Huntington Beach, California

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Huntington Beach, California
City of Huntington Beach [1]
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Huntington Beach High School tower.jpg
Clockwise: Huntington Pier; Huntington Beach High School; aerial view of the coast; Sunset Beach; Downtown.
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Seal of Huntington Beach, California.png
Orange County California Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Huntington Beach Highlighted 0636000.svg
Location of Huntington Beach in Orange County, California
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Huntington Beach
Location within Greater Los Angeles
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Huntington Beach
Location in the state of California
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Huntington Beach
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°41′34″N118°0′1″W / 33.69278°N 118.00028°W / 33.69278; -118.00028 Coordinates: 33°41′34″N118°0′1″W / 33.69278°N 118.00028°W / 33.69278; -118.00028
CountryUnited States
State California
County Orange
Incorporated February 17, 1909 [3]
Named for Henry E. Huntington
  Type City Council/City Manager [4]
   City council [5] Kim Carr, Mayor
Tito Ortiz, Mayor Pro Tem
Barbara Delgleize
Dan Kalmick
Natalie Moser
Erik Peterson
Mike Posey
   City attorney Michael E. Gates [6]
   City treasurer Alisa Backstrom [7]
   City clerk Robin Estanislau [8]
  Total28.33 sq mi (73.38 km2)
  Land27.00 sq mi (69.92 km2)
  Water1.33 sq mi (3.46 km2)  16.10%
Elevation39 ft (12 m)
 (2010) [11]
(2019) [12]
  Rank 4th in Orange County
24th in California
120th in the United States
  Density7,379.45/sq mi (2,849.20/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes [13]
92605, 92615, 92646–92649
Area codes 562, 657/714
FIPS code 06-36000
GNIS feature IDs 1652724, 2410811

Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California, located 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 during the 2010 census, making it the fourth most populous city in Orange County, the most populous beach city in Orange County, and the seventh most populous city in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is bordered by Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by Seal Beach on the northwest, by Westminster on the north, by Fountain Valley on the northeast, by Costa Mesa on the east, and by Newport Beach on the southeast.


Huntington Beach is known for its long 9.5-mile (15.3 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 Santa Catalina Island.[ citation needed ] 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, hence the nickname "Surf City". [2]


The Huntington Beach Pier HB Pier Photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
The Huntington Beach Pier

The main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, Beach Boulevard, was originally a cattle route for the main industry of the Rancho. Since its time as a parcel of the enormous Spanish land grant, Huntington Beach has undergone many incarnations. One time it was known as Shell Beach, the town of Smeltzer, and then Gospel Swamp for the revival meetings that were held in the marshland where the community college Golden West College can currently be found. Later it became known as Fairview and then Pacific City, as it developed into a tourist destination. In order to secure access to the Pacific Electric Red Car lines [14] that used to criss-cross Los Angeles and ended in Long Beach, Pacific City ceded enormous power to railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, and thus became a city whose name has been written into corporate sponsorship, and like much of the history of Southern California, boosterism.

The original Huntington Beach Pier was built in 1904 and was originally a 1,000-foot-long timber structure. [15] [16] Huntington Beach was incorporated on February 17, 1909, during the tenure of its first mayor, Ed Manning. Its original developer was Huntington Beach Company (formerly the West Coast Land and Water Company), a real-estate development firm owned by Henry Huntington. The Huntington Beach Company is still a major land-owner in the city, and still owns most of the local mineral rights. The company is now wholly owned by the Chevron Corporation. [17]

At one time, an encyclopedia company gave away free parcels of land (with the purchase of a whole set for $126) in the Huntington Beach area. [18] The lucky buyers got more than they had bargained for when oil was discovered in the area, and enormous development of the oil reserves followed. Though many of the old reserves are depleted, and the price of land for housing has pushed many of the rigs off the landscape, oil pumps can still be found to dot the city.

Huntington Beach was primarily agricultural in its early years with crops such as lima beans, asparagus, peppers, celery and sugar beets. Holly Sugar was a major employer with a large processing plant in the city that was later converted into an oil refinery.

The city's first high school, Huntington Beach High School, located on Main Street, was built in 1906. The school's team, the Oilers, is named after the city's original natural resource.

Meadowlark Airport, a small general-aviation airport, existed in Huntington Beach from the 1940s until 1989. [19]


Huntington Beach at sunset Sunset at Huntington Beach.jpg
Huntington Beach at sunset

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.9 square miles (82.6 km2). 26.7 sq mi (69 km2) of it is land and 5.1 sq mi (13 km2) of it (16.10%) is water.

The entire city of Huntington Beach lies in area codes 657 and 714, except for small parts of Huntington Harbour (along with Sunset Beach, the community adjacent to Huntington Harbour), which is in the 562 area code.


