Is Huntington Beach Or Laguna Beach Better?

When choosing a holiday destination, there are so many factors to consider. With such an assortment of holiday towns and beach resorts along the coast of the US, it can be extremely difficult to choose which option to choose.

Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach are two very popular beach towns, and both are popular for their own reasons. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, both being beautiful towns to visit. Each offers its own array of activities, so your choice will depend on what you want to do while visiting.

Huntington Beach caters mostly to teenagers and boasts wide, long beaches, which are renowned for being great surfing spots. Laguna Beach has small, intimate beaches, incredible scenery, and a host of boutiques and high-end restaurants, appealing more to the discerning adult visitor.

Before deciding which of these magnificent beach towns is the better option for you,  it’s important that you know what you would like to do while on vacation. If you are a surfer, for example, your choice will be different compared to if you simply wanted to go shopping.

Below, we will explore what each town has to offer and how these compare when it comes to your needs and desires for your vacation.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, located on the coast southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County, is a Californian city known for its surfing beaches. The main beach here is called Huntington City Beach, and this is famous for its exceptionally long pier named the Huntington Beach Pier.

Huntington Beach is home to the International Surfing Museum, which shows a vast collection of surfboards collected since the beginning times of surfing itself. Besides the beaches, this city boasts a spectacular park with gardens, lakes, and open fields, as well as an equestrian center.

This city brings in over eleven million visitors every year, and this is mostly thanks to its incredible sunny beaches and Mediterranean climate. The lifestyle here is casual, and a great emphasis is placed on the surfing culture, earning it the nickname “Surf City.”

Huntington Beach has on many occasions been nominated for awards as a family surfing holiday destination and enjoys an excellent climate throughout the year. Outdoor activities abound, and these can be enjoyed at almost any time, thanks to a temperate climate and low rainfall.

Huntington Beach is home to a host of activities, featuring one of the biggest recreational piers on the planet. There are several public parks, a wildlife preserve, and an 8-mile long trail along the ocean’s edge.

The biggest attraction of this coastal city is the exceptionally wide beach which stretches for over eight and a half miles. This expanse of beach is home to several sporting events such as the US Open of Surfing and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball. 

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is exceptionally beautiful and scenic, making it an extremely popular holiday destination. It is a small coastal city that is famous for its art galleries, restaurants, and beaches. The main beach at Laguna features incredible tidal pools, leading to a boardwalk.

This boardwalk makes its way through to a series of paths and gardens in Heisler Park, an incredibly beautiful park. There are coastal canyons through which you can wander, as well as a natural underwater park.

This gem of a city is located halfway between LA and San Diego, boasting unique topography which lends itself to endless exploration by all who visit. There are scores of ocean caves, tidal pools, and beaches, all within the confines of the city.

Protected wilderness areas abound beyond the city, with over twenty thousand acres of spectacular wilderness to explore. There are incredible mountain biking trails as well as hiking trails and marine sanctuaries, so you will have plenty to explore when you visit Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach is truly a unique place in that you can find the perfect combination of art, adventure, nature, and relaxation. It’s no wonder, then, that it has become the go-to vacation destination for residents of LA and Orange County alike.

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Huntington vs. Laguna

While both of these cities are beautiful and enjoyable destinations to visit, each has its pros and cons, and which city you choose to visit for your vacation depends entirely on how you’d prefer to spend your time.

Laguna Beach consists of smaller beaches with spectacular scenery. The beaches are often bordering on cliffs and coves, making for an exciting experience. Laguna Beach is full of charm, featuring countless restaurants, art galleries, and high-end shops alike.

The quiet community of art-oriented people resident in Laguna Beach produce incredible works of art which are sold in local galleries, bringing with it a certain appeal to a specific demographic of visitors.

Accommodation consists mostly of small, boutique hotels which ooze character and charm, perfectly complementing the incredible scenery which abounds. It could be said that between the two, Laguna Beach is targeted more towards an adult market, with pricing to match a high-end consumer.

Comparatively, Huntington Beach features extremely long, wide beaches which attract large crowds, in complete contrast to the intimate, sheltered beaches of Laguna. Huntington is surfing-oriented, thereby also attracting a much younger crowd.

This also extends to the large pier, where teenagers and young adults abound. The nightlife and activities are targeted towards a younger audience, with activities for teenagers and young adults prioritized.

The accommodation in Huntington Beach consists more of resort-type hotels. This caters to families with young children and teenagers alike, allowing everybody to enjoy the beaches and resort activities safely. The majority of the beach hotels have direct access to the beach.

This makes it the perfect option for surfers who can walk straight out of their hotel and onto the expansive beach.

The main beach at Laguna is relatively small but enjoys numerous shopping options nearby as well as a variety of sports facilities and beautiful tidal pools.


Neither Huntington Beach nor Laguna Beach is better than the other. Rather, each city will appeal to a different group of people. Huntington is generally more appealing to a younger crowd who enjoys surfing and the nightlife.

Laguna, on the other hand, appeals more to adults who enjoy nature, art, shopping, and fine dining.