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Huntington Beach, International Surf Capitol of the World

Known as the International Surf Capital of the World, Huntington Beach gained popularity in 1928 with its championship meets that drew surfers from around the globe. Today, 'HB' is still a surfing Mecca. With over 50 surf sporting events booked in the City of Huntington Beach each year, there are competitions for every age, category and style of surfing. Special clubs for women and girls such as HB Wahine All Girls Board Club, old guys on longboards, Hello Kitty fans and religious groups invite the public and like-minded individuals to join in and share the love of surfing.

Home to the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum (411 Olive Street, 714-960-3483) and the Surfing Walk of Fame, at the intersection of Main and Pacific Coast Highway.

In addition to good surf, HB offers plenty of white sand, beautiful people and delicious restaurants, including Duke's (714-374-6446), dedicated to the King of Surfing, Duke Kahanamoku who surfed the dangerous waves beneath the Huntington Beach Pier (where the restaurant is located) during the 1920s.

Nature lovers enjoy the Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve, a wetland which boasts a huge number of endangered and rare bird species as well as the archaeological remains of Native American cogged stones, used between 6,000 and 3,500 B.C.

Even dogs are welcome in Huntington Beach with more than 67 city parks, Dog Beach near the bluffs on PCH, or Doggie Park where dogs are free to run off-leash in a fenced in enclosure off Edwards Avenue and Central Park Drive. For lunch, head to the Park Bench Caf'(714-842-0775), which offers both a human and doggie menu.

Where to eat: The Huntington Beach Beer Company (714-960-5343) offers traditional brewery fare like salads, sandwiches, pizza and hamburgers, or dine at the end of the salty-aired pier at Ruby's Diner (714-969-RUBY).