Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

#9 in Best Things To Do in Huntington Beach
Courtesy of Visit Huntington Beach

Key Info

411 Olive Ave.

Price & Hours

Tues-Sun noon-5 p.m.


Museums, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 2.5Atmosphere

A trip to Huntington Beach wouldn't be complete without visiting the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum. As its name implies, this museum focuses on the history of surfing, making it an excellent place to gain some context about the sport before or after a surfing lesson. Inside, you'll find unique surfing artifacts, including the world's largest surfboard and a surfboard that belonged to Duke Kahanamoku, the man credited with popularizing the sport. There's also a gift shop that sells T-shirts, books and other surfing-related keepsakes.

Although a couple of recent visitors bemoaned the museum's small size, most said it's worth visiting, regardless of whether or not you like to surf. Several past museumgoers also appreciated the attraction's friendly staff and commitment to regularly changing the theme of its displays.

The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum is located two blocks away from Huntington City Beach in the heart of Downtown Huntington Beach. Parking is not available on-site, but you'll find multiple garages and metered spaces within walking distance. The museum welcomes visitors Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is complimentary, though donations are kindly accepted. Any contribution goes toward paying the nonprofit museum's operating expenses. Additional information about the museum can be found on its official website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Huntington City Beach and the Huntington Beach Pier

If you've seen a photo of Huntington Beach, chances are it's of its main beach and famous pier. The beach's 3 ½ miles of gorgeous sands is a haven for professional surfers and volleyball players, and draws locals and tourists eager to learn how to surf and stroll the 1,850-foot-long pier. The impressive pier, which is one of the longest on the West Coast, is an excellent place to fish and catch a sunset. Meanwhile, the beach itself features all kinds of amenities, including fire rings for beach bonfires, restrooms with outdoor showers, an information kiosk, water sports equipment rentals and beach volleyball courts. When you need a break from the sand and sea, cycle along the Huntington Beach Bike Trail or explore Downtown Huntington Beach. Both sit within walking distance of the beach and pier.

According to previous visitors, the city's main beach and pier are two of its can't-miss attractions. Not only will you enjoy incredible ocean views (especially at sunset), but you'll also discover a laid-back ambiance ideal for relaxing outside. In fact, many highly recommend coming here to simply watch the surfers and walk up and down the pier. If you're hoping to avoid large crowds, past beachgoers recommended visiting on a weekday and outside the busy summer season. The beach also tends to get crowded during its annual events, so consider planning around popular events like the AVP Huntington Beach Open (in May), the Vans US Open of Surfing (in August) and The Great Pacific Airshow (in September).

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