Surfline's Jonathan Warren Gives Us 5 Reasons To Love Huntington Beach

Top: The classic oil rig backdrop at Goldenwest (Photo by Arielle WarrenMiddle left: Scoping the sunset at the Huntington Beach Pier (Photo by Arielle WarrenMiddle right: Hard at work at the Surfline office (Photo by Arielle Warren) Bottom: Discussing the process of board shaping with Dan Taylor (Photo by Paul Gallegos)

Planning a surfing sesh in Huntington Beach has been made a snap with Surfline's international daily reports and forecasts, which come complete with detailed swell conditions and expert advice. One gentlemen behind the handy forecasts is Surfline's Pacific Forecast Operations Manager Jonathan Warren, a local who's hardly a stranger to our waters and streets.

We caught up with Warren amid his busy days of crunching atmospheric data and shredding waves to find out what he loves most about working and playing in Surf City. Here are his top five faves.

Top: Huntington State Beach (Photo by Drew Martin) Bottom: Newport River Jetties (Photo by Jeremiah Klein)


Obviously Surfing…

When there's a good swell running, I'll put in long hours daily. Locally, I frequent nearly all the spots from Surfside through Huntington and Newport (the specific spot will depend on what kind of swell is on tap at the moment), but I'm a regular at the River Jetties and the HB Pier. Huntington and Newport are among the most consistent stretches of coast in Southern California for waves, as well as favorable wind and weather conditions. Although it doesn't get epic all that often, it certainly has its moments. When there's a combo swell running with the Santa Anas, there's nowhere else I'd rather be, and the fall season holds the highest potential for that recipe to come together. I moved to HB from Florida almost eight years ago with one primary goal—to surf better waves more often—and that’s exactly what I'm doing.

The Surfline balcony that overlooks the Huntington Beach Pier (Photo by Arielle Warren)

The Surfline Office

With a meteorology degree from FSU in my back pocket, I moved to California in the summer of 2006, working for the airlines during the day and as a server at night. After a few months, I received an offer from Surfline with my dream job as a surf forecaster. Over the years, I have moved up as Pacific Operations Manager/Lead Forecaster with the desire to continue growing with the company. Not only is the Surfline office where I spend a good chunk of my time working, but it's right at Main and PCH. The work environment is very "surfer friendly," which is obviously perfect for my lifestyle. We have a casual dress code, a relaxed and positive atmosphere, a huge balcony that overlooks the south side of the HB Pier and reserved parking in the garage below. Plus, I can walk through the office wet with my board in hand from a lunch surf session, and there's a plethora of food options around. Who wouldn't want to come into work with all that? In fact, I even find myself in the office on my days off! The balcony is awesome private box seating to the fireworks show on the 4th of July, too.

Discussing the process of board shaping with Dan Taylor (Photo by Paul Gallegos)

Dan Taylor's Board Shop

Not long after moving to HB, I was lucky enough to meet Dan Taylor and begin surfing his flawless designs as a team rider. Every new board I get, I swear that it's the best one yet. Dan has been shaping for over 30 years with nothing but quality and performance in mind. With a steadfast dedication toward his passion since the initial years working in his home garage, this humble and ripping surfer gradually evolved into one of the world's best surfboard shapers. I love chatting with Dan about our local waves, conditions and recent trips that I have been on while discussing how great the boards have been riding. If you're looking for a great board from a shaper that cares, I highly recommend checking him out! 

Dan Taylor Surfboards // 1835 Whittier Avenue, #D13, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Fun in the sun at dog beach (L to R: Wahya, Taj, Smash) (Photo by Arielle Warren)

Dog Beach With The Family

Nearly every dog owner in the vicinity of HB knows about dog beach. There's the officially recognized section of coast that stretches from Goldenwest to Bolsa Chica, then there's the lesser known sandbar between the jetties at the Santa Ana rivermouth. Through my years in Cali, I have adopted three beautiful dogs: Tajie Bear Lumpkins, Wahya Bear Fuzzypants and Smash Bomb. My girl, Arielle, and I love getting out in the sun and sand with our three boys, and they certainly look at these trips to the beach as the highlight of their day. 

Breakfast At The Sugar Shack Cafe, Afternoon Margaritas at Fred's Mexican Cafe And An Elegant Dinner At Capone's Cucina

Sugar Shack Cafe (Photo by Arielle Warren)

Sugar Shack: A true local's favorite to get the day started on the right note, and the perfect fix for a hungry surfer after a long session. This homegrown mom-and-pop shop on Main Street has been around since 1967 and is owned and operated by the Williams/Turner family. For decades they have been putting smiles on faces with their great food and hospitality. I'm a big breakfast fan, and trust me, anything you select off the menu you'll like, if not love. I'm particularly fond of the bacon, egg and cheese burrito with a side of hash browns, mmmm, which hits the spot after a long surf.

The Sugar Shack Cafe // 213 Main Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Fred's Mexican Cafe (Photo by Arielle Warren)

Fred's: Not only am I a regular visitor of this poppin' Mexican cafe, but I even worked as a server at Fred's for a summer. I've been on both sides of the coin here, and I can vouch that it's genuinely one of the best restaurants/bars in the area, from the delicious food, to the great service, to the friendly management, to the entertaining atmosphere. Fred's also hosts many special events throughout the year, including VIP locals night. They hold down prime real estate right on the corner of Main and PCH, offering one of the best accommodations for the gorgeous daily golden sunsets. For a good time you should definitely check out Fred's. My favorite items on the menu are the shrimp burrito and the chicken chingaderas.

Fred's Mexican Cafe // 300 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Capone's Cucina with owner/chef Dino Ferraro and friend Rebekah Schaefer (Photo by Arielle Warren)

Capone's Cucina: It wasn't too long ago that my fiancée, Arielle, and I discovered Capone's, and we were stoked that we did! We stepped in and were immediately attracted to the authentic Italian atmosphere. We tasted one of the fine wines from the owners' private Sicilian collection and instantly wanted the bottle. We indulged ourselves in the wide selection of classic Italian cuisines, and I declared, "This is my new favorite place!" The owner/chef and Sicily native, Dino Ferraro, takes great pride in his restaurants, Capone's Cucina and The Black Trumpet, which you can see by spending just one night at any of them. Passion exudes from his culinary masterpieces, which are a must try for any HB local or visitor. My go-to dish is the Linguini Con Pollo.

Capone's Cucina // 19688 Beach Boulevard, #10, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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