Located at a seaside city within Orange County in Southern California, Huntington Beach is well known for its beaches such as the Huntington City Beach, picturesque scenery, and excellent surfing. Given the nickname “Surf City”, around 200,652 people have decided to call this place their home as of the year of 2016. This city also has the International Surfing Museum which displays longboards and other memorabilia as well as the Sprawling Huntington Park where you are able to see gardens and lakes, fields, and an equestrian center.
If you’d like to see wetlands and dunes which features hundreds of bird species, then Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is where you should head. You will never get bored in this city as there are an overwhelming amount of activities and places to go— this includes visiting the beaches for surfing, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, and also going to reserves, piers, parks, Downtown Huntington Beach, and tours to learn more about the city.
Aside from its tourist spots and beauty, Huntington Beach also has a fascinating history. Before becoming the “Surf City” it is known as today, the area of this city was originally inhabited by the Tongva, or the Gabrielinos, who occupied the lands which stretched from the modern Topanga Canyon through Aliso Creek in Laguna Beach. Europeans first stepped foot in the land when Manuel Nieto, a Spanish soldier, received a land grant of 300,000 acres as a reward for his military service in the year of 1784— the land Nieto received was named Rancho Los Nietos by the soldier.
The Stearns Rancho Company ran cattle and horses and raised barley crops on the modern city of Huntington Beach; a portion of his was eventually sold to Col. Robert Northam. By the year of 1889, the city was named Shell Beach and a small group of settlers filled the area. However, 12 years later in the year of 1901, the name was changed to Pacific City after P.A Stanton formed a local syndicate and bought 40 acres of land along the breach and an addition of 20 acres on each side of Main Street. The first mayor which Huntington Beach incorporated under was Ed Manning in 1909. During this time, Huntington Beach Company, which was a real-estate development firm owned by Henry Huntington, ran in the city and the city was named after this railroad magnate.
The city remained as a sleepy seaside town however, this was changed when there was an oil boom in 1920; this became the initial growth of the city. As the wells sprang up overnight and in less than a month, the population of this city skyrocketed from 1,500 people to 5,000. Because of this oil boom, this became known as the largest California oil deposit known at the time. Fast forward to the late 1950s, and continuing to the 60’s and 70’s, more and more people began residing in the area and it became the fastest growing city in the continental U.S. Because of the sudden attention to Huntington Beach, oil production rigs were concealed in 1970s and 1980s to improve the beach’s image. Now in the 21st century, more and more people are deciding to reside in this city in addition to more tourists visiting.