Hang Ten In Huntington

When Hollywood heavyweights want to hit the beach, they often head south to Huntington.

By: By Terra Judge

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The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort's
heated pool offers ocean views.
When Hollywood heavyweights want to hit the beach, they often head south to Huntington. This seaside city, dubbed Surf City USA, is about an hour from Los Angeles and will soon draw celebrities and athletes alike when it again hosts the U.S. Open of Surfing and Beach Festival from July 20-29.

With some of the widest and most unspoiled beaches in Southern California, Huntington Beach gives visitors a chance to witness the epitome of SoCal culture surfers. From kids testing the waves, to tandem surfing with man’s best friend at the local dog beach, to the pros at the U.S. Open, all are welcome to put a toe in the water.

For those who prefer to soak in the atmosphere out of the sea, the city’s landmark pier provides a dry alternative with an excellent vantage point for surfer-spotting, as well as a peek at the occasional dolphin riding the waves. Visitors can stroll the pier with an ice-cream cone or a smoothie, or pull up a bench to enjoy the sun and sights.

Centrally located Main Street also offers an off-the-sand option with the variety of surf shops and boutique clothing stores. Huntington Surf and Sport offers all the trendy surf brands and Diane’s Beachwear has plenty of options for a sand-ready swimsuit.


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Guestrooms have been renovated
at the Hilton Waterfront.
For accommodations with views and within walking distance of the hip Huntington Pier, recommend the AAA Four Diamond award-winning Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. The resort has recently undergone a $10 million renovation and offers 290 remodeled guestrooms and 24 oceanfront suites all with ocean views.

Each guestroom features a flat-panel LCD television, the Hilton Serenity bedding package, high-speed Internet and, for those wishing to avoid a midnight stumble, floors that softly illuminate when walked on at night a small but thoughtful perk I enjoyed on a recent stay.

A view of the ocean is also impressive from the resort’s restaurant. Shades Restaurant and Bar, set to debut June 28, will feature an untraditional menu and a stylish bar scene. The restaurant features an area for cocktails and dinner indoors, as well as an outdoor lounge-style setting around a fire pit.

The menu will be overseen by executive chef Jeff Littlefield, who makes regular trips to the Santa Monica, Calif., Farmers Market to find fresh local and organic products. Formerly the executive chef at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, Littlefield brings a taste of trendy L.A. to Huntington.

The resort is well-equipped to host groups as well. With 21,500 square feet of meeting and conference space, including two ballrooms and two boardrooms, the resort can accommodate a variety of events, from business meetings to beachfront weddings.

The resort will even take you to the beach with the S’Mores Package; including firewood, beach blanket, wieners and wires, beverages and graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.

Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort



Summer Packages

Surf ’n’ Turf Package
Available through Oct. 31, the package includes overnight accommodations, welcome amenity (the book “Huntington Beach, California: Images of America”), two one-hour private surf lessons with Toes on the Nose and dinner for two at Shades Restaurant & Bar ($100 value). Rates start at $525 per night.

See Dick & Jane Surf Package
This package includes overnight accommodations, welcome amenity, couples two-hour private surf lesson with Toes on the Nose, matching Huntington Surf & Sport sweatshirts, two one-hour bike rentals and a full American breakfast for two. Rates start at $569 per night, and the package is available Sundays-Thursdays, through Oct. 31.

Room & Board Package
This package includes overnight accommodations, welcome amenity, two one-hour private surf lessons with Toes on the Nose and a $25 gift card to Huntington Surf & Sport. Available through Oct. 31, rates start at $499 per night.