Huntington Beach has a borderline semi-arid/Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk/Csb), gradually changing for the second to the west and south due to its low precipitation. Although areas such as Huntington Central Park and northern Bolsa Chica usually fall into the first climate type, thus being the boundary of the cool summer Mediterranean climate on the west coast of North America, except for elevated portions in the southern end of the state. [20] The climate is generally sunny, dry and cool, although evenings can be excessively damp. In the morning and evening, there are often strong breezes that can reach 15 mph (24 km/h). Ocean water temperatures average 55 °F (13 °C) to 65 °F (18 °C). In the summer, temperatures rarely exceed 85 °F (29 °C). In the winter, temperatures rarely fall below 40 °F (4 °C), even on clear nights. [21] There are about 14 inches (360 mm) of rain, almost all in mid-winter. Frost occurs only rarely, on the coldest winter nights. The area is annually affected by a marine layer caused by the cool air of the Pacific Ocean meeting the warm air over the land. This results in overcast and foggy conditions in May and June.

Climate data for Huntington Beach, California
Record high °F (°C)87
Average high °F (°C)64
Daily mean °F (°C)56
Average low °F (°C)48
Record low °F (°C)29
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.60
Average precipitation days55631001124533
Mean monthly sunshine hours 2172262793002792703413412702482102173,198
Mean daily sunshine hours 7891099111198779
Percent possible sunshine 69737576656378827371677072
Average ultraviolet index 3468910101085437
Source 1: Weather Channel [22]
Source 2: Weather Atlas [23]

Natural resources

Construction of any kind on the beach is prohibited without a vote of the people, allowing Huntington Beach to retain its natural connection to the ocean rather than having the view obstructed by residential and commercial developments.

Between Downtown Huntington Beach and Huntington Harbour lies a large marshy wetland, much of which is protected within the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. A $110 million restoration of the wetlands was completed in 2006. [24] The reserve is popular with bird watchers and photographers.

South of Downtown, the Talbert, Brookhurst and Magnolia Marshes, which lie across the street from Huntington State Beach, had restoration completed in 2010. [25]

The northern and southern beaches (Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington State Beach, respectively) are state parks. Only the central beach (Huntington City Beach) is maintained by the city. Camping and RVs are permitted here, and popular campsites for the Fourth of July and the Surfing Championships must be reserved many months in advance. Bolsa Chica State Beach is actually a sand bar fronting the Bolsa Bay and Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve.

Huntington Harbour from the air HuntingtonHarbor CA Aerialphoto D Ramey Logan.JPG
Huntington Harbour from the air

The Orange County run Sunset Marina Park next to Huntington Harbour is part of Anaheim Bay. [26] It is suitable for light craft, and includes a marina, launching ramp, basic services, a picnic area and a few restaurants. The park is in Seal Beach, but is only reachable from Huntington Harbour. The Sunset/Huntington Harbour area is patrolled by the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol. [27]

The harbor entrance for Anaheim Bay is sometimes restricted by the United States Navy, which loads ships with munitions at the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station to the north of the main channel.


Historical population
1930 3,690
1940 3,7381.3%
1950 5,23740.1%
1960 11,492119.4%
1970 115,960909.0%
1980 170,50547.0%
1990 181,5196.5%
2000 189,5944.4%
2010 189,9920.2%
2019 (est.)199,223 [12] 4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census [28]


At the 2000 census The population density was 7,183.6 inhabitants per square mile (2,773.9/km2). There were 75,662 housing units at an average density of 2,866.8 per square mile (1,107.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.2% White, 0.8% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 9.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 5.8% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. 14.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 73,657 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $76,527, and the median income for a family was $94,597. Adult males had a median income of $50,021 versus $33,041 for adult females. The per capita income for the city was $40,183. About 5.1% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.2% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.


The 2010 United States Census [29] reported that Huntington Beach had a population of 189,992. The population density was 5,959.1 people per square mile (2,300.8/km2). The racial makeup of Huntington Beach was 145,661 (76.7%) White, 1,813 (1.0%) African American, 992 (0.5%) Native American, 21,070 (11.1%) Asian, 635 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 11,193 (5.9%) from other races, and 8,628 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 32,411 persons (17.1%). Non-Hispanic Whites were 67.2% of the population in 2010, [11] compared to 90.8% in 1970. [30]

The Census reported that 189,102 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 487 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 403 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 74,285 households, out of which 21,922 (29.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 36,729 (49.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 7,685 (10.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3,804 (5.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 4,386 (5.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 504 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 18,489 households (24.9%) were made up of individuals, and 6,527 (8.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55. There were 48,218 families (64.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.07.

