Huntington Beach, or Surf City USA as it’s known by board-carrying visitors, won the most reader votes and the title of Best California Beach. This orange county beach has a lot to offer both on and off the sand, including the International Surfing Museum. Runner up Hermosa Beach in Los Angeles County won over readers with its clean sand and numerous volleyball courts and multi-use trails.

Colorful Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz came in a close third, while L.A.’s Manhattan Beach snagged the fourth place spot. Santa Barbara’s rarely crowded East Beach rounds out the top five list.

Santa Cruz, Calif., located almost 400 miles north of Huntington Beach, filed an appeal to claim the title of “Surf City USA” for itself, but has yet to attain any legal support for its efforts. This feud between the two “Surf Cities” has been going on for several years now, and was only recently taken to the courts for resolution.


Surely the residents of both communities realize the trivial nature of a nickname, yet at the same time, with such a core surf scene in both areas, it can’t help but sting a little to be legally prevented from advertising an integral aspect of community life. decided to get to the bottom of this feud and find out what the local surf communities really thought of the matter.