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16 Free Things to Do in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is full of free activities and experiences waiting to be discovered. From its iconic Dog Beach to the diverse array of parks, nature reserves, and downtown attractions, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant Southern California. With so many free things to do in Huntington Beach, it can take time to narrow down your choices. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best no-cost activities in Huntington Beach. Whether looking for an afternoon by the pier or a day spent exploring nature reserves, these free things will keep you busy and won’t cost you a penny!

Huntington Dog Beach

Let’s start our journey with a visit to Huntington Dog Beach! This Beach is located on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, and it is one of the few beaches in California where dogs can play off-leash. Here, you can take your pup on an adventure and enjoy quality time together while taking in the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. You will find plenty of room for your pup to run and play, as well as plenty of space for you to relax and soak up some sunshine. The Beach also has a designated area for swimming, so you can take your pup for a dip if they are comfortable. There are also clean-up stations provided throughout the Beach to help keep things tidy. So bring your four-legged friends and head to Huntington Dog Beach today!

Huntington Beach Pier

The Huntington Beach Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks in Huntington Beach. Stretching 1,850 feet into the Pacific Ocean, the pier offers a beautiful view of the coast and provides great fishing, sightseeing and swimming opportunities. Visitors can grab some bait from local shops and try their luck catching various fish species, including yellowtail jack, corbina and halibut. If you’re lucky enough to snag one of these tasty catches, you can even have it cooked at a local restaurant!

If you’d rather take in the sights without getting your hands wet, there’s plenty to do on the pier. With wooden benches and rustic railings lining its length, it’s easy to enjoy nature’s beauty for an afternoon. You’ll be able to spot seabirds wheeling overhead or seals basking in the sun on the Beach below. Plus, if you’re visiting during the summer, you may even get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of dolphins or whales playing in the waves!

Finally, remember to check out what’s going on underneath the pier. At night, visitors can access a unique ecosystem filled with colorful marine life, like sea stars and sea anemones. Even during daylight hours when conditions are calm enough for snorkeling or diving trips, visitors are sure to find something new around every corner!

Orange County Coast

Orange County Coast is an incredibly beautiful California area with stunning beaches and picturesque views. From Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach, there are plenty of activities along the coastline. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll along the Beach, a day of body surfing or just some people-watching, there’s something for everyone!

One of the best ways to experience the Orange County Coast is by taking a surf lesson. Professional instructors can show you the basics of catching waves and give you tips on how to do it safely. You’ll also get an up-close look at iconic surf spots like The Wedge in Newport Beach and Trestles in San Clemente. If you need access to a surfboard, rent one from many shops located on the coast.

Another must-do activity when visiting the Orange County Coast is whale watching. During certain times of the year, pods of whales migrate up and down the California coast, and you can spot them from shore or hop on a boat tour to get an even closer look. It’s truly breathtaking to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat!

The Orange County Coast also has amazing restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes like lobster rolls and clam chowder. Plenty of places on the sand offer outdoor seating so you can soak in those spectacular views while dining al fresco. And be sure to check out local farmers markets where you can find unique items such as handmade jewelry or locally grown produce.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone along the Orange County Coast!

Huntington State Beach

Huntington State Beach is a great option for free things to do in Huntington Beach. With miles of sandy shores, rolling waves, and sunshine, you can enjoy a day at the Beach and not worry about spending money. You can go swimming, surfing, fishing, or relaxing in the sun and listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. There are also plenty of beachside restaurants and shops to explore. Plus, it’s home to some of the best beach volleyball in Orange County!

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a great place to explore the unique coastal environment of Huntington Beach. Located at the mouth of the Bolsa Chica Basin, this 1,500-acre reserve offers visitors a chance to observe nature, birds and shorebirds in their natural habitat. The area is home to various wildlife, including wintering waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors and songbirds. Visitors can traverse over three miles of trails that run through wetlands filled with plants and animals or take advantage of the observation decks for bird watching. Bring your binoculars to catch a glimpse of some interesting creatures like mink, otter and muskrats. After exploring the lush landscape, take time out to relax on one of the many benches overlooking the tranquil waters. With breathtaking views for miles around, this is an ideal spot for outdoor activities such as biking or walking along the beach path and taking in all that nature has to offer.

Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington Beach is a must-visit for anyone who wants to get the full Huntington Beach experience. Here, you’ll find all sorts of attractions, from shopping and dining to live music and art galleries. Whether you’re looking to explore the area or spend some quality time with friends and family, Downtown Huntington Beach has something for everyone.

The Main Street Area is home to diverse shops, restaurants and bars. There are also plenty of activities to participate in throughout the year, including art festivals and farmers’ markets. You can even catch a movie at the old-fashioned IMAX Theatre on Main Street.

