Huntington Beach beach vacation rentals
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Your guide to Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach has gone by a few names over the years, including Shell Beach, Pacific City, and even the nickname Gospel Swamp for a period in the 1900s when it was home to rollicking tent revivals. But the name that stuck was Surf City USA. (And that’s official — the Huntington Beach visitors bureau owns the trademark.) Home to some of the best surf breaks in California, Huntington Beach’s reputation was cemented in 1925 when a Hawaiian surf legend first dipped his board in the waters there. Today Huntington Beach is home to the US Open of Surfing, the largest surfing competition in the world, and the International Surfing Museum. Resorts and upscale dining have sprung up here, but Surf City USA remains unpretentious and is still best enjoyed sans shoes.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Huntington Beach?
Huntington Beach enjoys warm days in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit year-round, which means there’s hardly a bad time to stay in one of the area’s vacation rentals. November through February can bring cooler temperatures in the 50s, and July and August can occasionally spike into the 90s, but generally you will be greeted by weather befitting the city’s beachy reputation. Pack layers anyway, as nights can be cooler, and you may want a cozy wrap for those evening bonfires.
What are the top things to do in Huntington Beach?
Huntington City Beach
The city’s five beaches spread along 10 miles of uninterrupted Pacific coast shoreline. At Huntington City Beach — where it's not uncommon to see professional surfers showing off their chops in the waves — there’s something for everybody. The beach is loaded with such amenities as public volleyball courts, outdoor showers, and restrooms, making it easy to camp out all day. You can break up an afternoon of lounging and swimming with a walk along the historic 1,850-foot-long pier (which boasts a combo burger joint and tiki bar at its tip). In the evening, cozy up around one of the first-come-first-serve bonfire pits.
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Over 200 species of bird call this 1,300-acre coastal estuary home, including peregrine falcons, burrowing owls, and white-faced ibis, wading birds with a dramatic, sword-like beak perfect for probing salty marshlands for prey. Even American bald eagles put in guest appearances here. There are four miles of hiking trails in the park, punctuated by scenic outlooks. A small interpretive center hosts exhibits on the ecology of the park.
International Surfing Museum
Run by an enthusiastic volunteer team, this museum chronicling surf culture has a funky, homegrown feel. The museum’s holdings include a surfboard that belonged to a famous Hawaiian surfer, the world’s longest surfboard (according to the Guinness World Records), and a surf-rock legend’s guitar — which was stolen and then returned in 1989. The museum also hosts classic surf movie nights.