The population was spread out, with 39,128 people (20.6%) under the age of 18, 15,906 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 54,024 people (28.4%) aged 25 to 44, 53,978 people (28.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 26,956 people (14.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

There were 78,003 housing units at an average density of 2,446.5 per square mile (944.6/km2), of which 44,914 (60.5%) were owner-occupied, and 29,371 (39.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.4%. 115,470 people (60.8% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 73,632 people (38.8%) lived in rental housing units.

During 20092013, Huntington Beach had a median household income of $81,389, with 8.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line. [11]


Oil wells, 1926 Huntington Beach, 1926.jpg
Oil wells, 1926
Oil Platform Emmy HB, March 2013 Oil Platform Emmy HB 2013 Photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Oil Platform Emmy HB, March 2013

Huntington Beach sits above a large natural fault structure containing oil. Although the oil is mostly depleted, extraction continues at a slow rate, and still provides significant local income. There are only two off-shore extraction facilities left, however, and the day is not far off [ citation needed ] when oil production in the city will cease and tourism will replace it as the primary revenue source for resident industry.

The city is discussing closing off Main Street to cars from PCH through the retail shopping and restaurant areas, making it a pedestrian-only zone.[ citation needed ] Other shopping centers include Bella Terra, built on the former Huntington Center site, Pacific City, and Old World Village, a German-themed center. [31]

Huntington Beach has an off-shore oil terminus for the tankers that support the Alaska Pipeline. The terminus pipes run inland to a refinery in Santa Fe Springs. Huntington Beach also has the Gothard–Talbert terminus for the Orange County portion of the pipeline running from the Chevron El Segundo refinery. [32]

Several hotels have been constructed on the inland side of PCH within view of the beach, just southeast of the pier.

Huntington Beach contains a small industrial district in its northwest corner, near the borders with Westminster and Seal Beach.

Huntington Beach contains a major installation of Boeing, formerly McDonnell-Douglas. A number of installations on the Boeing campus were originally constructed to service the Apollo Program, most notably the production of the S-IVB upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets.

Surf City USA trademarks

While Huntington Beach retains its 15-year trademark of Surf City Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau filed four applications to register the "Surf City USA" trademark in November 2004. The idea was to market the city by creating an authentic brand based on Southern California's beach culture and active outdoor lifestyle while at the same time creating a family of product licensees who operate like a franchise family producing a revenue stream that could also be dedicated to promoting the brand and city. A ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released on May 12, 2006, awarded three trademark registrations to the Bureau; nine additional trademark registrations have been granted since this time and ten other Surf City USA trademarks are now under consideration. [33] One of the first products the Bureau developed to promote its brand was the Surf City USA Beach Cruiser by Felt Bicycles in 2006. The product has sold out every year in markets worldwide and created demand for a second rental bicycle model that will be marketed to resort locations across the globe starting in 2009. [34] The Bureau now has dozens of other licensed products on the market from Surf City USA soft drinks to clothing to glassware. As of April 2008, the Bureau had more than 20 licensing partners with over 50 different products being prepared to enter the market over the next 18 months. [35] Four of the Bureau's registrations of the trademark are now on the principal register and the remaining ten trademark applications are expected to follow. The Bureau is actively considering registration of the Surf City USA trademark in several different countries and anticipates a growing market for its branded products overseas in coming years.

An ongoing dispute between Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz, California over the trademark garnered national publicity in 2007 when a law firm representing Huntington Beach sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Santa Cruz T-shirt vendor. [36] A settlement was reached in January 2008, which allows the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau to retain the trademark. [37]


Downtown Huntington Beach Huntington Beach CA USA.jpg
Downtown Huntington Beach

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 to 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, The Ramones 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 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. Another surfing-related attraction in Huntington Beach is the Surfing Walk of Fame. [38]

Huntington Beach is home to the Newland House Museum, Huntington Beach's oldest home built in 1898. [39]

Top employers

According to Huntington Beach's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, [40] the principal private employers in the city are:

#Employer# of employees
1 Boeing 3,827
2No Ordinary Moments740
3 Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach641
4Safran Cabin Galleys US Inc.631
5Waterfront Hilton Beach Resort625
6Safran Cabin, Inc555
7Cambro Manufacturing550
8Huntington Beach Hospital527
9 Wal-Mart 462
10Huntington Valley Healthcare381
All other employers98,761

BJ's Restaurant & Brewery is also based in Huntington Beach. [41]

Arts and culture

Special events

Many of the events at Huntington Beach take place on the beach during the summer. The U.S. Open of Surfing is featured on the south side of the pier. Huntington Beach is a stop on the AVP beach volleyball tour. A biathlon (swim/run) hosted by the Bolsa Chica & Huntington State Beach Lifeguards takes place in July, early at dawn. The race begins at the Santa Ana River Jetties and ends at Warner Avenue, Bolsa Chica State Beach. Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard day camps are held which teaches pre-adolescents and adolescents ocean swimming, running, and first-aid medical knowledge.

