Huntington Beach is located in Greater Orange County just south of Los Angeles, between Long Beach and Newport Beach. It lies along Interstate 5 near the San Pedro Channel and Catalina Island.
Huntington Beach began as a portion of a vast 18th Century Spanish land grant. The Stearns Rancho Company raised horses and cattle and grew barley on what is now the city. By 1889 the site was called Shell Beach, comprising a small group of settlers.
Today Huntington Beach, population 192,400, relies on oil refining, metallurgical, aerospace, communications and food-packing industries. A balmy, laid-back tourist draw, it has been dubbed Surf City USA. Attractions include the International Surfing Museum, Huntington Beach Pier and Beach, and Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Huntington Beach is home to Golden West College. Huntington Central Library holds the largest children's collection west of the Mississippi.
Huntington Beach is part of the Orange County, California metro area.