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Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in southern California. As of the 2006 census, the city population was 194,436. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, by Seal Beach on the north, by Costa Mesa on the south, by Westminster on the northeast, and by Fountain Valley on the east.

It is known for its long 8.5 mile (14 km) beach, mild climate, and excellent surfing. The waves are a unique natural effect caused by edge-diffraction of ocean swells by the island of Catalina, and waves from distant hurricanes. Because of the curve of the coastline at Huntington Beach, the local beach actually faces southwest. In summer, the southwest-facing beach often has very strong surf generally referred to as a "south swell". South swells can be generated from either (winter) storms originating in the southern Pacific Ocean off New Zealand or from hurricanes off the Mexican coast or a combination of both.

 

Special events
Annual Cruise of Lights Boat Tour: This is a 'parade' of colorful lighted boats through the Huntington Harbour bayside neighborhood for two weekends in mid-December. Each year most boats have a different theme; the other boats would have a certain theme recurring annually.

Annual Kite Festival: Where kite fliers come and show off their varied and amazing kites. Pro kite fliers do demonstrations to music. Held just north of the pier in late February.

Surf City Nights: The community-spirited event features a farmer's market, unique entertainment, food, kiddie rides and a carnival atmosphere, each Tuesday from 4-9PM for the immediate future. Surf City Nights is presented by the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District (HBDBID) and the City of Huntington Beach. The event takes place in the first three blocks of Main Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Orange Ave.

US Open of Surfing: Held during the summer months, the Beach Games are featured on the south side of the pier.

MEGA: A biathlon (Swim/Run) hosted by the Bolsa Chica & Huntington State Beach Lifeguards. The event takes place every summer in the month of July, early at dawn. The race begins at the Santa Ana River Jetties and ends at Warner Avenue, Bolsa Chica State Beach. The course consist of 4 swims, adding up to 4,000 yards, and 5 runs, at a distance of 8.5 miles. There are no prizes or awards for the winner, just a true lifeguard endurance event.

USLA Lifeguard Nationals: Lifeguard competition in various events. Held annually at different locations across the country. Summer 2006, the Huntington State Beach Lifeguards hosted the event.
Junior Guards: Every summer, two separate Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard day camps are held which teaches preadolescents and adolescents ocean swimming, running, and first-aid medical knowledge. Children 10-12 are called C's and have yellow beanies, 13-14 are called B's and wear red beanies, and at age 15, they are either an A, and wear green beanies, or a Safety Aide that helps B's and C's and wear pink beanies. Sometimes, after passing a rigorous physical test, 16-year olds can become Captains, who wear white beanies.

 

Huntington Beach is the site of the world surfing championships, held in the summer every year. The city is often referred to as "Surf City" because of this high profile event, its history and culture of surfing. It is often called the "Surfing Capital of the World", not for the height of the waves, but rather for the consistent quality of surf.

Surf and beaches

Apart from sponsored surf events, Huntington Beach has some of the best surf breaks in the State of California and that of the United States. Huntington Beach has four different facing beaches: Northwest, West, Southwest, and South. Northwest consists of Bolsa Chica State Beach (3.3 Miles), the West consist of "The Cliffs" or "Dog Beach", Southwest is considered everything north of the pier which is operated by the City of Huntington Beach. South consists in everything south of the pier which primarily focuses on Huntington State Beach (2.2 Miles), which almost faces true South.
Bolsa Chica State Beach is operated by the State of California, Dept. Parks & Recreation, and the Bolsa Chica State Beach Lifeguards. The beach is very narrow and the sand is very coarse. Bolsa Chica tends to have better surf with NW/W swells during the winter season. During the summer months the beach picks up south/southwest swells at a very steep angle. Due to the bottom of the beach, surf at Bolsa Chica tends to be slowed down and refined to soft shoulders. Longboards are the best option for surfing in the Bolsa Chica area.

"The Cliffs" or "Dog Beach" is also another popular surf spot. This segment of Huntington Beach obtains these names because dogs are allowed around the cliff area. Beach is very restricted and often is submerged with high tides. Surf at this location tends to be even bigger than Bolsa Chica during the winter and often better. During the summer most of the South/Southwest swells slide right by and often break poorly. The best option is to take out a longboard, but shortboards will do at times.
Just north and south of the Huntington Beach Pier are some well defined sandbars that shift throughout the year with the different swells. Southside of the Pier is often a popular destination during the summer for good surf, but the Northside can be just as well during the winter. Around the Pier it all depends on the swell and the sandbars. Shortboard is your best option for surfing around the Pier.
South Huntington Beach, also known as Huntington State Beach, is where all the south swells impact the coastline. Huntington State Beach is operated by the State of California, Department of Parks & Recreation, and Huntington State Beach Lifeguards. This beach is very wide with plenty of sand. Sandbars dramatically shift during the spring, summer and fall seasons. Thus creating excellent surf conditions with a combo South/West/Northwest swell. Due to the Santa Ana River jetties located at the southern most end of the beach, large sandbars extend across and upcoast, forcing swells to break extremely fast and hollow. Best seasons for surfing at this beach is the summer and fall. The best option for surfing in this area is a shortboard.
Huntington Beach is also a popular destination for kite surfing, and this sport can be viewed on the beach northwest of the pier.
Huntington Beach is the host city of the National Professional Paintball League Super 7 Paintball Championships. The NPPL holds its first event of the year traditionally between the dates of March 23rd through March 26th.

This info comes from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Beach,_California


Huntington Beach Historical Photos can be found here: http://www.hbpl.org/info_library_photo.htm


Official Huntington Beach City Website: http://www.ci.huntington-beach.ca.us/