Destination Hyatt 2010 : Page 395

surf city evolution The western view along this 8.5 mile stretch of “PCH” is simply endless sand and sea; enlivened by the still-thriving authentic surf culture—born in the 1950s-60s—that made this area world-famous as Surf City USA. Local surf legends can be found having a laid-back breakfast at the Sugar Shack on Main Street. The next generation of surfing—software engineers and social workers—rehash the day’s waves each evening at Savannah at the Beach. In between, they are out on their boards on both sides of the pier, riding some of the most consistent waves on the West Coast and competing in the 50 surf competitions held here each year. Luxury Spanish-style condominiums and high-end shopping and entertainment complexes have replaced the oil rigs and truck farms that once lined the east side of Pacific Coast Highway through Huntington Beach. “HB,” as the locals call it, takes pride in its uniform of flip-flops, board shorts and hoodies. Yet, even as the city revels in its casual vibe, it has been upping the ante, adding microbrews, high-end dining and trendy nightclubs to its surf bars and sidewalk cafes. It’s no coincidence in a culture so closely bound to the environment that Huntington Beach is ahead of the eco-curve. Its restored wetlands and parks wel- come almost half the country’s bird species on their semi-annual migratory visits, as well as the birders who follow them. Smoke-free beaches, energy and water-saving measures and beach preservation add to the city’s reputation as an eco-friendly destination, preserving paradise for future birds and beachgoers. 2010 91

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