Huntington Beach is a thoroughly Southern California beach city, and, like many Orange County cities, it has a mix of chic boutiques, sidewalk cafes and surf/beach shops that reflect the "casual sophistication" that defines the area. Groups convening in Huntington Beach event venues, however, may notice that board shorts and flip-flops are practically the town uniform, and surfers can actually be seen running down Main Street with their surfboards tucked under their arms, anxious to hit the area's world-renowned waves.
Besides wave action, Huntington Beach enjoys phenomenal airlift. Three major airports serve Huntington Beach. Downtown Huntington Beach is 12 miles from Orange County's John Wayne Airport, which is served by 10 airlines with nonstop flights to 20 destinations. In November (2012) the airport completed a $543-million project that added a third terminal, six gates, three baggage carousels, a variety of retails shops and 15 new food options. Long Beach Airport, 15 miles from Huntington Beach, is served by JetBlue, US Airways, Delta, and Alaska with nonstop flights to 13 cities. Los Angeles International Airport is 35 miles north of Huntington Beach.
Resort venues in Huntington Beach include the 517-room Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, which offers over 100,000 total square feet of indoor/outdoor space, including a 20,000-square-foot ballroom with ocean views. The Waterfront Beach Resort a Hilton Hotel has 290 guest rooms – all of which have an ocean view – and 21,500 total square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space. The largest function space at the Hilton is its 5,850-square-foot ballroom and the resort also features a private beach cookout area. The 157-room Shorebreak Hotel, a Joie De Vivre Hotel, is a boutique property with 8,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,000-square-foot ballroom.
When it comes to staging special events in Huntington Beach, you need only look westward for inspiration, where the only thing that punctuates 10 miles of uninterrupted coastline is the Huntington Beach Pier (one of the longest recreational piers on the West Coast, stretching 1,855 feet into the Pacific Ocean). Along with a variety of locations for teambuilding and reception events on the beach, Huntington Beach offers two specific options that are very popular with meeting groups: During certain times of the year, a section of downtown blocks (with the iconic Huntington Beach pier as a backdrop) can be used for private events. In the past, the area has been used for everything from an outdoor ice rink, a movie premier, and a concert, to a sidewalk chalk art show and a morning yoga class. The second option is Huntington Beach's Central Park, a wide-open area that also has many possibilities, including a team building event that makes use of a sports complex with softball, indoor soccer, batting cages and disc golf course facilities.
It is almost impossible to dine without an ocean view in Huntington Beach. Venues catering to groups open to partial or full buyouts include Duke's Huntington Beach, with its Hawaiian beach house ambiance; Spark Woodfire Grill, which specializes in contemporary American cuisine; Sandy's Beach Grill, a casual restaurant that provides a true Southern California coastal dining experience; and Fred's Mexican Cafe, a local hotspot that is perched above Main Street at the Pacific Coast Highway. While Cucina Alessa doesn't have an ocean view, the restaurant does serve up what locals agree is delectable handmade pasta as part of its menu of authentic Italian dishes using local organic ingredients.