…sang California’s own Beach Boys in 1963, in their hit “Surfin’ USA.” Their friends, Jan and Dean, came out with “Surf City” earlier the same year. It was considered the first song about surfing, and that word immediately became a part of the younger generation’s lexicon.

In truth, however, surfing first gained fame in Hawaii in 1914, when Hawaiian surfing pioneer George Freeth demonstrated his skills at the dedication of the Huntington Beach Pier. In the 1920s, Hawaiian icon Duke Kahanamoku also surfed at the pier.

Huntington Beach now has a Surfing Walk of Fame in front of the iconic Jack’s Surfboards shop. The city also has Surfing Hall of Fame, International Surf Museum (where you can see one of Kahanamoku’s longboards), and the nickname “Surf City USA.”

In addition to Huntington Beach, you can see some of California’s best surfers at other Orange County beach hot spots, such as San Clemente, San Onofre State Beach and the Wedge at Newport Beach.

Have a hankerin’ to get on a board yourself? You can try it at Corky Carroll’s Surf School in—where else?—Huntington Beach.

Read more about Orange County in Steve Winston’s story, “The Real Cities of Orange County: Natural Beauty, Renowned Beaches an Great Facilities are All on Offer,” and in the August issue of Smart Meetings.