Things To Do in Huntington Beach, California

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Huntington Beach, California, may be known best as the surfing mecca of the west coast, but there is so much more to this charming coastal town. I recently spent the weekend in “Surf City USA” to enjoy all it offers. From fishing to biking to eating and shopping, these are some of the best things to do in Huntington Beach, California.

Eat: One of The Best Things To Do in Huntington Beach

My stomach often leads me to new places, and Huntington Beach did not disappoint my gastronomic needs. While the seafood was plentiful, there were also other great dining options to be had if seafood is not your thing.

Duke’s Huntington Beach

To Do in Huntington Beach
To Do in Huntington Beach

Right next to the Huntington Beach Pier is Duke’s Restaurant and Barefoot Bar. The interior is paneled in a warm, welcoming surfboard-esque wood, but your eyes will immediately be drawn to the giant windows that give guests a great view of the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant is named for the famous Duke Kahanamoku, often referred to as the father of international surfing.

Once you’ve moved past the surfing memorabilia, your first business order is to try their Mai Tai. Their catch-of-the-day is also a must-order, but make sure you save room for their famous Hula Pie. Made with macadamia nut ice cream, a chocolate cookie crust, chocolate fudge, and whipped cream, the Hula Pie is known in Hawaii as “What the sailors swam ashore for in Old Lahaina Town.”

Bluegold at Pacific City

Bluegold is a unique restaurant that I might not have stumbled upon if it weren’t for the recommendation by the team Huntington Beach’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Pacific City appeared to be a somewhat new shopping and dining location featuring popular stores and restaurants, unique eateries, and smaller boutiques.

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By the time I sat down in Bluegold, I was ready to try something besides seafood. I highly recommend their braised short ribs and polenta, but any of their “Plates de Dujour” would be a fantastic choice.

Henry’s Coastal Cuisine

If you’re like me and only follow beach volleyball during the Olympics, you’re missing out. The AVP Huntington Beach Open was worth visiting the area to see the competition in person. Not only is it free to enter, but you can watch from the stands, pier, or beer garden (guests must be 21 or older to enter the beer garden). Even if you don’t know who is playing, the matches are still exciting to watch.

Ride an E-Bike Around Town

E-bikes, or electric bikes, are similar to regular bicycles with the addition of an electric motor that helps each pedal give the rider more power. EV Rideables, a local bike shop in Huntington Beach, showed me how to use the motor in addition to my pedaling before I took off on my adventure. After about 15 minutes, I gained confidence in navigating the roads and spent almost an hour riding up and down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Have a Spa Day

After all your rigorous physical activity, a spa day may be just what you need. Huntington Beach has over 65 spas and wellness centers to choose from. Thanks to the team at Visit Huntington Beach, I enjoyed a few hours at Drift, a Waterfront Spa at The Waterfront Beach Resort. No matter which spa you choose, make sure to arrive early and take advantage of all its amenities, including steam or sauna rooms, a jacuzzi, or an outdoor spa garden space.

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Shopping

As previously mentioned, the shopping and dining area known as Pacific City is worth a stop all its own. However, it would be remiss not to mention all of the local shopping on Main Street. Souvenirs such as shirts, hats, and towels can be found in shops like Jack’s, Huntington Surf & Sport, and Beach Island in addition to their surfboards and other gear.

Lastly, don’t miss the Surf City Artisan Fair which is held most weekends in the summer near the pier. Support local businesses with every purchase during the fair’s hours from 9 am to 6 pm.

Other Activities To Consider

While my visit only lasted one weekend, visitors could spend several days in town and still not see everything Huntington Beach has to offer. On my next trip, I plan to stop at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum or take a historical walking tour around town. I’d also love to try a whale and dolphin-watching cruise. Though its most well-known for its stellar waves, Huntington Beach, California has so much to offer.