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Huntington Beaches - Bolsa Chica, Huntington State Beach, Huntington City Beach and Sunset Beach California

Huntington Beaches

Huntington Beaches - 4 beaches in one

Huntington Beach is comprised of four beaches--Huntington State Beach, Huntington City Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach and Sunset Beach. When you visit Huntington Beaches, you may wonder why there are four different names for the beaches in Huntington Beach―Huntington State Beach, Huntington City Beach, Bolsa Chica State Beach and Sunset Beach. Below are links to the four beaches.

Huntington City Beach  Pacific Coast Highway between Beach Boulevard and Golden West Street

Huntington State Beach Pacific Coast Highway between Beach Boulevard and Brookhurst St.

Bolsa Chica State Beach Pacific Coast Highway between Golden West St. and Warner Ave.

Sunset Beach  is a one mile beach running parallel to Pacific Coast Highway between Warner Avenue and Anderson Street.

Yards Beach (pocket beach at Huntington Harbour Yacht Club). Yards of land, yards of launch for SUP and kayaks.

Mother's Beach in Huntington Harbour entering Davenport Island

In addition to having different names, the beaches are operated by separate entities. Two state beaches are under the auspices of the California State Parks system while one is operated by the City of Huntington Beach. If you find this confusing, so do many who live in Huntington Beach. What makes these three beaches different'

    Huntington Beaches beach vacations are available by enjoying RV camping at Bolsa Chica State Beach, or staying in vacation rentals at Sunset Beach, and hotels at Sunset Beach and Huntington City Beach. The beach hotels include Ramada Limited Sunset Beach, Sanatra Inn, Shorebreak Hotel, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Hilton Waterfront Resort and Best Western Huntington Beach Inn.  The beach hotels aren't the cheapest hotels in town, but your best values can be found in Sunset Beach. The star ratings for the these hotels are in the 2 (out of 5) range, while the pricier luxury resorts --Hyatt and Hilton are in the 4 diamond and 4 star category with restaurants on site and many amenities. Whatever you choose, budget or best, you are in for a treat with the beach on-site or just across the street. The beaches are the hotel draw in HB and for that you pay a little more, but it's worth it!

First, they span an 8.5-mile geographic zone that ranges from flat, sandy areas to cliffs with paths and steps that descend to a narrower beach. In addition to the geographic features and cities they border (Bolsa Chica State Beach touches Sunset Beach and Huntington State Beach touches Newport Beach), they also have a few attractions that visitors and local guests seek. The two state beaches are known for their bonfire pits, plus an RV campground on the Bolsa Chica State Beach. Huntington City Beach features the Huntington Beach Pier and a close proximity to Main Street shops, dining and a host of activities such as weekly Certified Farmer's Market and Art Fair, US Open of Surfing, AVP Pro Beach Volleyball and free summer concert weekends at Pier Plaza. Huntington City Beach also includes an RV park open seasonally during winter months. In addition, Huntington Beach features Dog Beach, located at Golden West Street and Pacific Coast Highway.  Dogs are permitted on this special beach area only.

When you drive to Huntington Beach, you should decide what recreation activities you seek. If bonfires and cookouts are your goal, you best choose the state beaches. If shopping and dining are your main interests, pick the City Beach.  Sometimes during busy summer weekends you will not have a choice. All three beaches actually fill to capacity on special days. Most the time, however, you will find parking in the state beach lots and seasonally in the City Beach lots.

What do the three beaches share'  All the Huntington Beaches share a cement road wide enough for two lanes of bicycles.  In the U.S., you should always ride or jog on the right side, much like the automobile traffic.  The beach bike path is enjoyed by hundreds and thousands of people daily and requires some caution.  All three beaches also offer kiosks, restroom facilities, volleyball nets, snack bar concessions, bike, roller blade and body board rentals and sell suntan lotions, film, sodas, etc.

When you enter the gates of these three beach, Huntington State Beach to the south, Huntington City Beach in the middle, and Bolsa Chica State Beach to the north (the closest beach to Los Angeles), you'll be charged different fees for parking, depending on which beach you park at. It's interesting that you can enter either Huntington Beach State Beach or Huntington City Beach at Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Boulevard and just by turning left in the lot, you'll be charged a different (usually smaller) fee than by turning right into the Huntington City Beach. While the amount is generally only a few dollars difference, it still puzzles visitors and tourists as to why there is a price difference.

Two of the three beaches (Huntington State Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach ) are operated by the California State Parks system.  They contract lifeguard services and cleanup but collect the money and control the operations of these two entities that make up the majority of sand in the City of Huntington Beach. Both of the state beaches charge the same fee for parking.  Smack dab in the middle of the two state beaches is Huntington City Beach. It is operated by the City of Huntington Beach, which provides lifeguard services and collects the fees for parking. All Huntington Beaches are free to enter, however.  You will not be charged a fee for attending the beach. You will only be charged a fee if you wish to park in their parking lots.

To help you understand the three beaches in one city, we've broken them down into sections with photographs to help you understand. The differences are often subtle and the impact may be minimal in your trip planning, but be advised: If you pay for parking at one beach, you won't have access to parking in the other beaches, as well.

FAQ's (Frequently answered questions) - Dog Beach is between Golden West & Seapoint on Pacific Coast Highway. Hotels accepting pets: See hotel page. RV camping numbers are: City Beach--Sunset Vista  714-536-5280   State Beach--Bolsa Chica 714-846-3460 or 800-444-7275 (call for reservations information).  Not allowed: Tent camping, fireworks, glass containers and liquor are not permitted at the beach.  Permitted: Weddings on the beach with permit and bonfires are allowed in fire pits at Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington City Beach and Huntington State Beach south of the pier (must bring own firewood). Huntington State Beach (Pacific Coast Highway from Brookhurst to Beach Blvd.) and Bolsa Chica State Beach (Pacific Coast Highway from Seapoint to Warner) Special Events such as Weddings and Group Picnic Reservations, call 714-377-9422 or for Huntington City Beach (Pacific Coast Highway from Seapoint to Beach Blvd.) call: 714-536-5281.  To participate as a vendor in the Farmer's Market or Art-A-Faire, you can call these numbers:  Orange County Farm Bureau 714-573-0374 OR  Arts & Crafts call Pam Fellows 714-846-5509. Beach hours: Huntington City Beach: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., State Beaches: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Huntington Beach Pier: 5 a.m. to Midnight.