Where Is Surf City? - Green Iguana Surf Camp

Where Is Surf City?

Surf City is located along the southern coast of California, near Long Beach. The area has become famous for its surfing culture and beaches. 

Surfing is a sport that involves riding waves using a long flexible board called a surfboard. It was originally developed in Hawaii, but now it is practiced worldwide. 

Where Is Surf City

Surfers are often seen wearing colorful wetsuits and carrying their boards. They ride waves in groups and can spend hours in the sea. 

So if you want to experience some of the best waves in the United States – Surf City is the place for you. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the origins of Surf City and everything the beautiful destination has to offer… 

Where Is Surf City? 

The nickname ‘Surf City’ has been given to four different cities across the United States. These include: Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz, Surf City (North Carolina), and Surf City (New Jersey).

However, Huntington Beach remains the most famous. 

Huntington Beach is located in Southern California, where it is nestled between other famous locations such as Long Beach and Newport Beach.

The city is also located near Los Angeles and lies on the Pacific Ocean. 

Surf City offers 10 miles of sandy beaches, which hold over 50 surf competitions per year. This includes the legendary US Open of Surfing.

Huntington Beach is known to have some of the most consistent breaks in California, which include notable locations such as the Southside and Northside Piers.

Over the years, thousands of champions have been crowned in the city. Including national and international surfers. 

Surf City is also home to the International Surfing Museum, the Surfing Walk of Fame, and The Surfers’ Hall of Fame. 

The city was first surfed back in 1907, with Hawaiian pioneer George Freeth being the first surfer to ride its waves. 

Huntington Beach first adopted the nickname ‘Surf City’ back in 2008 and has held the title ever since. Although this did lead to some disputes with Santa Cruz. 

In addition, there are many surf shops and restaurants in the area. So if you want to learn how to surf or just enjoy a day out with your friends, then you should definitely visit Huntington Beach. 

Where Does The Nickname Come From? 

The moniker ‘Surf City’ was first attributed to Santa Cruz in 1927, when the city was described as such in a Northern California newspaper. 

However, the name ‘Surf City’ would later be used by another location in California. This was Huntington Beach. 

In 1963, a song called Surf City was released by Brian Wilson. He stated that Huntington Beach was the inspiration for the anthem.

This led to a dispute between Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz, who both believed that they deserved the title. 

Santa Cruz was even cited as the original surfing destination in Mainland America, with Hilary Clinton supporting the city’s right to the name.

To make matters even more complicated, Surf City (New Jersey) also became a part of the heated debate. 

Unlike Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz, Surf City (NJ) had held its name since 1899 and had a long history of surfing culture.

The debate also saw another Surf City lay claim to the name, with this one being located in North Carolina. 

The debate garnered much media attention and even led to a lawsuit. However, all four cities would eventually reach an agreement. 

Which Is The Real Surf City? 

In 2004, Huntington Beach filed an application to trademark the name ‘Surf City USA’, which led to a lawsuit between the city and Santa Cruz.

This resulted in a confidential settlement, which allowed Huntington Beach to keep the name. While it remains unclear how this benefited Santa Cruz, an agreement was eventually met. 

As a result of the settlement, Huntington Beach now holds the rights to the name ‘Surf City’. This means that it can use the word without any legal issues arising. 

However, Santa Cruz still claims that it is the true Surf City and the spiritual home of American surfing. These days, Huntington Beach is now known by two nicknames – Surf City USA and The Soul of SoCal. 

But which one is the real Surf City? Well, that’s something you have to decide on your own. 

Surf City Timeline 

Surf City Timeline 
  • 1885 – Surfing is introduced to Mainland America in Santa Cruz 
  • 1899 – Long Beach City is renamed Surf City (New Jersey)
  • 1907 – Hawaiian surfer George Freeth becomes the first man to surf at Huntington Beach. 
  • 1927 – A Northern California newspaper refers to Santa Cruz as ‘Surf City’. 
  • 1949 – Surf City (North Carolina) is established. 
  • 1963 – Brian Wilson released a song called ‘Surf City’ – which was inspired by Huntington Beach. 
  • 1991 – Huntington Beach starts using the nickname ‘Surf City USA’. 
  • 2004 – Huntington Beach tries to trademark the name ‘Surf City USA’. 
  • 2006 – Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz come to a confidential settlement over the use of the name. 
  • 2016 – Huntington Beach starts using the nickname ‘The Soul of SoCal’. 

What Else Is There To Do? 

Beyond its many beaches, Huntington Beach also offers a range of wonderful attractions. These include: 

Huntington Beach Pier 

This pier has been around since the 1920s and is the longest wooden pier in the United States. It stretches out into the Pacific Ocean and features restaurants, shops, bars, and even a Ferris wheel. 

Huntington State Art Center 

This art museum houses a collection of artwork from local artists. It also hosts regular exhibitions and events throughout the year. 

Downtown Huntington Beach 

This area is full of historic buildings and quaint cafés. You’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities here too. 

Huntington Beach Central Park 

This park is perfect for a stroll or a picnic. It features beautiful gardens, fountains, sculptures, and is home to monarch butterflies during certain seasons. 


So there you have it! That’s everything you need to know about Surf City. We hope you enjoyed learning more about this great place.

If you did, then make sure you share this with your friends. And if you want to learn more about surfing, check out our other posts. 

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