Huntington State Beach is a protected beach in Orange County, California, located in the city of Huntington Beach. It stretches over two miles (3.2 kilometers) north from Newport Beach (Santa Ana River) to Beach Boulevard, where the Huntington City Beach begins. The 121-acre (49-hectare) park was founded in 1942.
This beach is a popular destination for beachgoers. This beach offers moderate to good surf, fishing, volleyball courts, basketball courts, bathrooms, and bonfire rings. The California State Parks Lifeguard Service provides lifeguard services at Huntington State Beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach all year, while lifeguard towers are staffed from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The beach also serves as a breeding site for California least terns, an endangered subspecies, and snowy plovers, a West Coast threatened species.
Huntington State Beach is in Huntington Beach, California. The beach is accessible via five roads: Pacific Coast Highway, Beach Boulevard, Newland Street, Magnolia Street, and Brookhurst Street. Talbert Channel and the Santa Ana River have their mouths at the southern end of the beach. The beach is quite large and at sea level. Sandbars run the length of the beach and along the coast, creating shallow waters near the south end.
Two power plants, marshes, sand dunes, a sewage facility, residential dwellings, and a toxic waste dump are all located just behind Huntington State Beach. It is believed that large levels of water contamination occur frequently around the Magnolia Street entrance due to the penetration of harmful substances into the soil. Because of the two river mouths, large amounts of contamination are also common around the Brookhurst Street entry. Aside from the river mouths, the sewage plant has occasionally spilled raw sewage into the ocean via the Santa Ana River.
Huntington State Beach is nearly due south. Huntington State Beach receives all swells from the south straight in late spring, summer, and into the fall. Huntington State Beach is a great place to surf when north/west swells meet with south swells. Large sandbars extend across and upcoast roughly 1 mile due to the Santa Ana River Jetties located at the southern end of the beach. During the spring and summer seasons, these sandbars fluctuate drastically, producing perilous situations. The surf at this beach is frequently steep, quick, and hollow. Surfing is not recommended for beginners at this area. Shortboards are strongly advised.
Swimming is permitted at Huntington State Beach, and lifeguards are on duty. At this beach, ocean currents can be extremely dangerous, causing strong rip currents. Aquatic rescues are regular, and the likelihood of drowning for a non-swimmer in open water is high. Swimmers should use extreme caution and stay close to the shore and in front of a lifeguard tower.
A paved pathway runs the length of the beach. This pathway is a minor section of a larger trail that runs from Long Beach to Newport Beach’s Balboa Pier.
Next Point of Interest: Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve