Huntington Beach has a lot to offer besides surfing (good though that is). North of all the the hustle and bustle, you'll find marinas, wetlands, broad sandy beaches and small town ambience. There are places to kayak and boat, fish, birdwatch, sunbathe, swim, and (of course!) surf. The crowds are thinner here, and you can usually find a place to park.
Tucked away in the northwest corner of Huntington Beach, this harbor provides numerous recreational opportunities. The protected canal-like waterways are popular for cruising in kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and hydro bikes, all of which can be rented at nearby Sunset Beach. Water entry to the harbor is via Anaheim Bay.
The harbor consists of 5 manmade islands bounded by a network of navigable channels. The waterways are lined with beautiful luxury homes, private docks, and yachts. Most of the islands have small parks, some with beaches, playgrounds, and tennis courts. There are 5 marinas, and some 3,000 boats.
Peter's Landing Marina offers sport fishing, private charters and electric boat rentals. Complementary two-hour guest slips are available by reservation, and some overnight slips are available for rental. The marina features a boardwalk with shops and restaurants. Facilities include a pump-out station, restrooms, showers, laundry and private parking. Located at the Harbor entrance, at 16400 Pacific Coast Highway.
Huntington Harbor Parks
At Seabridge Park, near the entrance of the harbor, you'll find a sandy beach, a playground, grassy areas, picnic tables, free parking, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, and an outdoor shower. This is a popular spot for launching kayaks. Located on Countess Avenue, near the end of Edinger Avenue.
Sunset Marina Park (formerly Sunset Aquatic Park) features a covered picnic area, shade trees, a 276 slip marina, a public seven-lane boat launch ramp, and parking for cars, boats, and trailers. Guest slips are available for visiting boaters. The park is located on Sunset Way off of Edinger Avenue. It borders the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station and the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge (also known as Anaheim Bay Wildlife Refuge).
Trinidad Island Park provides a playground, sandy beach, outdoor shower, and wheelchair-accessible restrooms. A bike path runs along Venture Drive and Typhoon Lane, and there's a small public fishing dock.
Earl D. Percy Marine Park features a public fishing dock and metered parking. It's located at Warner Avenue near Pacific Coast Highway. A one lane public boat launch ramp is nearby, close to the Huntington Harbor Yacht Club.
For more information see Sunset Huntington Harbor.
This wide sandy beach is located in the small community of Sunset Beach, just north of Huntington Beach. Swimming, surfing, body surfing, fishing and sunbathing are popular here. Surfing areas are controlled by the "black ball" flag system.
The beach features barbecues and picnic tables, a playground, volleyball and basketball courts, a bike path, wheelchair accessible restrooms and showers. Lifeguard service is provided, and a beach wheelchair is available. Though there are no concessions on the beach, there are many stores, restaurants, and other facilities nearby.
The parking lot can be reached from Warner Avenue, 5th Street, Broadway or Anderson Street off of Pacific Coast Highway.
For more information see Sunset Beach.
This 3 mile long beach features gentle surf and broad, sandy beaches. It's perfect for beginning surfers, and several surf schools teach here. Surfing is allowed year round, except south of the main tower during summer.
Since the waves here are gentler than at other Huntington beaches, it's also an ideal spot for families and swimmers. And with the afternoon winds, wind-surfing is also popular. The beach is also a prime bird-watching spot, with the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve just across Pacific Coast Highway.
Surf fishing is excellent year-round, and there are also seasonal grunion runs in the summer. The grunion come up on the beach to lay their eggs right after the peak of the high tides. To catch them, you simply stand at the shoreline, grab them, and toss them into a bucket. But the opportunity only comes 6-8 nights per month.
RV camping is available year-round for an overnight fee. There are electrical and water hook-ups and a dump station. No tent camping is available. Reservations are required through Reserve America: (800) 444-7275.
Facilities include fee parking lots, lifeguards, picnic areas, firepits, food concessions, beach rentals, cold showers, wheelchair-accessible restrooms and access ramps, dressing rooms and free beach wheelchair. A paved multi-use path extends the length of the beach and connects to the Santa Ana River Trail in the south.
The beach is located off Pacific Coast Highway between Warner Avenue and Seapoint Avenue.
For more information see Bolsa Chica State Beach.
This 300 acre wetland reserve doesn't look like much at first glance, little more than a wasteland with a few oil wells bobbing away. But if you stop to take a closer look, you'll find an abundance of wildlife and quiet beauty.
This is one of the best birding spots in the US, with almost 200 bird species (including endangered species) sighted annually. In addition, marine species such as the round stingray, gray smoothound shark, and sea hare can be spotted here.
Tours are offered on the first Saturday of each month. The Reserve features a 1.5 mile loop trail, a wooden walkbridge, interpretive signs and benches for viewing wildlife, an interpretive center and restrooms.
There are two parking areas. The parking lot for the interpretive center is at Warner Avenue, near Pacific Coast Highway. Another lot is on Pacific Coast Highway across from the main Bolsa Chica Beach entance. Open daily sunrise to sunset.
For more information and an on-line birder's guide, see Bolsa Chica Conservancy.