After going on our first RV road trip last year we were itching for another one. Thankfully our partnership with Visit California and Go RVing gave us that opportunity. We headed out on a six day Southern California RV road trip visiting Huntington Beach, Oceanside, and Anza-Borrego. Here are things to do in Huntington Beach, a complete guide to Surf City USA.
How to Get to Huntington Beach + Tips on Renting an RV
Even though we were going on an RV road trip we don’t own one so we rented from Outdoorsy (sign up here for $50 off) We also live in Florida so we would first be fly from Miami to California. Based on the location of the RV we rented we flew in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). However, Huntington Beach is located 50 minutes from LAX or 90 minutes from San Diego International Airport and based on the 3 cities we visited you can either arrive and depart from the same airport or fly into one and depart from the other.
I remember our first RV trip and it can seem overwhelming but it’s not. Here are tips for first time RVers as well as what to expect when vacationing in an RV. Wondering why we chose an RV instead of road tripping in a car? Here’s why road trips with kids are better in an RV.
You May Be Interested in Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Planning a California Road Trip
Things to Do in Huntington Beach with Two Days in Surf City USA
Things to Do in Huntington Beach Day One: Pacific Hideaway, Havaianas, & Duke’s
After setting up at our RV Park we had lunch at Pacific Hideaway which is located inside the Kimpton Shorebreak Resort. If you aren’t towing a vehicle and need to drive your RV downtown there is RV parking at the beach a few blocks away.
Lunch was exquisite! We started with the stick wings and chips and guacamole and were extremely tempted to order more. Luckily we didn’t because our main entrees were just as good! The pineapple relish on the mahi mahi tacos made were perfection! None of us could keep our hands off the hand cut fries even when we were beyond stuffed. My dad ordered the Baja Striped Bass and as someone who is constantly complaining about his food orders he surprisingly complimented the fish multiple times.
After eating way too much good food we walked to Havaianas which is a sandal brand created in 1962. Here we got the opportunity to make our own sandals and it was by far my three year olds favorite activity. She had such a good time she even convinced the employees to let her remake her sandals about 6 times because she didn’t want to stop. You’re able to pick out color of the soles, straps, and then can customize them even more by adding a special charm to the straps.
Across the street from Havaianas is the Pier Plaza Art Afaire. It’s an outdoor market of about 50 vendors who sell unique, hand-made gifts. We came across an artist drawing caricatures had to get ours done.
The Pier Plaza Art-A-Faire sits at the start of the Huntington Beach Pier which is the perfect place to watch the sunset. Since we had some time before the sun set we walked along the pier to get a closer look at the surfers in the water. There were literally hundreds of them and it was so much fun watching them catch the waves. Then when the sun was finally setting we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve seen.
You May Be Interested in Reading: Tips for Taking Family Vacation Photos
After sunset we had dinner at Duke’s Huntington Beach which conveniently sits at the start of the pier. With ocean view seating be sure to make a reservation and request a table near the windows. They specialize in traditional Hawaiian dishes.
After dinner we headed back to our RV park. One thing we learned from our last RV trip is how nice everyone is at RV parks. That even though no one if your permanent neighbor it feels like such a community. When we pulled up our neighbors noticed Kennedy and with four kids of their own invited us over. They were about to make s’mores and play some games. Kennedy was so happy to make a friend!
Things to Do in Huntington Beach Day Two: Surf Lessons, Beach Bonfire, & More
We started our second day in Huntington Beach having breakfast at a local favorite, Mama’s on 39. It’s a large shopping plaza and the parking spaces don’t have the concrete dividers so we were able to just take up two spots to park our RV.
It was a Saturday morning and we arrived at 8:25AM, a few minutes before they open. There was a line of people and we knew we were in for a good meal. They are famous for their bacon biscuits but since we don’t eat pork we opted for the original ones, still they were delicious. I got the french toast which was really good and my dad enjoyed oatmeal and an omelette.
When looking at things to do in Huntington Beach surf lessons are at the top of everyone’s list. So after breakfast we headed to the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa where I met my surf instructor at Toes of the Nose. Again we parked our RV across the street at the beach, which does give you in and out privileges with your one day parking pass.
I took a one hour lesson with Johnny and I highly recommend him. He was very patient and encouraging. I was even able to stand up and catch a wave before my lesson ended. While my three-year-old was too young to participate as kids must be at least eight she hung out on the beach making sand castles and watching my lesson.
After my surf lesson we had we ate at Pete’s Sunset Grill which is right across the walkway from Toes on the Nose. With your hour surf lesson lunch here is included. While you can’t select from the entire menu there are quite a few options including mahi mahi tacos and burgers. Plus your lunch comes with a beer or glass of wine with your meal. If you don’t take lessons like my dad and daughter you can just place your order and pay the menu price.
Once we stuffed our faces we headed back to our RV park, Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Here we enjoyed an afternoon in the pool.
Swimming in the pool all afternoon worked up our appetites. We headed back into town to have dinner at Ola Mexican Kitchen, which is right across from the beach RV parking lot. The restaurant is located in the outdoor shopping mall Pacific City. This restaurant seems to be a very popular spot so I highly recommend making a reservation in advance.
After dinner it was time for dessert. We headed to the beach for a bonfire and s’mores. The Hilton Huntington Beach offers full blow beach bonfire packages. They set up nice chairs in front of a fire pit which they provide the wood for and keep the fire lit until you’re ready to leave. There is also a table with the ingredients needed for s’mores along with sticks to roast marshmallows. Drinks, both soda and water were also provided in a cooler with ice. The best part is they take care of all the clean-up! Arrive right before sunset for beautiful sunset views on the beach.
We returned to our RV park for our last night in Huntington Beach. The next morning we made breakfast in our RV before heading to the next stop of our Southern California road trip. Oceanside was a short 60 mile drive from Huntington Beach.
Other Things to Do in Huntington Beach
Of course we weren’t able to do everything in Huntington Beach. Here are some things we considered that we just didn’t have time for:
- Huntington Beach State Park: Here you can go swimming, fishing and basketball and volleyball courts.
- International Surfing Museum: What’s Surf City USA without a surfing museum, check out all the greats here.
- Whale Watching: Depending on the time of year you visit Huntington Beach you’ll have the chance to see Blue Whales, Gray Whales, Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Mola Mola, Mako Shark, and Great White Sharks
The Best RV Park in Huntington Beach
While looking for the best Huntington Beach RV Parks we came across Sunset Vista and Bolsa Chica State Beach. However, both of them were 100% occupied during our two night stay. We ended up staying at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, just 15 minutes away. The location was very convenient to reaching all the things to do in Huntington Beach. We were actually very happy we ended up booking here as it’s one of the nicest RV park we’ve ever stayed in.
One of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina most notable features are it’s lake view RV spots! The RV resort is very family friendly with it’s playground and kids rec area. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina also has a laundry room that doesn’t require coins, you can use your credit card!
We really enjoyed our time in Huntington Beach and hope to return soon. Did you find our post on things to do in Huntington Beach helpful? Please share this article!