CALIFORNIA'S HIDDEN GEM
BY SARA DARLING
Huntington Beach is one of those cool Californian cities, situated south east of Los Angeles. It's known for its ten miles of sandy city beaches, stuffed to the brim with sun kissed surfers, families and beautiful people roller skating along the promenade. It also has a sprawling Central Park with plenty of secluded spots for picnicking, stunning flora, boating lakes and shady gardens plus an equestrian centre if you fancy a canter.
The charming seaside town is not as small as you may think- taking up 32 square miles - including 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline; It is home to eight distinct neighbourhoods which fuse culture, inventive food and nightlife. You could easily kick back and spend all your time on the beach, but there is plenty more to entertain you in the Orange County.
THINGS TO DO
This coastal location has an active local community and vibrant outdoor lifestyle, so activities are at a premium. Enjoy a gondola ride in Huntington Harbor, and soak up the sunset cruising through the picturesque islands, inlets, and canals or go whale and dolphin watching. Visit iconic local landmarks including the Beach Pier or the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, and get your culture fix at Newland House Museum.
The surf city is a major player in the craft beer industry with several local bewers offering an exciting range of flavours including the family run Four Sons Brewing.
Riip Beer Company is a local institution, and has grown hugely since it started selling beer from a truck on the beach.
Golden Road Brewery has 30-40 different brew options, and will open its first pub, Peter’s Landing by the end of the year.
But the original independent craft distillery, Surf City Still Works stocks local whisky, spirits and beers, and is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you prefer German beer, head to Old World Village, which is the region's largest Oktoberfest. Offering authentic German food and plenty of beers it takes place September 8- October 27.
If you like your wine crispy and dry, fruity or well-rounded- the California Wine Festival which is held at the Pasea Hotel & Spa should not be missed. Taking place over the weekend of October 25 - 26, the best Californian wines and regional craft beers will be on offer; Alongside a range of artisanal foods, including cheese, bread, olive oil, local shellfish and hand made chocolates to soak up the alcohol! Purchase tickets here.
‘NOOD BEACH’ FESTIVAL is not a spelling mistake! It is a spinoff of Foodbeast’s “Noods, Noods, Noods” event, which focuses on the versatile world of noodles. With a huge selection of zingy spaghetti, rice and udon noodles dished up in all manner of inventive ways, visitors can fill up before getting into the party spirit, or enter the Foodbeast Challenger League, where vast quantities of noodles are consumed.
With live music performed by Yachty by Nature, Sega Genocide and Coast Club, tickets are $40 for general admission and $80 for VIP and can be purchased by visiting nood-beach.com. Taking place on September 1st
You can’t go to Surf City without getting mesmerised by the boardwalkers, but if you time your visit right, you will be able to see a man's best friend alongside him (or her), riding the waves.
On Saturday September 28, the annual Surf City Surf Dog competition takes place from 8am– 2.30pm on Huntington Dog Beach.
HIGH IN THE SKY
Returning after 11 years, The Great Pacific Airshow is only beachfront airshow to take place on the West Coast. Promising dramatic air acrobatics by the Red Arrows, bring your ear plugs for a fun-filled weekend of high jinks. Taking place on Oct. 4 – 6, 2019
SEE SANTA SKYDIVING
If you don’t believe in Father Christmas, you might not believe your eyes if you are in Huntington Beach on 23rd November. Head to the beachfront in front of Pacific City, and witness the man himself and two of his elves skydive to solid ground with sacks of pressies, and join the party spirit- even if it is 30 degrees!