Take a stroll down 5th Street for a more laid-back atmosphere, complete with vintage clothing stores and quaint cafes among boutique shops. Stop by Bella Terra mall for retail therapy, or visit the Old World Village for a unique shopping experience. Afterward, head to Pacific City, which offers diners colorful outdoor seating alongside a variety of eateries, breweries, and beachside entertainment options.

If you’d prefer spending time outdoors, take advantage of the many parks near Downtown Huntington Beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Central Park or walk along the paved trails at Shipley Nature Center, where you’ll find native plants and wildlife, including birds and butterflies. For those looking for a place to bring their four-legged friends, Best Friend Dog Park is the perfect spot!

Huntington Central Park

Huntington Central Park is the perfect place to spend a day with your family and friends. Located in the heart of Huntington Beach, this sprawling park has something for everyone. With over 50 acres of lush greenery, it’s easy to find something that will keep you entertained for hours. Many activities and amenities are available, like playgrounds, picnic areas, walking trails and ponds. You can even bring your pup along, as there is a dog park area!

If you’re looking for outdoor fun, head to the sports complex or skatepark for a basketball game or some skateboarding action. There’s also plenty of green space to lounge around and enjoy the sunshine. And remember the lake where you can take advantage of paddleboarding and other recreational activities.

For those who want to relax, Huntington Central Park has plenty of shaded areas with benches and tables where you can sit down and admire the scenery. Or bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy your meal while taking in the beauty of nature. Whatever activity you choose, it’s sure to be an enjoyable experience at this beautiful park!

Pacific City

Pacific City is a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. Located south of the Huntington Beach Pier, Pacific City offers various activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment for all ages.

For those looking to shop, there are plenty of options. From surf shops to apparel boutiques, you can find something unique here. The newly-opened Pacific City also has several high-end stores like Nike and Hollister Co. And if you’re looking for souvenirs, check out the t-shirt shops that feature local designs and artwork.

When it’s time to eat, there are plenty of options to choose from too. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican food at Chronic Tacos or Italian fare at La Nova Cucina, Pacific City has something for everyone. Plenty of casual dining spots, such as Lot 579 Gastro Pub or Burger Lounge, offer a more relaxed atmosphere.

After a meal or shopping, take some time to explore the area. A beachfront park with a playground and picnic tables is perfect for spending quality time outdoors with family or friends. For those who want to be active, outdoor fitness classes and beach volleyball courts are available all year round. Or, if you want to enjoy the stunning views of the ocean, head up to the rooftop terrace, where you can chill out with cocktails or beers from one of the many bars in Pacific City while taking in the scenery below.

Pacific City offers something special for everyone, regardless of age or interests!

Bella Terra

Bella Terra is a great place to explore and enjoy free time in Huntington Beach. This outdoor mall will keep you busy all day with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There’s also a movie theater, bowling alley, and ice skating rink for even more fun.

You can take a leisurely stroll around the mall with its many unique shops and restaurants, or check out the amphitheater for some live music and performances. You’ll find everything from upscale boutiques to casual surf stores. Stop by one of the restaurants for a delicious lunch or dinner before heading to the 16-screen movie theater or the 28-lane bowling center. For those looking for something more active, skate around on the 8-rink roller skating rink or challenge your friends to an arcade game at Dave & Buster’s.

For something more educational, visit the interactive museum featuring hands-on exhibits about science, technology and art. There are also special events throughout the year, like farmer’s markets, concerts and holiday celebrations that are free to attend. With so much to do at Bella Terra, you won’t ever have a dull moment while exploring Huntington Beach!

Huntington Beach Central Library

Huntington Beach Central Library is the perfect place to spend a day in Huntington Beach. Located at 7111 Talbert Avenue, this library offers abundant resources for readers of all ages – from children’s books and magazines to adult novels and reference materials.

The library is divided into two levels, each with a unique atmosphere. On the first floor, visitors can explore the exciting collections of books and movies. With thousands of titles from popular authors like J.K Rowling and Stephen King to local favorites such as T.C Boyle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The library also houses a wide selection of periodicals, journals, maps and more!

On the second level, visitors will find various resources designed to help them personally and professionally. From online classes to job search assistance programs, there are plenty of opportunities for learning here at Huntington Beach Central Library. Additionally, there is an impressive selection of computers with Internet access available for public use as well as Wi-Fi throughout the building.

Lastly, the library holds special events regularly that appeal to people from all walks of life: story time for kids, book clubs for adults or even movie screenings in the large auditorium – there’s always something new happening at Huntington Beach Central Library!

Old World Village

Old World Village is a unique and fun destination in Huntington Beach. It’s full of German-style charm, with cobblestone streets, old-fashioned shops and restaurants, and traditional Bavarian architecture. Stroll through the village for a trip back in time or stay to shop or dine at one of the many authentic establishments. You can even enjoy a show at the local theater featuring traditional Bavarian music, dance and comedy. Plus, take advantage of the weekly farmer’s market, where local farmers will grow fresh produce. Bring your camera and capture some incredible photos of this quaint European-style village in Southern California!

