightings of furry inhabitants like coyotes and rabbits, scaly residents including snakes and lizards, and marine life such as fish, sharks, and rays. Keep your eyes peeled for burrowing owls too!
EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER ON THE OCEAN
From fresh takes on fresh seafare to authentic bites of Mexico and Little Saigon, Huntington Beach’s wildly worldly food scene serves up just about anything your little — or hopefully big — appetite desires. Each distinct neighbourhood houses hidden culinary gems, like LSXO, a restaurant within a restaurant at Pacific City plating a French Vietnamese menu and hosting afternoon tea. Along Beach Boulevard, Slapfish offers sustainably caught seafood, including a killer lobster roll. Slowfish on the Bolsa Chica end of town serves up Asian cuisine with a California twist, like the “Fat Avo,” a whole avocado “apple” filled with seared and seasoned albacore.
A FLIGHT AWAY TO PARADISE
With 4-daily non-stop flights via Air Canada, West Jet and Delta into LAX, plus 99 connecting flights into LAX and 101 connecting flights daily into John Wayne Airport (SNA) daily from Toronto, your Southern California getaway to Huntington Beach’s sunny shores has never been easier.