California SurfingIt’s summertime. Iced tea’s never tasted so good, flip flops have never felt so good, your tan’s never looked so good, and the Beach Boys (who’ve been playing on repeat in your head since June 1st) have never sounded so good. Problem is everyone in your neighborhood hasn’t gone surfing… surfing USA. Seems the one thing missing from your life is a California surfing vacation.

We’ve got the skinny on where to surf in California, and where to watch people surf in California. (It’s okay to stick to the sandy sidelines, and in fact, it’s a lot of fun.)

No matter what surf spots in California you check out, book one of our surf vacation rentals. We’ve got beach cottages, condos, and villas that are just as gnarly as the most monstrous monster waves.


“Baywatch” is no longer filmed here, but Malibu’s reputation as a beach town filled with blond bombshells and uber-masculine hunks – with surfboards in hand – has not at all been tarnished. Surfrider Beach, a little north of the Malibu Pier, is the main attraction for wave seekers. While many California surf spots cater to long boarders, Surfrider’s a frequent haven for short boarders.

Dana Point

Like Malibu, the thing that made Dana Point so famous is but a memory. Killer Dana was a legendary wave that spilled surfers out on to a rocky shoreline. Naturally, the opportunity to earn a few battle wounds was taken up by every world-famous surfer of the time. In 1966, however, the Dana Point Harbor was constructed right in the middle of Killer Dana's trajectory. Despite the MIA wave, Dana Point is still home to great surf and even great surfers, who routinely stop by to remember the good old times. Doheny Beach welcomes beginners and long boarders, and Salt Creek Beach offers up giant summer swells that draw in crowds from near and far.

Huntington Beach

Whether you’re getting up-to-speed on surfing history at the International Surfing Museum, taking an inspiring stroll down the Surfing Walk of Fame, or sitting on the edge of your beach towel at the US Open of Surfing, you’ll get your fill of this remarkable water sport without ever actually going into the water in Huntington Beach.

California Surf

Santa Cruz

Beginners can feel comfy with their clumsiness at Cowell’s Beach, while the pros go to town at the Hook and Steamer Lane. From the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum to the big leaguers out on the ocean, you’ll be treated to quite a spectacle. Just be sure to surf within your means, as you're likely to encounter some seriously dangerous breaks.

Half Moon Bay

Mavericks Beach in Half Moon Bay isn’t novice-friendly. This is where master surfers meet with some of the world’s most colossal waves, nearly every day. So, hang out by the shore and enjoy people watching like never before. If you can’t resist getting in on the action, take a few lessons.