A quintessential beach town, Huntington Beach, California, is a surfer's paradise located in Orange County, less than 10 mi/16 km up the coast from Newport Beach and about 35 mi/56 km south of Los Angeles. The self-named Surf City, USA, is no longer the sleepy beach town it used to be, as boutiques and cafes line the streets and upscale hotels are flourishing. But you can still usually find a beach volleyball game under way and stop to admire the view. http://www.surfcityusa.com.
Surfing hopefuls can find a place to take lessons or admire the experts while walking on the pier that stretches 1,800 ft/558 m out into the ocean. When you need a break from the great outdoors, the International Surfing Museum is open seven days a week. http://www.surfingmuseum.org.
If surfing is not on your agenda, you can explore the 2,500-acre/1,012-hectare Huntington Beach State Park with nature trails, an education center with aquariums and sea turtle nesting habitat, and a playground. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=643.
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