Huntington Beach in Orange County, California, also referred to as “Surf City, U.S.A.,” offers visitors gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, 32 miles of sandy beaches, and a relaxed, beach-city atmosphere, complete with friendly locals and surf shops on every corner. Many Huntington Beach vacation rentals are just steps away from the water, making it easy to swim, surf, or simply relax on the sand without having to travel far. If Huntington Beach is your next travel destination, check out this list of popular vacation rental locations in the area to find the perfect accommodations for your beach party holiday.

1. Sunset Beach, Huntington Beach, California

clear view of a sunset
Source: Flickr / nate2b

Vacation rentals in the Sunset Beach neighborhood put you just minutes away from the Huntington Beach Pier, where you can walk up and down the dock and enjoy the views, then grab a bite to eat at Dukes, a local favorite offering fresh, Hawaiian-style seafood. If you’re in the mood for some fishing or watersports, head over to the nearby Sunset Aquatic Marina and rent a boat for the day.

2. South Huntington Beach, California

a surfer in action
Source: Flickr / John Sonderman

If surfing is the number one activity on your holiday bucket list, consider a vacation rental in the south Huntington Beach area. Located just a few minutes from the shoreline, south Huntington Beach is home to the “Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing” yearly surf tournament, so you’re sure to catch some awesome waves. If you’re new to surfing or need to brush up on your skills before hitting the water, local surf shops and surf schools in the area, such as Clint Carroll Surf School and Banzai Surf School, offer lessons, equipment, and everything you need for the ultimate surfing experience.

3. Gilbert Island, Huntington Beach, California

parked boats at the bay
Source: Flickr / Evangelio Gonzalez

Vacation rentals in the Gilbert Island community offer amazing views of the water at every turn, as this triangle-shaped island sits surrounded by the Huntington Harbor. The island connects to Sunset Beach via the bridge at Admiralty Island for easy access to restaurants and shopping, making this little slice of paradise the perfect spot for travelers looking for a convenient location nestled away from the busier inland areas.

4. Seal Beach, California

seaside viewing
Source: Flickr / Tracie Hall

If you’re hoping to catch a few fish during your vacation, Seal Beach is a great spot to secure a vacation rental. Located about eight miles south of Huntington Beach, the Seal Beach Pier is one of California’s most popular fishing locations. Grab your fishing poles and head over to the pier to catch some halibut or perch while chatting with local fishermen, and make sure to keep an eye out for stingrays and small sharks.

5. Beach Boulevard, Huntington Beach, California

blue sky at the beach
Source: Flickr / -Visavis-

Choosing a vacation rental in the Beach Boulevard neighborhood puts you smack dab in the middle of all the action. Located just a few blocks from the ocean, Beach Boulevard is the place to be when it comes to tasty restaurants, shopping, and mingling with locals and fellow travelers. Spend the day soaking up the sun and splashing around at the beach, then pay a visit to Snow Monster on the boulevard to cool off with some shaved ice or gourmet ice cream. If you want to do a little local shopping, Beach Boulevard’s got you covered. Stop by Diane’s Beachwear for the latest in trendy beach fashions, or pop into Surf City Shopping to peruse antiques.

6. Newland, Huntington Beach, California

white vacation rental house

Located about two blocks from the ocean, the Newland neighborhood offers visitors a unique look at the history of Huntington Beach. Vacation rentals in this neighborhood are within walking distance to the Newland House, the oldest home in Huntington Beach. Built in 1898 by local farmers, the Newland House is now a museum that offers walking tours of the property. When you’re finished touring the Newland House, head across the street to the Newland Center to do a little shopping or grab a bite to eat.

7. Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach, California

bird with long beak
Source: Flickr / John Sonderman

Bolsa Chica is a great location if you’ve got a nature lover in the family, as the vacation rentals in this neighborhood are just a few minutes away from the Bolsa Chica Nature Reserve. Strap on your binoculars and head over to the reserve that’s referred to as a “bird watcher’s paradise” by locals, then take a leisurely walk along the estuary and explore the salt marshes and mud flats. If you’re in the mood for a little adventure, pack a lunch and some bottled water and hike the reserve’s five-mile trail.

8. Goldenwest, Huntington Beach, California

speed boat on a blue ocean
Source: Flickr / Thomas Hawk

For easy access to the beach with the added convenience of a central location, choose a vacation rental in the Goldenwest neighborhood. This family-friendly neighborhood sits in the city center of Huntington Beach, with a wide selection of shops and restaurants along Warner Avenue, and the beach just a few blocks away. Sample some authentic Mexican fare at Cancun Restaurant, or take a short walk over to Huntington Harbor and rent some jet-skis for a fun day on the water.