In addition to the beach-focused events, the Fourth of July parade has been held since 1904. [42] The Huntington Beach Film Festival takes place every February. [43]

The Great Pacific Air Show (originally known as the Breitling Huntington Beach Airshow), featuring the Breitling Jet Team and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, is held each October. [44] [45]

During the winter, the annual Cruise of Lights Boat Tour is held in the Huntington Harbour neighborhood. This is a parade of colorful lighted boats as well as boat tours to view the decorated homes. In February of each year since 1996, the Surf City USA marathon is held with over 20,000 runners. [46] The annual Kite Festival is held just north of the pier in late February.

Huntington Beach hosts car shows such as the Beachcruiser Meet and a Concours d'Elegance. The Beachcruiser Meet is held in March, attracting over 250 classic cars displayed along Main Street and the Pier parking lot. [47] A Concours d'Elegance is held at Central Park in June and benefits the public library. An informal "Donut Derelicts" car show occurs every Saturday morning at the intersection of Adams and Magnolia Street. A Cars and Coffee car meet is held each Sunday morning at Pacific City. [48]

Surf City Nights is held every Tuesday night during the year. The Tuesday Surf City Nights is a community-spirited event that features a farmer's market, unique entertainment, food, kiddie rides and a carnival atmosphere. Surf City Nights and the Downtown Huntington Beach Art Walk are presented by the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District (HBDBID) and the City of Huntington Beach. The Tuesday night Surf City Nights event takes place in the first three blocks of Main Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Orange Avenue.


Surfers abound near Huntington City Pier. Huntington Pier Surfer.jpg
Surfers abound near Huntington City Pier.
A wooden fence along the Bolsa Chica bike path Huntington Beach fence.jpg
A wooden fence along the Bolsa Chica bike path
Huntington Beach during the day Huntingtonbeach-waves.JPG
Huntington Beach during the day
Bolsa Chica surf BolsaChicaSurf.jpg
Bolsa Chica surf

Huntington Beach is the site of the world surfing championships, held annually in the summer. 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.

Huntington Beach was the host city of the National Professional Paintball League Super 7 Paintball Championships until the league shutdown in 2013. [49]

Surf and beaches

George Freeth was the first person to surf in Huntington Beach with a demonstration on June 20, 1914. Freeth had been demonstrating surfing in southern California as a promotion for the city by Henry E. Huntington. Duke Kahanamoku started surfing in Huntington Beach in 1925 and helped popularize the sport. The first surfboard shop, which was located underneath the Huntington Beach Pier, opened in 1956 by Gordie Duane. [50]

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 with a length of 3.3 miles (5.3 km), 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 is so named 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. Dolphins have also been sighted in this area. [51]

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. [52] 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 combination South/West/Northwest swell. Due to the Santa Ana River jetties located at the southernmost 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.


The Huntington Beach bicycle path stretches for 10 miles (16 km) alongside the beach. Concessoinaires offer rentals of various bicycles, tandem bicycles, electric bicycles and surreys. [53]

Kayaking and paddleboarding

Kayaking and standup paddleboarding is a popular activity in Huntington Harbour. You can enter the harbour from multiple points along PCH north of Warner Ave or from one of the five public "Mother's Beaches" that allows access to the harbour. There are multiple places to rent kayaks and paddleboards as well as duffy boats. [54] [55]


There are three golf courses in Huntington Beach. Meadowlark Golf Club opened in 1922 located on Warner and Graham, features a par-70, 5,609-yard 18-hole golf course as well as a driving range. [56] Huntington Beach Disc Golf Course opened in 1977 is located in Central Park West, features a par-54 18-hole golf course. [57] Seacliff Country Club is a private country club which among other amenities includes an 6,935 yard 18-hole golf course. [58]

Parks and recreation

Central Park

Huntington Beach has a large central park, known as Huntington Central Park. Central Park is located between Gothard and Edwards Streets to the east and west, and Slater and Ellis Avenues to the north and south. Dedicated on June 15, 1974, Huntington Central Park is the largest city owned park in Orange County with nearly 350 acres (140 ha). [59] The park is vegetated with xeric (low water use) plants, and inhabited by native wildlife. Thick forests encircling the park are supplemented with Australian trees, particularly Blue Gum Eucalyptus, a high water use plant. [60]

Huntington Central Park Huntington Beach Central Park.jpg
Huntington Central Park

The Huntington Beach Public Library is located in Central Park in a notable building designed by Richard Neutra and Dion Neutra. It houses almost a half-million volumes, as well as a theater, gift shop and fountains. The library was founded as a Carnegie library in 1914, and has been continuously supported by the city and local activists, with new buildings and active branches at Banning, Oak View, Main Street, and Graham. The library has significant local historical materials and has a special genealogical reference collection. It is independent of the state and county library systems.

