Going to Surfing City - Huntington Beach For Meetings and Conventions

 

Huntington Beach -Going to Surfing City - Huntington Beach Where 10,000 Surfers Meet. Jan & Dean went to Surf City, as millions before them have done. And one of them stuck around (Dean Torrence). Celebrating all things surfing is just part of the lifestyle of this Southern California beach community that greets well over 11 million visitors annually. Recognized as one of many great surfing destinations by pro surfers and those who live, breathe and surf, there's plenty of culture to embrace for non-surfers, as well.  An International Surfing Museum, Surfers Walk of Fame and a Surfers Hall of Fame lure international visitors.

Huntington Beach is a laid-back beach town that exudes the excitement of surf culture, sand beaches, athletics, and a youthful, vibrant atmosphere. While you can rent a board and escape the board room during a visit, your convention and meeting group can be kept busy outside of conference hours visiting wetlands, parks, trails, beaches, the Huntington Beach Pier and surrounding destinations ranging from Disneyland to Catalina Island.

The undeveloped pristine beach stretches eight-and-a-half miles in the city’s playground. The consistently large waves attract world-class surfers in the US Open of Surfing, volleyball professionals  at the AVP Volleyball Tournament held on the beach each year, and in recent years, even a paintball competition that takes place on the sand. For convention visitors the sand provides entertainment in the form of volleyball, sandcastles or evening bonfires.

The lure of the oceanfront is the reason groups want to hold meetings in Huntington Beach. This is not your typical convention area. Especially for groups from the north or East Coast, the weather and proximity to the beach are special draws.

As you wander from one of the convention hotels such as Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa to the dowtown anchor, Main Street, you'll find an eclectic gathering spot along the beachfront. Pier Plaza next to Zack's Beach Concessions is an amphitheater with an tile mural depicting images of Huntington Beach's history. This is a gathering spot at the entrance to downtown, as well as a venue for a farmers’ market, art fair and free summer concerts. From the beat of drum when the drumming circle meets, to the afternoon worker taking a lunch break with a sandwich at the stone seats on the plaza, be sure to wander by during your trip and see if anything is happening. Sometimes you find nothing going on, and will discover a wonderful spot to sit and reflect (especially as the sun goes down). But if you hit it right, you may discover a free concert, or 100 people and things to watch on a warm afternoon. It's a magical vibe you'll want to pack up and take home with you.

 

The historic recreational pier lures visitors 1,853 feet closer to the sensational sunset than can be enjoyed from the shore. A paved ocean strand, running parallel to the beach for almost 12 miles, is a well maintained trail for bikers, joggers, skaters and hikers. Rent bike cruisers from hotels near the beach or from beach concessionaires.

If you feel the urge to get the kinks out after a day of meetings, it’s easy to find fun and exercise. Take a surfing class, organize a softball or disc golf tournament, or tour the city on bikes. Many of these outdoor activities could also be included as teambuilding events in your meeting agenda.

A perfect teambuilding event is rock climbing. ClimbX Indoor Rock Climbing offers group events for building trust and communication skills in a fun and safe environment.

Of course, surfing is the main attraction in Surf City. Watching it may satisfy you, but if you are game to try it, schools and equipment are at the ready. Corky Carroll’s Surf School and Thobe’s Surf School offer lessons and group events. Toes on the Nose in the Hyatt Regency will plan lessons, luaus and team building events.

Huntington Central Park is teeming with outdoor activities. Beyond the beach, this may be the only venue your group needs. The Sports Complex features eight softball fields overlaid with seven soccer fields. An 18-hole disc golf course is perfect for a tournament. Instead of using an indoor fitness center, build muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness at the World Trail Exercise Par Course with a series of 18 stations in a one-mile loop. The Huntington Beach Equestrian Center will guide you on a trail ride –– on a gentle horse.

Impress your group with an unusual corporate party featuring polo matches or dressage exhibitions (dressage is dancing while on horseback). The park also offers a group picnic shelter, an amphitheater, restaurant, lakes and miles of trails. The Huntington Beach Central Library & Cultural Center in the park has an art gallery, a theater, seven meeting and banquet rooms, state of the art equipment and a kitchen available to rent.

If the high-energy surfer culture is too much for you, take a break with a quiet hike in one of the 67 city parks. For native California flora and fauna, investigate Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve or Shipley Nature Center. Both offer group tours.

North of the beaches is Huntington Harbour, a maze of waterways reminiscent of Venice, where a quiet kayak outing in calm waters will rejuvenate you— rent a kayak from Sunset Rentals or OEX Sunset Beach.

Huntington Beach hosts special events year-round. If you want to incorporate an event into your meeting, consult the Surf City annual event calendar: Perhaps the historic 4th of July Parade, Oktoberfest, a surfing or volleyball tourney, the holiday Cruise of Lights, a car show or Halloween event would add a unique perspective to your event.

Whenever you schedule it, going to Surf City will add a special note to your meeting or conference. The outdoor fun is waiting for you.


The Good


You can choose from several beach resorts that provide extensive meeting support. Besides stunning views and proximity to the beach, they offer sophisticated business centers, convention services and catering. Restaurants, shopping, spas and luxurious guest amenities will provide a comfortable stay for your group.

» The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa is a luxurious 517-room hotel with over 100,000 square feet of function space in 25 meeting rooms to accommodate up to 2,000 people. A dedicated concierge service ensures your conference needs. Toes on the Nose in the resort will plan corporate events from surf parties to helicopter rides and fi shing charters.

» The 290 newly renovated rooms in The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort have ocean views and private balconies. 20,000 square feet of meeting space includes three ballrooms and smaller break out rooms. Hold private special events in The West Coast Club. Specialized individual service is the hallmark of this elegant boutique facility.

» A bit farther from the beach, Hotel Huntington Beach is a full service 224- room hotel located near Bella Terra Shopping Center. With about 3,000 square feet of meeting space, the venue can accommodate groups of 230 people.
 

The Reality

 

Event planners do notice several visual blights that reside oceanside. One is the AES generating station less than one mile from the convention hotels. The other are the oil platforms offshore of Huntington Beach. Oil and electricity are both resources that the city has relied on as revenue sources for decades. While some event planners are bothered by the site of a power plant, in general, the plant is far enough away from the hotels and convention space that it doesn't keep event planners from booking. In fact, oil history is seen in the mural at Pier Plaza.