10Best Day Trip: Hang Ten at Huntington Beach

From L.A., a Perfect Day Trip to "Surf City USA"

By Sujata Day,

Eager to escape the Hollywood hustle and relax by the sea? Head out to Huntington Beach, better known as Surf City U.S.A., located only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. Over 8 miles of uninterrupted beachfront awaits you, so lather on some SPF 30, throw on a sun hat, and dive into the waves!

Kelly Slater at U.S. Open of Surfing, Huntington Beach — Photo courtesy of Pedro Szekely

Huntington City Beach boasts one of the longest piers in California - Surf City Pier - a great place to shop, eat, and fish. Grab a bite at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the 1,800 foot pier, and you might catch a glimpse of dolphins playing in the sea. Special events abound, fun for the whole family, including the U.S.A. Open of Surfing; Women’s Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament; and Boardfest, the largest youth-oriented sports event in America.

Interested in the history of surfing? Visit the International Surfing Museum for an extensive collection that highlights Hawaii’s Duke Kahanamoku, the Olympic Games Gold Medalist who brought surfing to the forefront of worldwide sports. Exhibits devoted to surf films, music, and memorabilia take a peak into the evolution of surfing since its Peruvian and Polynesian origins.

Huntington Beach Pier — Photo courtesy of Joe Wolf

During the summer months, surfing is banned at Huntington State Beach, freeing up the ocean for swimming bodyboarding and surf fishing. Nature lovers flock to Bolsa Chica State Beach, known for its ecological reserve and wildlife watch opportunities. Set up camp anytime of the year at the on site RV campground, complete with fire rings, basketball courts, and picnic areas. Traveling with your pup? Not to worry, because Huntington’s Dog Beach stretches over 1 mile for pooches to run free, dig holes, and frolic in the water. Looking for some stress relief? Book a relaxing treatment at Pacific Waters Spa at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Indulge in lavish services like hot stone massages or seawater soaks or purchase a Daily Spa pass to take advantage of the sauna, steamroom, and aerobics classes in the fitness center.

Wildlife at Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve — Photo courtesy of Marcy Reiford

Happen to find yourself in Huntington Beach on a Tuesday? Downtown Huntington Beach hosts complimentary Surf City Nights, a weekly street fair and Farmer’s Market, every Tuesday night, all year long. Take a stroll down Main Street to marvel at local street performers, bargain hunt at sidewalk sales, and sample favorite restaurant dishes.

For spectacular ocean views and a killer cocktail, end your day at Duke’s Huntington Beach. Say Aloha to Hawaiian-inspired dishes like macadamia nut hummus, sesame hibachi fish over udon noodles, and a classic favorite, island fish ‘n chips. The Barefoot Bar features popular beach drink specialties like tropical-infused martinis and coastal rum-based favorites. Take a break from Los Angeles to “Hang Ten” at Huntington Beach!