What is Huntington Beach Known For? (17 Things It’s Famous For)

Huntington Beach is one of Orange County’s seaside cities. It has a population of roughly 200,896 residents according to the 2021 census, making it the most populous city in Orange County, and the fourth most populous city in the county. The city is just 35 miles away from Los Angeles and faces the Pacific Ocean.

Huntington Beach is known for being a premier surfing destination in the United States. Residents of the seaside city enjoy a mild semi-arid or Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 48°F  to 64°F throughout the year. The city hosts millions of visitors yearly. Aside from surfing, the city is known for its beach culture.

A Town of Many Names

Huntington Beach was called many different names before it was incorporated on February 17, 1909. The city’s main thoroughfare was originally used as a cattle route. Since then, it has had many names such as Shell Beach, Smeltzer, Gospel Swamp, Fairview, and Pacific City. The city was named after Henry Edwards Huntington, a prominent businessman, and owner of the Pacific Electric Railway.

Home of The Huntington Beach Bad Boy

Huntington Beach is home to one of America’s Mixed Martial Arts pioneers. Jacob Cristopher “Tito” Ortiz was born in Huntington Beach California on January 23, 1975. Ortiz debuted in the MMA scene at UFC 13 in 1997. The California native also goes by his moniker, “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.” He has also competed in other MMA promotions such as Bellator MMA and is currently signed with Combate Americas. However, Ortiz is most well-known for his performances with UFC where he held the Light Heavyweight Champion title from April 2000 to September 2003. 

Award-Winning Beaches 

Huntington Beach is home to a beach 10 miles long and has no interruptions on its coastline. The city’s coastline faces the Pacific Ocean. The long stretch of sand, mild waves, and great weather are what make this beach so great. In 2016, readers of Coastal Living voted that it was the “Best Beach on the West Coast. In 2015, TIME Magazine named Huntington Beach the “Beast Beach in America.” 

All Dogs Go to… Huntington Dog Beach!

Though dogs are not allowed in most parts of Huntington Beach’s coast, the city devoted an area for dog lovers. The Huntington Dog Beach is a 1.5-mile stretch on the coast between Goldenwest and Seapoint streets. Although dogs are allowed to run without their leashes, the beach has quite a number of rules to ensure the safety of every person and furbaby on the beach. There are also several pet-friendly hotels nearby for those planning to stay the night with their dogs. This is the only beach in Orange Country that allows dogs to run without a leash.

Save the Ocean

People can no longer deny the impact humans have on our planet. Our carbon footprint has done enough damage to eradicate different species in a single lifetime. We have also seen drastic changes in climates and weather conditions around the world. The Bolsa Bay State and the Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Areas are marine protected areas in Huntington Beach. They are there to save the ocean by conserving and restoring the area and limiting the removal of marine life in the area. 

Huntington Beach Pier

The Huntington Beach Pier is the centerpiece of the seaside city’s coast. The pier was built in 1902 before the city was named Huntington Beach. The pier was originally 1,000 feet. The pier was reconstructed several times due to storms. Currently, the pier is 1,856 feet long. It is a great place to experience the breathtaking views and true natural beauty of Huntington Beach. The pier is also a great spot for fishing. Enthusiasts can catch fish like Herrings, Halibuts, and Croakers.

Huntington Beach Bike Trail

10 miles of coast is a lot to cover by foot. For anyone looking to find that perfect spot along the beach, it might be easier to travel by bike. The Huntington Beach Bike Trail is a popular trail that bikers can use to get to each end of the city’s beach. It runs along the backend of the beach and is parallel to the shoreline. The bike trail is also known as the Ocean Strand.

Surf City USA

California is home to a lot of surfing destinations. However, only one city has the honor of being called “Surf City USA.” Huntington Beach trademarked the moniker in November 2004. The city’s beach has waves that are around 2 to 3 feet high, which makes it the perfect place for surfing competitions. Huntington Beach has also hosted the US Open of Surfing on the south side of the pier since 1959.

Musical Mentions

Throughout the years, Huntington Beach became such a popular surfing destination that music artists couldn’t help but mention the city or write a song about the amazing place. The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote the song “Surfin’ Safari” which mentions the city in its second verse. Jan & Dean’s “Surf Route 101” sings about a surfer girl at Huntington Pier. The Surfaris also sang about “Surfer Joe” winning the annual surfer’s convention meet at Huntington Beach.

Huntington Central Park

There’s a lot more to Huntington Beach than its seaside attractions. The Huntington Central Park is Orange County’s largest city-owned park at 356 acres. Within the park are numerous different attractions that offer an array of activities that all members of the family can enjoy. Huntington Central Park is divided between its East and West sections. The west side of the park has a disc golf course and the Shipley Nature Center which houses different birds and butterflies in its gardens. The east side has the Huntington Beach Central Library and the Park Bench Cafe, a dog-friendly brunch destination.

Pacific City

Pacific City is a high-end shopping center that offers great experiences in shopping, dining, and entertainment. The mall is on the Pacific Coast Highway and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It hosts a mix of luxury and trendy shops, a wide selection of restaurants and food stalls, and even a miniature golf course. The shopping destination is just half a mile away from the Huntington Beach Pier. 

Old World Village

Going into the Old World Village is a novel experience. The village aims to bring visitors to Europe through its cobblestone streets and charming Bavarian structures. The Old World Village is an outdoor shopping center filled with interesting shops, restaurants, and cafes. It also has several interesting and quirky events such as the yearly Oktoberfest and dachshund races.

Surf City Nights

Surf City Nights is an event that happens every Tuesday in Huntington Beach. Live music entertainment, bazaars filled with organic goods and locally made items, and food trucks take up three blocks of Main Street. Locals and visitors now all look forward to the Tuesday Festivities in Downtown Huntington Beach

Park Your Boat at Huntington Harbour

Huntington Harbour is made up of five man-made islands that are roughly 15 to 20 feet in depth where visitors and residents can dock their vessels. The area is very scenic and is also a great place to leave your boat if that is how you are going to Huntington Beach. Visitors can also find establishments within the area that rent out boats.

Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

There is no other city that would suit the International Surfing Museum as Huntington Beach. Since it is one of the best locations in the world to surf, it only makes sense that the city should be able to show the history of surfing. The museum is dedicated to Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian competition swimmer who made surfing this popular.

Beware of Sharks!

Swimming and surfing can be all fun and games until you see a dorsal fin protruding outside the water. In 2013, a group of fishermen was able to haul in a 1,300-lb, 12-foot-long shortfin mako shark. These sharks can breach roughly 20 feet out of the water and are usually blamed for shark attacks on people. Though shark attacks are actually quite rare, you can rest easy knowing that these waters are well guarded by professionals to keep you safe.

Restaurant at the End of the Pier

At the end of the iconic 1,856 foot Huntington Beach Pier is a restaurant that offers an amazing 360-degree view of the ocean and city. Since 1996, Ruby’s Diner filled customers’ bellies and became a local favorite. However, in February 2021, the restaurant permanently closed down after the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2018. It has been reported that a seafood restaurant is in the works to take the diner’s spot.