With winter’s icy chill in the rearview and the long, hot days of summer on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to shed the confines of that luxury condo or corner office and enjoy the great outdoors. People from New York City to Texas are flocking to California to enjoy the sun and beautiful beaches. And for those who love surfing, there’s no better place to do it than one of the beautiful beaches in California. So, where should avid surfers head to ride the curl? We’ve rounded up the best beaches for you and your board:
The Wedge, Newport Beach: While Orange County’s Newport Beach is largely known for its tony real estate and annual boat races, it’s also home to some of the best surfing you’ll find anywhere in the state. The Wedge is perhaps the area’s most famous waterfront hangout, and with good reason: this Balboa Peninsula surf spot is home to some truly spectacular boarding conditions. It’s the area’s western rock jetty that helps to create these perfect-to-ride waves, which are often so tall that huge crowds gather to watch them swell and break on the beach.
Huntington, Huntington Beach: While you’ll find its beachfront packed during most summer days, the temperatures are mild enough in Huntington Beach that dedicated surfers will hit the water year-round. And rightly so: prime surfing conditions tend to crop up in the winter time, which just so happens to be when the beaches are less crowded, meaning you won’t find yourself crashing into anyone else when you ride your board.
Rincon Point, Santa Barbara: Eager to enjoy a stunning surf spot that’s not overcrowded with tourists? Then head to Rincon Point in Santa Barbara for prime beach conditions. Just off Highway 101, this beach doesn’t draw the vacation crowds you’ll find in places like The Wedge, but the waves are no less remarkable. And luckily, there are three spots with very different surf conditions to enjoy: The Cove, with gentle, medium-sized waves, The River Mouth, perfect for newer surfers getting in some practice, and The Indicator, where you’ll find the biggest waves and the most challenging conditions.
Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach is famous for more than just the reality show bearing its name. This beautiful beach is also home to some of southern California’s best surfing conditions, with crystal clear water, massive waves, and fewer crowds than you’ll find at beaches closer to Los Angeles.
Cardiff Reef, San Diego: Go a little bit further down the California coast and you’ll find some truly amazing surfing conditions in San Diego. At Cardiff Reef State Beach off Highway 101, you’ll find four distinct beaches: San Elijo, Pipes, Cardiff Reef, and George’s, each with ideal conditions for beginners and experienced surfers alike, with petite waves and massive swells, as well as plenty of placid beachfront to relax on after you’re done on the water.
Whether you’re just getting your sea legs or have been boarding for years, the California currents are sure to present a fun and exciting challenge to you yet. If you’re eager to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and connect with nature, any one of these California beaches has more than got you covered.