The park is also home of Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, a boarding facility that also offers horse rentals to the public, with guided trail rides through the park. There is also a "mud park" available for kids. The world's second oldest [61] disc golf course is available in the park, as are two small dining areas, a sports complex for adult use, and the Shipley Nature Center.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

The Bolsa Chica Wetlands near the Brightwater housing development HuntingtonBolsaChicaIX.jpg
The Bolsa Chica Wetlands near the Brightwater housing development

The Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve is a natural wetland which is over 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) and contains numerous walking trails and scenic routes. The grounds are one of the top birding spots in the US attracting flocks of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. [62] The wetlands themselves have been connected with the ocean again, in effort to maintain the previous, unaltered conditions.

Huntington Dog Beach

Huntington Dog Beach is located in the 1.5-mile (2.4 km) stretch between 21st and Seapoint streets. This is the only area where dogs are allowed on the beach in Huntington Beach. Dog Beach is free to the public. [63] Dog Beach is very popular so visitors should expect the beach and parking lot to be somewhat congested during the summer months and weekends.

The Orange County Register consistently names Huntington Dog Beach as the best dog park in Orange County. [64] Some popular events that take place at Dog Beach are Surf City Surf Dog [65] and So Cal Corgi Nation Beach Days. [66]

Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach works to keep the beach clean and safe. This 501(c)3 non-profit organization was founded in 1997 and has a five volunteers who serve on the board. The mission statement of the Preservation Society of Huntington Dog Beach, taken from their website, is as follows: "to protect and preserve access to the beach for dogs and their people, as well as to promote responsible dog ownership in order to make our canine companions welcome members of society." [67]

The society receives no public financing and relies completely on private donations from dog-lovers who value this public good. This non-profit provides many valuable services that minimize the impact of the negative externalities caused by dog waste and unfriendly dogs which must be addressed in order to protect the environment and keep visitors safe. One of the main reasons dogs are not usually allowed on beaches is that owners do not pick up after them. Doggie waste bags are provided for free (over 3,000 are used per day during the summer) and dog owners are encouraged to immediately dispose of their dog's waste in one of the many trash cans provided. Additionally, the society organizes a beach cleanup every Sunday where volunteers help clean up trash. [68] To keep visitors safe, aggressive dogs are not allowed and dogs must be kept under control at all times.

The society also creates positive externalities by providing the public with valuable information on their website. This information includes, but is not limited to, rules to keep dogs safe, tips for introducing dogs to the beach for the first time, warnings about the danger of dogs drinking ocean water, and information about nearby RV parking and dog-friendly hotels. [69] Prospective visitors should be aware of the policy regarding leashes: "Under existing city ordinance, dogs must remain leashed. However, for the past several years only unleashed, potentially dangerous dogs have been cited or removed." [63] One important exception is that leashes are always required when entering and exiting the park to ensure safety near PCH.


Local government

The following table shows the current and former mayors of Huntington Beach: [70]

