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10 Best Places in Huntington Beach to Clear Your Mind

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

April 9, 2024

Table of Contents

Huntington Beach in California is an Orange County hotspot trademarked as Surf City USA. There is much more to this area than choppy waves, though.

A family-friendly destination, you can hire e-bikes to explore meandering trails, a State Park, and a many different habitats in an area perfect for those looking to disconnect from modern life.

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Today’s guide highlights ten of the best peaceful spots in Huntington Beach.

10 Peaceful Places in Huntington Beach

  1. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
  2. Huntington Beach Pier
  3. Old World Village
  4. Huntington Dog Beach
  5. Huntington Central Park
  6. Huntington Beach Art Center
  7. Shipley Nature Center
  8. Huntington City Beach
  9. Huntington Beach State Park
  10. Huntington Beach Central Library

1) Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, the biggest saltwater marsh along the Californian coast, is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers. Those in recovery will appreciate the five miles of peaceful trails found in the 1,300 acres of wetlands near Huntington Beach that make up the nature reserve.

The wetlands are home to almost 200 bird species as well as more than 100 trees and plants. Spend some time embracing the natural beauty all around by taking an easy hike around one of the looping trails near Huntington Beach.

an image of the Huntington Beach pier at sunset

2) Huntington Beach Pier

No roundup of the best places to visit in Huntington Beach is complete without the iconic pier. Huntington Beach Pier is one of the lengthiest piers along the West Coast.

The pier juts into Pacific Ocean at the intersection of the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street. Huntington Beach Pier is one of the most Instagrammed spots in town, allowing locals and visitors alike to take in the breathtaking views and the welcome ocean breeze.

Huntington Beach Pier was rebuilt in the 1980s after being damaged by two storms. Free and open from 5am to midnight, clear your mind to the sound of crashing waves at the tranquil yet energizing pier. Skateboards, bicycles, dogs, and smoking are not permitted on Huntington Beach Pier, making for a peaceful environment.

3) Old World Village

Old World Village is a German enclave established in Huntington Beach, California in 1978. There is more to this eclectic area than Oktoberfest, though.

Many business owners in Old World Village live above their establishments, an arrangement that is uncommon in Orange County. Today, roughly 40 families reside in the village. While the business owners were initially from Germany and Austria, the area today is more ethnically diverse.

4) Huntington Dog Beach

If dogs could vote for the best places to go in Huntington Beach, they would choose Huntington Dog Beach. This location makes a great choice, too, for those who have engaged with pet-friendly rehab in Orange County.

This beach is located between 21st Street and Seapoint Avenue along PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Enjoy an invigorating walk with your furball and catch some sun while your dog interacts with the other animals snagging some playtime at Huntington Dog Beach.

You can find some easy trails ideal for hiking, walking, or running. Although you are likely to encounter plenty of people and dogs on your travels, you can also find pockets of peace in this area overlooking the beaches of Surf City USA.

5) Huntington Central Park

Huntington Central Park is the largest park in Orange County that is owned and operated by the city. Set in over 350 acres divided into Central Park East and Central Park West, you’ll have ample opportunity to disconnect from the wired world and clear your mind.

Central Park West includes:

  • Lake Huntington
  • Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center
  • Kathy May’s Lakeview Café
  • Dog Park
  • Shipley Nature Center

Central Park East features:

  • Huntington Beach Central Library
  • Library Theater
  • Adventure Playground
  • Park Bench Café
  • Talbert Lake
  • Secret Garden

Huntington Central Park is also home to concerts, activities, and meandering trails.

6) Huntington Beach Art Center

HBAC (Huntington Beach Art Center) is a center for culture and community arts that serves Huntington Beach and the region of Southern California.

Explore multimedia works from local and national artists through lectures, screenings, performances, and exhibitions

A public/private partnership between Huntington Beach Art Center Foundation and the City of Huntington Beach, HBAC is a non-profit founded in 1989. HBAC has a history of fundraising that continues today with events like Surf City Arts Fest.

7) Shipley Nature Center

Shipley Nature Center opened its doors in 1974 and is named for Donald D. Shipley, former mayor. A fenced natural area of 18 acres, Shipley Nature Center is owned by the city and operated by a non-profit (Friends of Shipley Nature Center). In 2002, the nonprofit helps restore the area’s native environment after it was overrun with invasive plants that choked the pond and killed the towering Redwoods.

Take a self-guided tour through the grounds. You will find a printed trail guide in the Interpretive Building.

an image of Huntington City Beach

8) Huntington City Beach

Inarguably one of the best places in Huntington beach, Huntington City Beach is a majestic stretch of sand nestled between Beach Boulevard and Goldenwest Street along PCH.

Catch the sun while watching pro surfers in action, visit the pier, and take advantage of the bonfire pits if you’re not quite ready to head home.

City Beach is open from 5am to 10pm. You will find ample parking in lots on either side of Huntington Beach Pier with a $15 daily maximum.

9) Huntington Beach State Park

As you enter Huntington Beach State Park, you’ll be welcome by an exquisite ocean vista and a view of the most impeccably preserved beach along the Grand Strand.

California’s natural coastal environment is showcased in the park with a beach, maritime forest, saltmarsh, and freshwater lagoon. The park is also known as one of the best sites for birding along the coast.

Stroll along three miles of beachfront that’s remarkably undeveloped and visit Atalaya castle, once home to sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington and now a National Historic Landmark.

Although many people swim in the water at Huntington Beach State Park, there are no active lifeguards at the park.

10) Huntington Beach Central Library

Huntington Beach Central Library & Cultural Center is an architectural landmark that makes the perfect spot for some reading or browsing when you’re looking to clear your head and get a change of scene.

There  are ongoing entertainment and education programs for adults and children. Library card holders can access free WiFi.

Renaissance Recovery’s Huntington Beach Rehab Center

If you have an addiction to prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs, we can help you at our rehab center in Huntington Beach.

We specialize in the intensive outpatient treatment of addictions, mental health conditions, and co-occurring disorders, providing you with the most flexible and affordable pathway to addiction.

All Renaissance Recovery treatment program draw from a personalized combination of evidence-based and holistic treatment, including:

  • MAT (medication-assisted treatment)
  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy (CBT or)
  • Family therapy
  • Experiential adventure therapy

Whether you step down to a less intensive form of outpatient treatment or transition directly into daily living, you will leave Renaissance with a firm foundation for recovery, relapse prevention strategies, and access to our alumni program. Take the first vital step by calling admissions at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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