Huntington is known as “Surf City USA”. Along with the famous Huntington Beach Pier, Bolsa Chica is one of the cities hottest surf spots. During the winter the surf can reach up to 8-10 feet and has relatively constant ride-able waves year round. Surfing is definitely the main activity at this beach. The beach extends three miles from Seal Beach to Huntington Beach City Pier and is located off the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
This beach is a summer hangout, but the pace definitely slows down in the winter. As the summer crowds and the beaches aligned with blazing bonfires decrease, the surf picks up and the die hard surfers in wetsuits take to the ocean waters to charge the big winter swells. Unlike its neighboring city of Newport, surfing is allowed the entire day (no black ball) all year long, except south of the main tower during the summer.
There is a long bike path which connects Bolsa Chica State Beach with Huntington State Beach, seven miles south. It is a straight shot from one point to the other and all along the coast. It is a mellow cycling route which allows you to scope out the best place to sunbath or surf. Surf fishing is also excellent at this beach with Perch, Corbina, Croaker, Cabezon and Sand Shark commonly caught.
Across the road from the beach is the 1,000-acre Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Wildlife and bird watching are popular here. A 1.5 mile walking trail circles Inner Bolsa Bay and provides good views of the native habitat. This is a great place to check out a variety of diverse birds, including a couple endangered species and some of the local plant species. Several volunteer groups offer free tours, check with the visitor’s center for information.
Some of the best times to visit Huntington Beach are during the summer. Huntington Beach has a spectacular show for the 4th of July. There is a massive Independence Day Parade, which draws in around 250,000 people. The US Surf Open in August is another fun time to visit. The eight day event is televised and includes many extreme sports like: skateboarding, inline skating, surfing competitions with some of the world's best surfers and BMX bike competitions. It’s an action packed day out at the beach.
There is camping available for RVs and autos (no tent camping), therefore Bolsa Chica offers a lot of the camping comforts required for an overnight or week stay. There are bathrooms, concessions with food, a paved bike path and fire rings for barbeques. The Spanish translation for Bolsa Chica is "little pocket". In the 1800s it used to be a ranch that was isolated by swamps, little pockets of dry land, and the ocean. Today it is an open area of sandy beach and protected wildlife which is available to all who wish to visit.