California: Huntington Beach (Surf City USA)

Southern California is a culturally diverse and well known area that draws many tourists for its fine year-round weather, open dramatic spaces, beaches and numerous amusement parks. The beach and car culture is predominant here and no city epitomizes this better than Huntington Beach.

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Huntington Beach, a seaside city in Orange County California, was named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. It is the most populous beach city in Orange County characterized by its 9.5-mile stretch of sandy beach, excellent surfing and numerous car shows held throughout the year. The consistent surf all year long has earned the city its nickname “Surf City.”

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The downtown district of Huntington Beach includes an active art center, a colorful shopping district, the Surfing Walk of Fame and the International Surfing Museum. The Huntington Beach Pier stretches from Main Street into the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the pier you will find the famous Ruby’s Diner serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Many of the events at Huntington Beach are focused around the beach. The U.S. Open of Surfing takes place at the south side of the pier from late July through early August. A biathlon hosted by the Bolsa Chica & Huntington State Beach Lifeguards takes place in July and the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour stops in Huntington Beach in mid-September. In addition to the beach-focused events, there is a Fourth of July parade which has been held here since 1904. The SoCal Independent Film Festival takes place every September. During the winter, the annual Cruise of Lights Boat Tour, featuring a parade of colorfully lighted boats is held in the Huntington Harbor. In February of each year since 1996, the Surf City USA marathon is held with over 20,000 runners participating in the event. The annual Kite Festival is held just north of the pier in late February.

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Huntington Beach takes its wheels almost as seriously as its waves and hosts various car shows such as the Beachcruiser Meet and the Concours d’Elegance. The Beachcruiser Meet is held in March, with over 250 classic cars displayed along Main Street and the Pier parking lot. The Concours d’Elegance is held at Central Park in June and benefits the public library.

The Beachcruiser Meet is an unsurpassed gathering of Volkswagen transporters, Nomads, woodies and other vehicles built in 1967 or earlier. The annual event takes place in downtown Huntington Beach on Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway on the third weekend in March and is free to visitors. The event hours are from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday and 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM on Sunday. (hbcruisers.com)

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So whether it is the beach, the surf, the cars or just plain people watching that draws you to Southern California, be sure to include Huntington Beach on your list of places to visit. You will not be disappointed.

Web Page:         http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/

 

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