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11 Awesome California Surfing Adventures

location_onHuntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA
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Huntington Beach Pier

Huntington Beach, California, United States

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From the balmy shores of San Diego to the chilly waters of Northern California, the Golden State’s coastline offers the allure of perfect waves for every type of surfer. In August 2018, the state assembly voted overwhelmingly to enshrine surfing as California’s official sport. September 20 is California Surfing Day!

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Windansea Beach in La Jolla

location_onWindansea Beach, San Diego, CA
@aluminartist

Windansea Beach

4.8 star(462 Google reviews)
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6600 Neptune Pl
San Diego, CA

see hourshide hours

Monday:

Open 24 hours

Tuesday:

Open 24 hours

Wednesday:

Open 24 hours

Thursday:

Open 24 hours

Friday:

Open 24 hours

Saturday:

Open 24 hours

Sunday:

Open 24 hours

This classic La Jolla reef break solidified its place in wave history in 1937, when surfing pioneer Woody Brown first rode here. Since then, the famed wave has become one of the most well-known in San Diego County, and even appeared in Andy Warhol’s 1967 film, San Diego Surf

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Swami's in Encinitas

location_onSwamis Seaside Park, Encinitas, CA
@positivevibessd

Swamis Seaside Park

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1298 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA

Part of Swami’s State Marine Conservation Area, this classic right point break in Encinitas (honored as one of the world’s top 20 surf towns by National Geographic) gets its name from the golden, lotus-shaped towers of the Self-Realization Fellowship high on the bluffs.

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Trestles in San Clemente

location_onTrestles Beach, CA
@nycsilversurfer

Trestles Beach

4.8 star(56 Google reviews)
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San Diego County, CA

A series of point breaks named for the railroad bridge over San Mateo Creek, Trestles proves that when it comes to waves, size isn’t everything. To get here you have to hike from the San Onofre State Beach parking lot, and you’ll be glad you did. The waves are some of the most gorgeous you’ll find anywhere—world-class faces that some have claimed are the mainland’s best

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The Wedge in Newport Beach

location_onThe Wedge, Newport Beach, CA
@tmmphoto

The Wedge

4.8 star(322 Google reviews)
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Newport Beach, CA

Open daily until 10:00 PMsee hourshide hours

Monday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Tuesday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Wednesday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Thursday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Friday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Saturday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Sunday:

6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

The Wedge should have been rightly named “The Beast.” After all, Newport Beach’s world-famous bodysurfing and bodyboarding wave is an absolute animal. It forms during south swells when waves refract off the rock jetty, then slam into a second incoming wave. The result? Thirty-foot-high mutant waves and all sorts of aquatic mayhem best observed from the safety of shore.

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The Huntington Beach Pier

location_onHuntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, CA
@travelholic.couple

Huntington Beach Pier

4.7 star(145 Google reviews)
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103 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA

With a pedigree that dates back a century to demonstrations by such Hawaiian surfing legends as George Freeth and Duke Kahanomoku, the pier at Huntington State Beach is perhaps Southern California’s holiest surf shrine. And as the site of the Vans US Open of Surfing, it remains a hub for American surfing. Depending on the day, even beginners can surf where such champions as Andy Irons and Kelly Slater triumphed.

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Surfrider Beach in Malibu

location_onMalibu Surfrider Beach, Malibu, CA
@thesunnyhunter

Malibu Surfrider Beach

4.6 star(599 Google reviews)
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23050 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA

If you need evidence of Surfrider Beach’s significance, consider the fact that this right cobblestone point break at Malibu Lagoon State Beach was honored as the first World Surfing Reserve by the Save the Waves Coalition. It’s no wonder. The waves are virtually perfect, the likes of Miki (Da Cat) Dora surfed here, and Surfrider played a pivotal role as surfing moved into the cultural mainstream (thank you, Gidget). Surfrider isn’t for beginners but this is a wave to aspire to.

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Rincon Point in Carpinteria

location_onRincon Point, Carpinteria, CA
@eliasonphotos

Rincon Point

4.6 star(386 Google reviews)
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172 Rincon Point Rd
Carpinteria, CA

Dubbed the “Queen of the Coast” and described by surf historian Matt Warshaw as “America’s gold-standard point break,” Rincon straddles the border of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The waves are so good during winter swells that Surfline.com concluded, “Some spots serve as undeniable proof that our Creator was a surfer.”

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The Pismo Beach Pier

location_onPismo Beach Pier, Pismo Beach, CA
@the_californist

Pismo Beach Pier

Pismo Beach, California, United States

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A classic beach town needs a classic wave and in Pismo Beach, you’ll find outstanding surfing on both sides of the landmark pier. Much of the time the waves here are suitable for beginners but are also high enough in quality to host the World Surf League Qualifying Series Pismo Beach Open in October.

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Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove

location_onAsilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, CA
@bullontheroad

Asilomar State Beach

4.8 star(2.4K Google reviews)
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Sunset Dr
Pacific Grove, CA

While ephemeral Ghost Tree off Pebble Beach is Monterey County’s biggest and most notorious wave, Asilomar State Beach offers a much safer and consistent option for mere mortals. Asilomar is usually pretty mellow but it can get pumping on occasion, so check conditions.

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Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz

location_onSteamer Lane, Santa Cruz, CA
@specializedhelicopters

Steamer Lane

5.0 star(12 Google reviews)
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Santa Cruz, CA

The cliffs overlooking this Santa Cruz spot, named for the steam boats that once chugged along the shoreline, form a natural amphitheater for catching all the action on the four breaks down below. Unless you have some skills, you might want to stick to the cliffs, where the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum commemorates local surf history.

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Mavericks in Half Moon Bay

location_onMavericks Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA
@justinedupont33

Mavericks Beach

4.6 star(697 Google reviews)
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Half Moon Bay, CA

A longtime local secret in Half Moon Bay and now the most famous wave anywhere on the mainland, Mavericks comes by its renown honestly. Celebrated in books, documentaries, and the feature film Chasing Mavericks, waves here can rise to 80-foot faces when conditions are right.

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