Though Surf City USA retains some of its sand-in-the-cracks identity, luxury hotels and fine-dining options have made for a dramatic transformation.
Main Street is a promenade with lots of surf and beachwear shops, a Surfing Walk of Fame and Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum.
Pacific City offers acres of retail and dining, including West of Camden boutique and LSXO and Bluegold restaurants. Hip lounges include The Bungalow and, atop Tanner’s, Treehouse Lounge. Next to historic Huntington Beach Pier is Duke’s restaurant; the plaza hosts live music and farmers markets.
Three beaches—Huntington City Beach, Huntington State Beachand Bolsa Chica State Beach—are popular for surfing and volleyball and for their fire rings. Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve boasts 200 species of migratory birds in a salt-marsh setting with a 1.5-mile loop trail.
Inland, at Talbert Avenue and Goldenwest Street, is Huntington Central Park; it includes Shipley Nature Center, an equestrian center, two “lakes” and the Central Library. 5 Points Plaza tenants include Loft, CloudMover Day Spa and Vans; there’s a dog-friendly barking lot. Doughnuts at new Duck Donuts are made to order.
Draws at Bella Terrashopping destination include outdoor-sports specialist REI and Solita for tacos and margaritas. Pinot's Palette—paint while you enjoy wine or beer—is new. Nearby Old World Village is a hub for all things German, notably dachshund races