Surf City USA: 8 Fun Things to Do in Huntington Beach with Kids
Thanks to the most consistent waves on the West Coast and the relaxed, sunny, surfer-friendly atmosphere, Huntington Beach has well earned its Surf City USA nickname. Ten splendid miles of uninterrupted coastline, sandy beaches, and year-round warm temps and sunshine make Huntington Beach the perfect vacation destination for any family looking to experience the best of California. Here are eight fun things to do in Huntington Beach, CA with kids.
1. Learn to Surf
Opened in 1904, the atmospheric 1,856-foot Huntington Beach Pier stands as one of the longest recreational piers on the West Coast. It’s a prime surfer magnet: the U.S. Open of Surfing, the largest surfing competition in the world, is held on the south side of the pier every summer and typically lasts one week. Take a sunset stroll and enjoy the prime people-watching.
Sandy’s Beach Grill (315 Pacific Coast Highway; 714-374-7273) is a casual restaurant and bar located beachside. Share some small plates and sip cool cocktails as you enjoy the stunning beach and ocean views.
The 32,000 square foot Vans Off the Wall Skatepark and Garage Skate Shop (7471 Center Avenue; 714-379-6666) is a world-class skatepark, offering a skate bowl as well as boxes and rails for every level of skater. Entry is free! All skaters must have a helmet and those under 18 are also required to wear knee and elbow pads. Grab some snacks and a new pair of Vans at the onsite Jack’s Garage, a fully stocked skate shop and snack bar constructed from re-purposed shipping containers.
5. Cruise along the beach by bike
Cruise along the Huntington Beach Ocean Strand, a 10-mile long boardwalk that runs the length of the city along the beach, parallel with Pacific Coast Highway. At Waterfront Adventures, located next to Wahoo’s Fish Taco’s Concession at Pacific Coast Highway and Twin Dolphin Drive across from The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, you can rent unique specialty bikes including single and double surreys, Deuce Coupes or Choppers or Quad Sports, as well as cruisers, tandem and kids bikes.
6. Discover Downtown Huntington Beach
Our family loved browsing the many shops on Main Street in Downtown Huntington Beach (Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street). My 5-year-old daughter picked up some sand toys while my 14-year-old son checked out all the cool surfer duds.
I was content with strolling Main Street while digging into an acai bowl, a thick, ice cream like smoothie eaten with a spoon and topped with fresh fruits and granola. You can find acai bowls at many of the cafés on Main Street. Make a pit stop at the Surfing Walk of Fame in front of Jack’s Surf Shop and the Surfing Hall of Fame in front of HSS at Main and PCH, where legendary surfers names, handprints and footprints are immortalized in the sidewalk.
7. Play a pick up game of beach volleyball
You’ll find 20 first-come first-serve beach volleyball courts around the north and south side of the Huntington Beach Pier. Bring your own ball or ask to borrow one from your hotel.
8. Enjoy a bonfire and s’mores on the beach
Waterfront Adventures offers a bonfire and s’mores concierge service. Your personal beach butler will provide you with all the s’mores supplies you need, and set up a roaring bonfire in the sand, perfect for toasting marshmallows.
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