If you love to surf, then California should be on your travel bucket list if you haven’t already been. The state has miles of coastline and hundreds of adorable beach towns with great weather, awesome waves, and a relaxed vibe. California Route 1 runs along the cost through most of the state, making it easy to take a road trip from end to end. Here’s an incredible surfing itinerary to get you started.
Start in San Diego
San Diego and the surrounding area is full of stunning places to surf, as well as plenty of fun stuff to do when you’re not in the water. Near the city, you can surf at Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, and you’ll get some great waves if you head up to Windandsea, a peaceful beach just south of La Jolla that’s a local favorite. After a surf session, be sure to check out some of the city’s numerous craft breweries, go for a hike at Torrey Pines, and check out the adorable seals at La Jolla Cove.
Head Up Through Orange County
The Orange County area is huge and is home to several stunning beach communities lining the coast. While there’s plenty of incredible surf spots to choose from, start at Trestle Beach, a favorite among OC locals. It’s at the southernmost point of Orange County and is home to stunning sunsets as well as great surf. Then, head up to Huntington Beach. The area around the pier is one of the most iconic surfing spots in the US, and it’s not one to be missed.
Stop in Malibu
Next, brave the Los Angeles traffic to head up to Malibu, where you can surf at the iconic Surfrider Beach. While these waves are definitely for the more experienced surfer, they will definitely be one to remember. Malibu’s beautiful, lush hills make for an incredible backdrop as you ride the waves.
Relax in Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach is a charmingly small beach town full of incredible surfing. There’s plenty of waves to enjoy for surfers of all ability levels, and you’ll love the relaxed atmosphere of the town. Be sure to check out the area’s monarch butterfly sanctuary if you come during the cooler months of the year.
Continue On To Santa Cruz
Although it’s a long drive from Pismo Beach, it’s worth making the trip up to Santa Cruz, a classic California surf town just south of the Bay Area. You’ll drive through stunning scenery on the 1, and there are plenty of great places to stop along the way, like Big Sur and Carmel. Once you’re in Santa Cruz, there are so many iconic surfing spots to check out, like the Manresa State Beach or Steamer Lane if you’re a true surfing expert.
With so much to see on the California coastline, be sure to stop and take in the scenery and explore the local towns. These are just a handful of the many incredible surfing spots in California - you could easily spend months driving up and down the coast surfing.
Written by: Sarah Foley