The SoCal coast is a smörgåsbord of surfing options—from beach, point, reef and combo breaks and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds to sparsely populated expanses with dolphins and seals. Some are park-’n’-surf while others require a stiff goat trail hike. Here are just a few, listed north to south.
Vintage California postcard. Friendly, kelpy and an excuse to stop at Neptune’s Net.
Famous, always crowded, Gidget, handstands, shoulder rides and right-hand point break with three take-off zones.
Where everybody knows your name. Extremely tide-dependent, longboard rights, rocky.
Pre/post-workforce and happy tourists. Short, sandy rides, a bike path, rollerbladers and the pier.