MayorNameYears served
65th MayorKim Carr2020–2021
64th MayorLyn Semeta2019–2020
63rd MayorErik Peterson2018–2019
62nd MayorMike Posey2017–2018
61st MayorBarbara Delgleize2016–2017
60th Mayor [71] Jim Katapodis2015–2016
59th Mayor Matthew M. Harper 2013–2014
58th MayorDonald F. Hansen2011–2012
57th MayorJoseph J. Carchio2010–2011
56th MayorKeith B. Bohr2008–2009
55th MayorGilbert J. Coerper2006–2007
54th MayorJill S. Hardy2004–2005 & 2014–2015
53rd MayorCatherine T. Green2003–2004 & 2009–2010
52nd MayorConstance J. Boardman2002–2003 & 2012–2013
51st Mayor Deborah A. Cook 2001–2002 & 2007–2008
50th MayorPamela L. Julien Houchen2000–2001
49th MayorDavid P. Garofalo1999–2000
48th MayorShirley S. Dettloff1997–1998
47th MayorRalph H. Bauer1996–1997
46th Mayor David A. Sullivan 1995–1996 & 2005–2006
45th MayorG. Victor Leipzig1994–1995
44th MayorLinda L. Moulton-Patterson1993–1994
43rd MayorGrace H. Winchell1992–1993
42nd Mayor James W. Silva 1991–1992
41st MayorPeter R. Green1990–1991 & 1998–1999
40th MayorThomas A. Mays1989–1990
39th Mayor Wesley M. Bannister 1988–1989
38th MayorJohn P. Erskine1987–1988
37th Mayor John A. Kelly Jr. 1983–1984 & 1986–1987
36th MayorRobert P. Mandic Jr.1993–1994
35th MayorRuth E. Finley1981–1982
34th MayorRuth S. Bailey1980–1981 & 1984–1985
33rd MayorDonald A. MacAllister1979–1980 & 1983
32nd MayorRonald Q. Shenkman1978
31st MayorRonald R. Pattinson1977–1978 & 1978–1979
30th MayorHarriett M. Wieder1976–1977
29th MayorNorma Brandel Gibbs1975–1976
28th MayorJerry A. Matney1973–1974
27th MayorGeorge C. McCracken1971–1972
26th MayorN. John V.V. Green1969–1970
25th MayorAlvin M. Coen1968–1969, 1972–1973 & 1974–1975
24th MayorJake R. Stewart1966–1967
23rd MayorDonald D. Shipley1964–1966, 1967–1968 & 1970–1971
22nd MayorRobert M. Lambert1962–1964
21st MayorErnest H. Gisler1960–1962
20th MayorEarl T. Irby1958–1960
19th MayorVictor Terry1956–1958
18th MayorRoy Seabridge1952–1956
17th MayorVernon E. Langenbeck1950–1952
16th MayorJack Greer1948–1950
15th MayorTed W. Bartlett1946–1948
14th MayorMarcus M. McCallen1938–1942
13th MayorWillis H. Warner1936–1938
12th MayorThomas B. Talbert1934–1936 & 1942–1946
11th MayorElson G. Conrad1931–1934
10th MayorSamuel R. Bowen1928–1931
9th MayorC.G. Booster1926–1928
8th MayorLawrence Ridenhauer1924–1926
7th MayorRichard Drew1922–1924
6th MayorJoseph Vavra1919–1920
5th MayorW.E. Tarbox1917–1918
4th MayorMatthew E. Helme1916–1917
3rd MayorE.E. French1914–1916 & 1918–1919
2nd MayorW.D. Seeley1912–1914
1st MayorEd Manning1909–1912 & 1920–1922

Huntington Beach Fire Department

Huntington Beach Fire Department
Operational area
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of California.svg  California
City Flag of Huntington Beach, California.svg Huntington Beach
Agency overview [72] [73]
Annual calls17,205 (2014)
Employees198 (2014)
Annual budget$45.6 million [74]
Fire chief Scott Haberle
EMS level ALS
IAFF 3354
Facilities and equipment [75]
Stations 8
Engines 8
Trucks 2
Ambulances 5
Official website
IAFF website

The Huntington Beach Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Huntington Beach, California. [76] In addition to fire services, the HBFD also provides medical transport via a fleet of five ambulances. [75] Each ambulance is staffed by two three-year limited term EMTs and the department transports over 10,000 patients annually. [77]

The Huntington Beach Fire Department was formed as an organization in 1909 with 20 volunteers. John Tinsley, became the first fire chief. The first fire engine was a 1923 Seagrave purchased in 1922. [78]

The Marine Safety Division of the HBFD is responsible for patrolling the 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of shoreline along Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach. [79] The staffing levels vary from just five Marine Safety Officers during the offseason (October to March) to as many as 65 during the summer. The division staffs 30 lifeguard towers along the beach as well as Tower Zero on the Huntington Beach Pier. [80] Members of the Marine Safety division have a wide array of equipment available for their use including 10 Toyota Tacoma patrol trucks, 3 Toyota Tundra patrol trucks, search and rescue SCUBA gear, 3 29-foot Crystaliner twin-engine rescue vessels, 3 Yamaha Waverunners, rigid-hulled inflatable boats and all-terrain vehicles. [80]

HBFD Engine 45 on Main Street in Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach Fire Dept Engine 45.jpg
HBFD Engine 45 on Main Street in Huntington Beach.

The Huntington Beach Fire Department staffs 4-person engines and trucks. All engines are ALS-level staffing with a Fire Captain, Fire Engineer, and two Firefighter Paramedics. Trucks are BLS-level with a Fire Captain, Fire Engineer, and two Firefighter EMT's. USAR 42 is cross-staffed with Truck 42 personnel. HazMat 46 is cross-staffed with Engine 46 personnel. ET41, ET42, ET45, and ET46 are 24-hour ambulances. ET241 and ET245 are 12-hour ambulances, that only operate during the daytime hours.

