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There’s more than waves in surf paradise

Tulich is a freelance writer.

Huntington Beach was a sleepy town until the early-1920s oil boom, but its main claim to fame would come after the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, introduced the sport to the area a few years later. With eight miles of uninterrupted surf, this Orange County beach town proudly wears its trademark as “Surf City, USA.”

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Surf’s up

The International Surfing Museum (411 Olive Ave., [714] 960-3483, www.surfingmuseum .org) pays homage to wave-riding legends with memorabilia, photos, classic films and music. Surf shops are on seemingly every corner, but the flagship stores are Jack’s Surfboards (101 Main St., [714] 536-4516, www.jackssurfboards.com) and Huntington Surf and Sport (300 Pacific Coast Highway, [714] 841-4000, www.hssurf .com), featuring the Surfing Walk of Fame on its sidewalk. There you can play footsy with imprints from the likes of Kelly Slater and Laird Hamilton.

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Tails are wagging

Dog Beach (by Pacific Coast Highway between Seapoint and 21st streets, [714] 841-8644, www.dogbeach.org) is pooch paradise, with more than a mile of coastline for Rover or Fifi to run in, play on, swim in, dig or, if really skilled, surf. Even without a four-legged friend, it’s a fun place to watch dogs release their inner puppy. The city keeps a strict clean-up policy -- no need to watch your step.

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Where the locals go

Family-owned for 42 years, the Sugar Shack (213 Main St., [714] 536-0355) is where surfers go for a hearty, affordable and all-day breakfast. The Longboard Restaurant and Pub (217 Main St., [714] 960-1896, www. longboardpub.com), in the oldest building in town, is a vibrant watering hole adorned with antique surfboards. For a contemporary vibe, Flight Bistro and Social Lounge (8082 Adams Ave., [714] 374-8300, www.flightoc.com) offers a hip menu with organic produce.

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Not just a beach

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Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach Central Park (17851 Goldenwest St., [714] 842-4772, www.shipley nature.org) is a peaceful refuge set in 18 acres with more than 4,000 feet of trails meandering through several habitats.

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