It’s been a rough winter — snow, sleet and freezing rain have created headaches across large swaths of the country. And if you’ve been digging out or hunkering down for the past few weeks, we know you could probably use a break. To be more specific, you could use a Shorebreak, as in the Shorebreak Hotel, our newest digs. Set in sunny, sandy, fun loving, sunny (did we mention that already?) Huntington Beach, CA, Shorebreak is our first hotel in Orange County, located between Los Angeles and San Diego (making for a delightful SoCal sandwich).
In Orange County, surfers and skaters frolic alongside Mickey and Minnie on miles of stunning coastline. And nowhere is the Southern California lifestyle on more lively display than Huntington Beach, officially trademarked as “Surf City USA.” Shorebreak is set right in the heart of the action, too, directly across the sand from the Huntington Beach Pier at The Strand, a shopping, dining and nightlife destination.
Surfing and beach volleyball are deep in HB’s DNA, with a number of pro competitions taking place each year. And of course daily surf sessions are the norm for kooks and shredders alike, while some 20 beach-volleyball courts ensure that lots of sweaty players end up coated with sand like a sugar cookie. But you don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy HB’s charms — chilling is an art here, as well. And the classic way to enjoy the city’s 10 miles of beach is to claim one of the 500 fire rings for a beach bonfire.
Other highlights include the International Surfing Museum, a raucous 4th of July parade and celebration, classic car shows, and the weekly Surf City Nights, a street fair and farmers’ market that takes place every Tuesday from 5 to 9pm, just a block away from the hotel. And nature lovers won’t want to miss Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a 1,445-acre wildlife area that is one of the best places in Southern California for bird-watching. This now-rare coastal wetlands ecosystem provides a home or temporary stopover for more than 300 bird species, and has some five miles of trails to explore.
And for those more interested in creature comforts than just plain creatures, Shorebreak Hotel offers 157 rooms, ocean views and a casually cool beach-house vibe. And of course all the usual Kimpton perks such as a pet-friendly policy (there’s a popular dog beach nearby), free bikes, and our hosted wine-hour every evening. For a taste of local fare and specialty cocktails, Zimzala restaurant offers coastal California cuisine, along with some pretty tasty indoor and outdoor dining, as well as live music.
Again, apologies to those of you who are still frozen brittle, but you can take a look right now at how HB is doing this winter via live webcams. And after taking a peek you just might find yourself singing the refrain to that old song: Surf City, here we come. (Just remember to behave yourself once you get there … people can see what you’re doing on those webcams.)
Banner image and pier photos courtesy Visit Huntington Beach