Huntington Beach – palm trees, sunsets, surfers, perfect waves, and sunny days. It just doesn’t get any better than this, right?!
Some of the best things to do in Huntington Beach are to walk the pier, roast marshmallows on the beach, witness an epic sunset, watch the surfers catchin’ waves, or catch some waves yourself.
All of those are great things to do in Huntington Beach, but actually, if you’ve visited before you’ve probably already experienced some of those things. For this post, I want to share a few things that you probably didn’t know you can do in Huntington Beach. Let’s take your day trip to Huntington Beach to a new level!
What are the most unique activities in Huntington Beach? Check out these 7 things that you probably didn’t know you could do in Huntington Beach!
7 Unique Activities in Huntington Beach, California
This post contains affiliate links which help me keep this blog running. You can read my full disclosure here.
1. Hire a Bonfire Butler
Having a bonfire on the beach is by far one of the most popular activities in Huntington Beach. Good thing there are around 500 fire rings across all the beaches! But did you know that you can hire a bonfire BUTLER?!
Yes! Waterfront Adventures offers beach bonfire services complete with chairs, water, and of course…s’mores.
This beach bonfire butler service is on Huntington City Beach and has a great view of the Pier. I highly recommend booking your bonfire for the hour before sunset so you can experience the magic of Huntington Beach during golden hour.
The best part of the bonfire butler service is that you don’t have to lift a finger. They do all the work for you including saving your spot, setting up the chairs, starting the fire, and putting it out. Now that’s service!
2. Daycation at a Resort
Can’t afford to stay at one of Huntington Beach’s swanky oceanfront resorts? No biggie, take a daycation instead! Three beachfront hotels in Huntington Beach can be found on ResortPass.com, where you can buy day passes to enjoy the hotel just for the day.
Depending on the resort, day passes start at just $25 per person. You can also choose to rent a poolside cabana for the day starting at $125. Food and drinks are not included and reservations should be made well ahead of time during peak season.
Not a pool person? Reserve a beach cabana at Waterfront Adventures instead! Similar to the bonfire butler service they offer, you won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy your own beach cabana for the day. We all deserve a little splurge once in a while, and what better way to do it than relaxing in a cabana on one of Orange County’s best beaches.
3. Horseback Riding
Did you know there’s a huge 350+ acre park in the middle of the city where you can find all kinds of hidden goodies? Huntington Central Park is often overlooked as just another park, but there is so much to see and do here!
Within Huntington Central Park you can find things like a secret garden, urban forest, a nature center, two dog-friendly cafes (Park Bench Cafe even has a dog menu!), a dog park, disc golf, and an equestrian center.
Plus, there are over 150 acres of public trails to ride from the equestrian center! You can book trail rides, romantic picnics and photoshoots through Horse Play Rentals.
If you are interested in working with horses on a volunteer basis, check out the Therapeutic Riding Center and Free Rein. Both of these organizations are doing great things such as rescuing horses and providing equine therapy to those in need.
4. Adaptive Surfing
Surf City USA doesn’t discriminate when it comes down to it’s prized claim to fame…anyone and everyone can surf in Huntington Beach.
Rocky McKinnon, professional Waterman, board shaper, and owner of McKinnon Surf & SUP Lessons, started his Adaptive Surfing Program to give people with disabilities the opportunity to experience surfing. By creating his “Chair Board”, he has even given wheelchair users the chance to get out on the water safely. And they have a blast doing so!
These adaptive surfing sessions, as well as general surfing lessons, are offered on a daily basis (weather permitting). Surfing is one of the top must-do activities in Huntington Beach so I highly recommend trying it! Rocky is a great teacher and he looks forward to helping you create amazing memories!
5. Private Wine & Fishing Charters
Did you know that Huntington Beach has a harbor hidden on the north side of the city, across from Sunset Beach? There are so many things to do in Huntington Harbour, it’s easy to spend a whole day here. Aside from kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and Duffy boat rentals, you can also find private charter boat rentals.
For a relaxing day on the Harbour with friends and family, check out the wine charter boats by Prince Charters. They have a few different vintage wooden boats to choose from depending on the size of your group, and you’ll feel pretty fancy sipping your wine on either one. They also offer weddings at sea!
For something a little more adventurous, check out Wagner Charters for a half-day, full-day, or weekend of fishing. They also offer day trips to the lovely Catalina Island.
6. Eat at a Hidden Restaurant
I have to throw this one in here because I’ve never experienced a restaurant within a restaurant before, have you? Within Pacific City, inside of Bluegold restaurant, you can find another restaurant named LSXO.
LSXO feels like a special lounge that you have to be invited to. Inside you’ll find a bar and just a few small tables, making it feel very exclusive. And the ocean views are great of course! Enjoy Vietnamese food or stop in for afternoon tea, all while listening to hip-hop music.
LSXO is the only restaurant in Huntington Beach that has landed on the Michelin guide, so you know it’s worth it. Reservations are highly recommended once LSXO opens up again (it is temporarily closed at the moment due to restrictions).
7. See the World’s Largest Surfboard
In 2015, 66 people surfed on the World’s Largest Surfboard for 13 seconds to earn not one, but TWO Guinness World Records. Not only did they earn World’s Largest Surfboard, but also the Most People Riding a Surfboard.
You can see the surfboard on display outside of the International Surfing Museum in Downtown Huntington Beach and watch The Biggest Board documentary on YouTube.
Once the museum re-opens, take a peek inside to learn all about the surf culture in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA!
Where to Stay in Huntington Beach
These four oceanfront resorts in Huntington Beach are great places to stay if your budget allows. All of them are directly across from the beach and within walking distance to Downtown, Pacific City, and the Pier, plus they are all dog-friendly!
- Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa is a family-friendly resort and the only one with direct access to the beach via its pedestrian bridge. With several restaurants, pools, and bike rentals, you really won’t need to leave the resort, except to go on that bike ride.
- The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel is great for families or couples and offers bonuses like a rooftop lounge, bonfires on the beach or at the pool, and private cabanas. The rooms here have amazing ocean views.
- Pasea Hotel & Spa is perfect for younger couples or singles with its beachy-chic vibes. It is the only one with its own doggie park and treehouse lounge. Plus, it is connected to Pacific City, so you’ll have easy access to shopping and dining.
- Kimpton Shorebreak is a totally laid-back, surfer-vibe kind of hotel and perfect for younger couples, singles, business travelers, and people on the go. It’s directly across from the best place to surf in Huntington Beach, at the Pier, making this hotel a prime spot for surfers and people that want to get outside.
If you are on a budget but still want to be near the beach, check out Huntington Surf Inn.
I hope you found at least a few new and exciting activities in Huntington Beach to plan your next trip! Do you know any other unique things to do in Huntington Beach that should be on this list?
How to Experience Orange County on a Budget
7 Unique Outdoor Activities in Irvine, California
5 thoughts on “7 Surprising Things to Do in Huntington Beach”
Thank you I am a local cali girl and love the information you shared and I am always looking for new things to do!
Hi Jane! I’m glad you found my blog helpful 🙂
Thanks for sharing this Heather! HB is my go to beach and i hadn’t even heard of half of these places 😁
I also loveeeed the pictures, they look great! I do landscape and portrait photoshooting in HB every now and then & would love tocollaboratee if you were ever interested 🙂 http://www.pooyanoori.com
Hi Pooya, Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad I was able to share something new with you! Do you do a lot of photoshoots in HB?
Thanks 🙂 Yes i do! HB, Newport and Laguna Beach are my main 3 locations.
I’d love to collaborate with you in near future if there was a project where you could use a photographer’s help 🙂