San Diego Surf Vacations

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Book Your Surf Trip to San Diego

If you’re planning a surf trip to San Diego, you’ve come to the right place.

San Diego is a great destination for a surf vacation.

Whether you’re going solo, with a friend, or with your family, you’re sure to have a memorable trip.

You’re sure to find some good waves for surfers of all levels – from beginner to expert.

This page is your guide to planning the best surf trips in San Diego. You’ll find information about where to stay, where to surf, best times to go, and more!

What are you waiting for? Book your trip!

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Top Destinations for a San Diego Surf Vacation

If you’re not sure exactly where you want to stay and surf in San Diego, some of the best destinations for a fun surf trip include:

  1. San Diego
  2. North County

Surfing in San Diego: What to Expect

Here’s what you need to know about the surfing in San Diego.

San Diego County is big. For most locals, It’s easiest to divide it into two main parts: North County and San Diego proper.

There’s a blurry line right around Blacks where you can divide the two regions.

While San Onofre and Trestles are technically part of San Diego County as well, you’re better off staying in San Clemente if you plan on doing most of your surfing here.

San Diego proper features mostly beach breaks and some man-made features, with reefs here and there.

North County features a lot of reefs, a few points, a fun beach break to choose from.

When is the Best Time to Surf in San Diego?

You can find some sort of surf in San Diego all year long.

Given the angle of the coastline, certain areas and spots pick up certain swell directions better than others.

Fortunately though, there are plenty of spots that pick up the Northwest swells during the Winter and plenty of spots that pick up South and Southwest throughout the Summer.

Winter will typically bring the biggest surf to the region, but southswells during the Fall can get really good to.

During the Summer and Spring, there will be more of a mix, but there is typically always some fun surf to be had with the right equipment and expectations.

Summertime will definitely be the most crowded, but a little walk away from some of the most popular spots and you can still find some peaks to yourself.

Do you need a wetsuit to surf in San Diego?

During the mid-late Summer and early Fall, you can often surf without a wetsuit in San Diego.

During the Winter, Spring, late Fall, and upwelling events throughout the year, a wetsuit is a good idea.

In the Winter, the water temperatures can dip into the 50s.

A 3/2 fullsuit will get you by most of the time, while a springsuit is a good choice in the Spring and colder days during the Summer and Fall.

San Diego Surf Vacations

The city of San Diego is a great destination for your San Diego surf trip.

Where to Stay in San Diego

There is no shortage of places to stay in the city of San Diego. Popular destinations for surfers include the neighborhoods of:

  • Imperial Beach.
  • Mission Beach.
  • Pacific Beach.
  • Ocean Beach.
  • Bird Rock.
  • La Jolla.

Where to Surf in San Diego

There are plenty of fun waves to be had throughout San Diego. Some popular spots to check out include:

  • Sunset Cliffs.
  • Ocean Beach Pier.
  • Mission Beach Jetty.
  • Mission Beach.
  • PB Pier.
  • Pacific Beach.
  • Bird Rock.
  • Windansea.
  • La Jolla Shores.
  • Scripps Pier.
  • Blacks.

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North County San Diego Surf Vacations

North County is one of the best destinations for your San Diego surf trip.

Where to Stay in North County San Diego

Parts of North County retain their “beach town” vibes, will others are becoming more built up. Some options for places to stay here include:

  • Del Mar.
  • Solana Beach.
  • Cardiff.
  • Encinitas.
  • Leucadia.
  • Carlsbad.
  • Oceanside.

Where to Surf in North County San Diego

North County has no shortage of good spots to choose from too. Some of these include:

  • Del Mar beaches.
  • Seaside Reef.
  • Cardiff Reef.
  • San Elijo Campgrounds.
  • Swami’s.
  • D Street.
  • Beacons.
  • Grandview.
  • Ponto.
  • Tamarack.
  • Oceanside Pier.

Airports in San Diego

The airport you can use to travel to and from San Diego is the San Diego International Airport.

If you’re flying with surfboards, be sure to compare the airline baggage fees before you book.

Travel Insurance for your San Diego Surf Trip

It’s always a smart choice to get insurance before any surf trip.

Depending on the package and coverage you choose, you can be covered for things like:

  • Major and minor injuries.
  • Transportation to the hospital.
  • Emergency services.

Check the full description and disclosures of your travel insurance policy to make sure you get the right coverage for you and your trip.

Tips for Having the Best Surf Trip to San Diego

Making sure your have the best surf trip no matter where you go or what the conditions are like when you get there comes down to some simple planning and preparation. Use these tips to make the most of your San Diego surf trip:

  • If you’re flying with your own surfboards, make sure you pack them securely in a good surfboard travel bag.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from when you’re traveling, and that you’ve satisfied any visa requirements that San Diego may have for travelers from your country of origin well before you leave for your trip.
  • Where a decent surfing sunscreen no mater where you go and use extra sun protection like surf hats, wetsuit tops, or rash guards if you’re visiting a warm water destination that won’t require a wetsuit.
  • If you’re uncertain about a wave or conditions you encounter, don’t risk a serious injury by surfing well beyond your abilities. Ask a local or find a wave more suited to your skills.
  • Be respectful of the local community, other surfers you meet, and the local environment.
  • Be mindful of the environmental and cultural impacts your travel may have on the places you visits. Consider how you can make your surf travel more sustainable.
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