How to Plan a Surf Trip to California
California is a great choice for a surf vacation destination.
Coming it at #3 for the U.S. state with the largest coastline at 840 miles, the Golden State offers a huge variety in types of surf, cultures, climates, and environments.
From the rugged, cold coastline in Northern California to the rural, scenic beaches of Central California and finally the iconic beach towns and breaks of Southern California, there’s something for just about everybody here.
You’re sure to score some fun waves and make some great memories.
You’ve come to the right place to start planning your trip.
But, California, is a big place! You’re probably going to want to narrow it down a little bit.
Best Destinations for a Surf Vacation in California
The best destinations in California for your surf trip include:
- San Diego
- Santa Cruz
- San Francisco
- Santa Barbara
- Northern California
When are the best times of the year for a surf trip to California?
The best time for a California surf trip will vary a little bit depending on the exact destination you choose, but in general, here’s what you can expect.
Whether you’re itching for a solo surf road trip or you’re planning a family vacation and hoping to get some waves in, a lot of destination in California are great options.
But, you’ll need to know when to go so you don’t get skunked.
The bottom line is that you can find fun waves in the Golden State year-round.
Fall is your best bet for Northern California when winds are calmer and the weather and water are more comfortable. The biggest waves up North come in the winter, but conditions can often be harsh.
In Central California, Fall and Winter are your best bet for bigger swells. Summer is smaller here, but there are areas like Santa Cruz than can pull in a south swell.
Southern California, especially San Diego County, is a great option for year-round waves. Winter will pull in the biggest surf, but fun, clean conditions can be had all year long.