Upscale Hotel Set amid Surf Culture
An awning of small yellow sails covers the Shorebreak Hotel's entrance, where portraits of surfers hang ten on the walls and dogs stroll along the hardwood floor. Knotted ropes are draped behind the front desk, and an abstract mural of wetsuits dominates an entire wall. Called a "surfer's haven" by Fodor's, it's no surprise that the ocean inspires so much of Shorebreak's décor—just seconds from the hotel, Huntington Beach beckons surfers to tackle the Pacific Ocean's most gnarly waves.
The surf culture extends to Shorebreak's rooms and suites, which look out on the courtyard, referred to as "The Deck" for its wooden slats and the beach-barbecue vibe of its three fire pits. Housekeeping uses only eco-friendly products to clean all the linens and rooms at Shorebreak, solidifying the hotel's bond with its natural surroundings.
At the onsite Zimzala restaurant, diners chat over mojitos or black-radish martinis on green lounge chairs before moving to the dining room, where they can watch chefs prepare American comfort fare with an upscale twist, such as sloppy joes served with parmesan-garlic fries. Complimentary wine flows every evening from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., during which time guests can freely surf Internet thesauri for new ways to describe the riesling's "tantalizing finish."
Huntington Beach, California: Charming Surf Town along the Orange Coast
The annual host of the U.S. Open of Surfing, Huntington Beach proudly wears the nickname of Surf City, USA. Just past the shoreline, surfers paddle out into the Pacific Ocean eager to tackle the waves. Back on the sand, volleyballs soar back and forth over nets during impromptu matches. As the sun sinks below the sea, bonfires crackle to life within concrete rings.
Two blocks from the hotel, the International Surfing Museum explores the sport's history and legacy. Along the nearby 1-mile stretch of coast known as Dog Beach, pooches can frolic in the surf sans leash and dig for buried treasures of solid-gold tennis balls.