Fire StationAddressEngine CompanyTruck CompanyEmergency Transport unitOther Units
118311 Gothard StEngine 41ET 41, ET 241Battalion 4 [81]
216221 Gothard AveEngine 42Truck 42ET 42USAR 42 [82]
319711 Bushard StEngine 43 [83]
421441 Magnolia StEngine 44 [84]
5530 Lake StEngine 45Truck 45ET 45, ET 245 [85]
618591 Edwards StEngine 46ET 46HazMat 46 [86]
73831 Warner AveEngine 47 [87]
85891 Heil AveEngine 48 [88]
Marine Safety103 Pacific Coast HwyHLIFE


Huntington Beach city vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Democratic Republican Third parties
2020 [89] 47.24% 55,48150.47%59,2792.29% 2,685
2016 [90] 43.28% 40,98049.65%47,0077.07% 6,689
2012 [91] 40.86% 37,09356.37%51,1662.77% 2,512
2008 [92] 45.15% 42,62252.47%49,5282.38% 2,251
2004 [93] 38.80% 35,20659.90%54,3431.30% 1,182
2000 [94] 38.53% 31,80056.63%46,7424.84% 3,998
1996 [95] 36.72% 28,04451.07%39,00412.20% 9,320
1992 [96] 31.16% 27,64841.54%36,86727.30% 24,227
1988 [97] 31.33% 24,54467.51%52,8781.16% 906
1984 [98] 24.77% 17,98574.05%53,7721.18% 860
1980 [99] 22.88% 15,96766.22%46,20610.90% 7,602
1976 [100] 35.77% 20,52662.51%35,8701.72% 988
1972 [101] 27.57% 15,14268.25%37,4834.18% 2,298
1968 [102] 31.06% 11,19961.30%22,1077.64% 2,755
1964 [103] 49.18% 10,16850.82%10,509

In the California State Senate, Huntington Beach is split between two senate districts, represented by Democrat Tom Umberg and Democrat Dave Min. In the California State Assembly, it is split between the 72nd Assembly District , represented by Republican Janet Nguyen, and the 74th Assembly District , represented by Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris. [104]

In the United States House of Representatives, Huntington Beach is in California's 48th congressional district , represented by Republican Michelle Steel. [105]

According to the California Secretary of State, as of February 18, 2020, Huntington Beach has 123,048 registered voters. Of those, 49,490 (40%) are registered Republicans, 37,531 (31%) are registered Democrats, and 31,490 (29%) have declined to state a political party/are American Independents/Green. [106]


Huntington Beach is the home of Golden West College, which offers two-year associates of arts degrees and transfer programs to four-year universities.

Huntington Beach is in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, which includes Edison High School, Huntington Beach High School, Marina High School, and Ocean View High School in the city of Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley High School in the city of Fountain Valley, and Westminster High School in the city of Westminster.

The district also has an alternative school, Valley Vista High School, and an independent study school, Coast High School.

Huntington Beach High School, which is the district's flagship school, [107] celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2006.

The city has four elementary school districts: Huntington Beach City School District with 9 schools and Ocean View School District with 15. A small part of the city is also served by the Fountain Valley School District and Westminster School District.

Huntington Beach is also home to The Pegasus School, a nationally recognized blue ribbon school.

Brethren Christian Junior/Senior High School was a private independent school with about 400 students living within 25 miles (40 km) of the school. It closed in 2020 after 73 years in operation. [108]

Huntington Christian School is a private K–8 school in the city

Grace Lutheran School is a private K–8 school in the city.

Lycée International de Los Angeles previously had its Orange County campus in Huntington Beach. [109]


The city was featured in the TruTV series Ocean Force: Huntington Beach. The city is mentioned in the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari", Jan and Dean's "Surf Route 101", and "Surfer Joe" by The Surfaris.

Live cameras are set up at the Huntington Beach Pier and shown on screens at the California-themed Hollister apparel stores. The store pays the city for the cameras, with the money used to fund marine safety equipment. The cameras are also used by lifeguards. [110]

The public television station KOCE-TV operates from the Golden West College campus, in conjunction with the Golden West College Media Arts program.

The Wave Section of the Orange County Register covers Huntington Beach. [111]


Most Huntington Beach households have at least one car. In 2015, only 2.6 percent of Huntington Beach households lacked a car, which decreased slightly to 2.2 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Huntington Beach averaged fully two cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8. [112]

Notable people

See List of people from Huntington Beach, California .


Huntington Beach Police Department MD520N helicopter Md530-N522HB-hai-050208-01.jpg
Huntington Beach Police Department MD520N helicopter

Fire protection in Huntington Beach is provided by the Huntington Beach Fire Department. Law enforcement is provided by the Huntington Beach Police Department. Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officers and its seasonal lifeguards are recognized as some of the best in the world with a top-notch safety record.[ citation needed ] [113] It has an active Community Emergency Response Team training program, that trains citizens as Disaster Service Workers certified by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of a free program run by the fire department's Office of Emergency Services.