Best Friend Dog Park

Bring your four-legged friends to Best Friend Dog Park, a popular off-leash dog park in Huntington Beach, California. This spacious and serene stretch of grass is the perfect place for your pup to get plenty of exercises and socialize with other canine visitors.

The park offers a large fenced area with plenty of room for running and playing and separate areas for small and large dogs. There are also benches for owners to sit on while their pets enjoy the outdoors. The park has plenty of shady trees, a drinking fountain for dogs and humans, and a few agility obstacles like hurdles and jumps. Plus, there’s a doggy pool so your pup can cool off after running around!

For added convenience, Best Friend Dog Park provides clean-up bags and trash cans throughout the area. There are also night lights that make it easier to see at night when walking your pup back home.

So take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to let your pup run free outdoors! Best Friend Dog Park is open from 6 am to 10 pm daily, so enjoy quality time with your furry best friend today!

Shipley Nature Center

The Shipley Nature Center is a great spot to explore the beauty of Huntington Beach. Located in the city’s heart, this nature center offers free admission to experience its amazing trails and educational programs at no cost! Enjoy a peaceful walk on its well-maintained trails, surrounded by trees and birdsong.

Discover some of Southern California’s native species with the help of knowledgeable guides who are available to answer all your questions about local flora and fauna. After your hike, stop by the butterfly garden to see some of these beautiful creatures up close. Learn about conservation efforts in Huntington Beach and how you can help protect our natural resources.

The Shipley Nature Center also offers guided tours throughout the year, allowing visitors to learn more about their environment in an enjoyable setting. These tours include topics such as birdwatching and habitat restoration. With the right gear, you can join one of their night hikes to view nocturnal animals!

Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to enjoy nature in Huntington Beach. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike or an informative tour, Shipley Nature Center has something for everyone – all without spending a dime!

Huntington Beach Wetlands

The Huntington Beach Wetlands is a unique habitat that provides a refuge for many birds and other wildlife species. Located in the center of Huntington Beach, it is home to various birds ranging from ducks to seagulls and other species such as owls and hawks. This beautiful wetland also serves as an important stopover for migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.

The wetlands are open to visitors year-round, with plenty of trails and paths to explore. Along these trails, visitors can observe endangered shorebird species such as the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern that call this area home. The natural landscape of the wetlands also provides a great opportunity to view native plants and wildflowers, including wild iris and monkey flowers.

Visitors can also participate in educational programs the local Audubon Society offers or join guided tours throughout the wetlands. These tours offer valuable insight into the importance of conserving this precious resource while providing opportunities to observe wildlife in its natural environment. Additionally, special events are held throughout the year, including birdwatching walks and festivals celebrating local wildlife conservation efforts.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax or an exciting opportunity to observe local wildlife, check out Huntington Beach Wetlands!

Four Sons Brewing

Four Sons Brewing is a great place to enjoy local craft beer in Huntington Beach. Established in 2014, this family-owned brewery has been producing high-quality, flavorful beers for the community ever since. With a passion for creating unique flavors and experimenting with different ingredients, Four Sons have crafted an impressive range of craft beers. From IPAs and pilsners to sours and stouts, there’s something for every beer lover! The taproom offers a variety of styles on its 20 taps, including an ever-rotating lineup of new releases. The staff knows all the brews on offer and can provide helpful recommendations based on individual tastes.

In addition to the delicious brews offered at Four Sons Brewing, they also have an outdoor patio which is the perfect spot for enjoying a cold beverage with friends. Visitors can also participate in events such as trivia nights, live music performances and food truck visits throughout the week. Plus, you can purchase cans or growlers to enjoy their beer at home. Whether you’re looking to sip a few pints or want a place to hang out and catch up with old friends, Four Sons Brewing has it all!

J King Neptunes

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a bite and a cold beer, J King Neptune’s is the perfect spot! Located on Main Street in Huntington Beach, this restaurant has been serving delicious seafood dishes since 2005. The menu features everything from classic fish and chips to an array of fresh clam chowder options. And, for those who prefer something less traditional, there are hearty burgers and sandwiches.

J King Neptune’s interior offers an elegant nautical feel with its dark wood furnishings and white tablecloths. The staff strives to deliver excellent customer service, ensuring each guest feels at home. Plus, the bar serves craft beers from local breweries and signature cocktails. Live music can often be heard every weekend evening, adding to the relaxed atmosphere.


With so many free things to do in Huntington Beach, the possibilities are endless. From visiting the beautiful beaches and pier to exploring the diverse nature reserves and parks, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or a quiet evening with friends, Huntington Beach offers a variety of activities that will make your vacation an unforgettable experience. So get started – explore all that Huntington Beach has to offer!

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