Difference between revisions of "Huntington Beach"
Revision as of 20:13, 15 June 2009
Huntington Beach is world-famous as "Surf City", from the 1960s Jan and Dean surf rock song of the same name, and much of surfing culture started and continues to evolve there, from surfing styles to surfing apparel companies that started there. Huntington Beach is also mentioned by name in the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari", where "at Huntington and Malibu they're shooting the pier".
The year-round temperature averages 67 degrees F, and good weather can be every month. However, the months of January to March can be rainy.
As with most of Orange County, Huntington Beach is serviced by John Wayne Airport (IATA: SNA)  in Santa Ana. SNA is served by many major commercial and commuter air carriers. Beginning on April 30, 2009, Virgin America will begin service to John Wayne with five (5) daily nonstops from San Francisco, CA (IATA: SFO).
Long Beach Airport (IATA: LGB)  is also within close distance but is dominated by a single airline: JetBlue Airways , which serves 14 destinations from Long Beach: Oakland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Chicago (O'Hare), Boston, New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles), Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.
Huntington Beach is located at the intersection of Beach Boulevard and the Pacific Coast Highway, just under 14 miles directly south of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Interstate 405, which links John Wayne, Long Beach, and Los Angeles International Airports, intersects Beach Boulevard about 6 miles north of Huntington Beach.
Parking: The best place to park is the city parking located right at the beach. The entrance is just north of Highway 1 (the PCH) and the main street. You will conveniently be able to unload watercoolers, surf boards and the kids all safely without having to cross streets. It saves on lifting and lugging as well. You can wash off and change clothes right next to the parking at the water showers and washrooms. Washrooms are adequate but small. They also get wet and sandy during the day.
OCTA Route 1* North and South runs along the Pacific Coast Highway, servicing all of Orange County's beaches. Routes 33 and 35 South directly run into Huntington State Beach. Routes 21** South, 70* West and 72 West end at Sunset Beach. Routes 25 South, 29 South, 172 West and 173** South all serve Huntington's downtown and its beach.
Huntington Beach boasts the largest unspoiled coastal wetlands in California, Bolsa Chica Wetlands, where many migratory birds stop and nest.
The Huntington Beach Pier  is the second most popular sight here, after the beach itself.
Main Street is a shopping and gathering place for residents and tourists alike, with sidewalk cafes, surf shops and live music all vying for attention.
Huntington Beach has some of the largest stretches of open-sand beaches in all of California, as well the Huntington Beach Pier (one of the longest concrete piers in the world), site of world-class surfing and volleyball events yearly.
Running/Walking/biking/rollerblading: There is a wide boardwalk right by the pier. It is part of the Huntington Beach Bike Path. The Bike Path runs for about eight miles along the beach. Heading south along the boardwalk is likely your best scenic scenario. Walking, riding a bike, running are all very safe. Many very good runners first thing in the morning - often as soon as the sun comes up.
Surfing: You can try your hand at surfing. There is a surf rental shop right at the boardwalk. Start with a boogie board for the day circa $15 US. There are many good surfers so they may get annoyed if you stand in the waves too long. Keep moving; this is your best bet. If you get tired get out (of their way) by heading to the hot sandy beach to rest up for more.
Relaxing: Take a walk up the Main street. There are a number of restaurants and a Starbucks.
Partying: There are so many bars on Main St. that you can meet with friends at any of them and have a great time drinking, dining, or dancing. During the winter, you can organize a "pub crawl" and have your group stop for a drink at every bar.
Peak season is from late May to early September. The beaches on any given summer day may have as many as 500,000 visitors when it is particularly hot inland.
There are accommodations from beach campgrounds to five-star resorts along the Pacific. The beach campgrounds are open year round and usually full.
Crime is very low for such a large city, and violent crime is very rare. If you are drinking, you should be far more concerned with local police than civilians. Huntington Beach police have a vigilant reputation regarding DUI enforcement, so call a cab.