Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 189,992; making it the largest beach city in Orange County in terms of population. The estimate for 2012 shows that the population is 189,707. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by Seal Beach on the northwest, by Costa Mesa on the east, by Newport Beach on the southeast, by Westminster on the north, and by Fountain Valley on the northeast.
Huntington Beach (aka HB) is known for its long 8.5-mile (13.7 km) stretch of sandy beach, mild climate, excellent surfing and beach culture. The ocean waves are enhanced by a natural effect caused by the edge-diffraction of open ocean swells around the island of Catalina. Swells generated predominantly from the North Pacific in Winter and from a combination of Southern Hemisphere storms and hurricanes in the Summer focus on Huntington Beach creating consistent surf all year long thus giving HB the title ‘Surf City, USA’.
The downtown district includes an active art center, a colorful shopping district, and the International Surfing Museum. This district was also the home of the Golden Bear from 1929–1986. Originally a fine dining restaurant opened by Harry Bakre in 1929, the Golden Bear became a nightclub in 1963 and hosted famous-name entertainment until it was demolished in 1986. The list of artists who performed there includes BB King, Janis Joplin, Steve Martin, Charles Bukowski, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Huntington Beach Pier stretches from Main Street into the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the pier is a Ruby’s Diner. The Surf Theatre, which was located one block north of the pier, gained fame in the 1960s and 1970s for showing independent surf films such as The Endless Summer and Five Summer Stories. The Surf Theatre was owned and operated by Hugh Larry Thomas from 1961 until it was demolished in 1989. A newer version of The Surf Theatre is now closed, but the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum has preserved its memory with ongoing screenings of surfing movies once shown at a Huntington Beach theater and the original metal SURF sign.
Huntington Beach Communities
- Fashion Shores
- Franciscan Fountains
- La Cuesta
- Newport West – the SE corner of HB
- The Strand