Emergency services are also provided at State Beach locations. Peace Officers and lifeguards can be found at Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beach. Such services consist of aquatic rescues, boat rescues, first aid and law enforcement. All services are provided by the State of California, Dept. Parks & Recreation.[ clarification needed ]

In 1926, the Santa Ana River dam failed, and flash-flooded its entire delta. The southern oceanic terminus of this delta is now a settled area of Huntington Beach. The distant dam is still functional, but silting up, which is expected to reduce its storage volume, and therefore its effectiveness at flood-prevention. The flood and dam-endangered areas are protected by a levee, but lenders require expensive flood insurance in the delta. There have been serious discussions to eliminate the need for flood insurance and this requirement has already been waived in some areas and may one day no longer be considered a credible threat.

Since it is a seaside city, Huntington Beach has had tsunami warnings, storm surge (its pier has been rebuilt three times), sewage spills, tornadoes and waterspouts. The cold offshore current prevents hurricanes. The Pier that was rebuilt in the 1990s was engineered to withstand severe storms or earthquakes.

Large fractions of the settled delta are in soil liquefaction zones above known active faults. Most of the local faults are named after city streets.

Many residents (and even city hall) live within sight and sound of active oil extraction and drilling operations. These occasionally spew oil, causing expensive clean-ups. Large parts of the developed land have been contaminated by heavy metals from the water separated from oil.[ citation needed ]

The local oil has such extreme mercury contamination that metallic mercury is regularly drained from oil pipelines and equipment. Oil operations increase when the price of oil rises. Some oil fields have been approved for development. The worst-polluted areas have been reclaimed as parks. At least one Superfund site, too contaminated to be a park, is at the junction of Magnolia and Hamilton streets, near Edison High School. [114]

Sister cities

Huntington Beach has the following sister city relationships, according to the Huntington Beach Sister City Association: [115]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Bolsa Chica State Beach

Bolsa Chica State Beach is a public ocean beach in Orange County, California, United States. It is located north of Huntington Beach and south of the community of Sunset Beach.

Sunset Beach, California Neighborhood of Huntington Beach in Orange, California, United States

Sunset Beach is a Huntington Beach beachfront community in Orange County, California. It was established on September 8, 1904 and developed as a result of the 1920 discovery of oil in the Huntington Beach Oil Field. The census-designated place of Sunset Beach and its population of 971 as of the 2010 census was annexed by Huntington Beach in 2011. The elevation is 5.3 feet above sea level and the community is stretched out along Pacific Coast Highway bracketed by the ocean and Huntington Harbour.

Huntington State Beach

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Huntington Beach Pier United States historic place

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Debbie Cook American politician

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Cook is an American politician and lawyer from California. She is the former mayor of Huntington Beach, California, and was the Democratic candidate for California's 46th congressional district in 2008. Cook was elected to the Huntington Beach City Council in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. She is president of the board of directors of the Post Carbon Institute.

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The U.S. Open of Surfing is a week-long surfing competition held annually during the summer in Huntington Beach, California. Generally held on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, the U.S. Open is part of the qualification process for the World Surf League and is a WSL QS 10,000 event. It is the largest surfing competition in the world. It has been owned by IMG since 2000.

Huntington Harbour is a community of about 3,500 people located in the northwestern section of Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. Huntington Harbour is a residential development of 680 acres (280 ha) which includes five man-made islands with waterways varying from 15 to 20 feet in depth used for boating. The five man-made islands in Huntington Harbour include: Admiralty, Davenport, Gilbert, Humboldt, and Trinidad.

Richard Keyes

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Lifelong Huntington Beach resident, veteran, devoted community servant and major contributing factor in the discovery of Orange County's archeological find ORA-83.

Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and Bolsa Bay State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas located in Orange County on the southern coast of California. The SMCAs cover 0.66 and 0.07 square miles, respectively. The SMCAs protect marine life by limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within their borders.

Lucetta "Lucy" Dunn is an attorney and business leader in Orange County, California, and President and CEO of Orange County Business Council (OCBC).

Anaheim Bay

Anaheim Bay is an extensive harbor and wetland complex in Orange County, California in the United States. The bay is located on the Pacific Ocean coast of northwestern Orange County next to Seal Beach and is split into several distinct but interconnected parts. The term "Anaheim Bay" generally refers to the deep-water Navy harbor at the bay entrance. Further southeast are the Huntington Harbor, which serves small private vessels, and the Bolsa Bay, a salt-water estuary. Bordering the bay are hundreds of acres of salt marshes, some of the largest remaining such habitats in Southern California.


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Further reading