The Top 8 Best Cities in California for Surfing

California’s coastline offers some of the best surfing spots in the world, attracting surfers of all levels with its consistent waves and breathtaking scenery. From iconic breaks to hidden gems, there’s no shortage of incredible surf destinations to explore along the Golden State’s shores. In this guide, we’ll highlight the top eight best cities in California for surfing, each offering its own unique charm and surf culture.

Santa Cruz

First on our list is Santa Cruz, known as the birthplace of mainland surfing in the United States. With world-class breaks like Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz offers waves for surfers of all levels, from beginners to experts. Moreover, the vibrant surf community and laid-back atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for any surfer. With its vibrant boardwalk and eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, Santa Cruz offers plenty of entertainment options for surfers and non-surfers alike. Additionally, the city’s rich surfing history is celebrated through events like the annual O’Neill Cold Water Classic. Visitors can also explore nearby natural attractions such as the towering redwoods of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Huntington Beach

surfboard on beach

Next up is Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA. Home to the US Open of Surfing and iconic breaks like Huntington Beach Pier and Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach is a mecca for surfers from around the globe. Moreover, the city boasts a bustling beach culture, with surf shops, cafes, and events celebrating the sport year-round.

Moreover, Huntington Beach’s extensive shoreline and consistent waves make it a haven for surfers of all levels. The city’s laid-back vibe and iconic pier create a quintessential California beach experience that’s hard to beat. Additionally, Huntington Beach’s lively downtown area offers an array of surf shops, cafes, and beachfront bars, perfect for unwinding after a day on the waves.


Ventura is another top-notch surf destination, offering a mix of point breaks, beach breaks, and reef breaks along its coastline. Surfers flock to popular spots like Surfer’s Point and C Street to catch some of the best waves in Southern California. Moreover, Ventura’s laid-back vibe and scenic beauty make it a favorite among surfers and beachgoers alike.

Ventura’s rugged coastline and diverse surf breaks make it a hidden gem for surfers seeking uncrowded waves and stunning scenery. Surfers can explore popular spots like Surfer’s Point and C Street, where consistent waves and breathtaking views are guaranteed. Additionally, Ventura’s charming downtown area offers a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of options for post-surf dining and entertainment.

San Diego

moving from texas to California

Heading down the coast, we come to San Diego, where surfers can enjoy a diverse range of breaks, from mellow beach breaks to powerful reef breaks. With iconic spots like Black’s Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and Tourmaline Surfing Park, San Diego offers something for everyone. Moreover, the city’s year-round sunshine and vibrant beach culture make it a paradise for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts.

San Diego’s year-round sunshine and warm water temperatures make it an ideal destination for surfers seeking perfect waves and endless summer days. From the powerful breaks of Black’s Beach to the gentle rollers of Tourmaline Surfing Park, San Diego offers something for every surfer. Additionally, the city’s vibrant beach culture and diverse neighborhoods provide plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure beyond the waves.


Further south, we find Encinitas, a charming coastal town known for its surf-friendly beaches and relaxed atmosphere. With breaks like Swami’s and Cardiff Reef, Encinitas offers consistent waves and beautiful scenery. Moreover, the city’s thriving surf scene and laid-back vibe make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Encinitas’ laid-back vibe and world-class surf breaks make it a favorite among surfers seeking a quintessential Southern California experience. Surfers can catch waves at iconic spots like Swami’s and Cardiff Reef, where consistent swells and stunning scenery await. Additionally, Encinitas’ eclectic mix of surf shops, cafes, and yoga studios reflects the city’s vibrant surf culture and outdoor lifestyle.

Dana Point

Heading south from Ventura, we find ourselves in Dana Point, a picturesque coastal city nestled in Orange County. Dana Point is beloved by surfers for its world-class breaks, including Salt Creek Beach and Doheny State Beach, which offer a variety of waves suitable for all skill levels. Moreover, Dana Point’s stunning cliffs and rugged coastline provide a breathtaking backdrop for surfing adventures. After a day of catching waves, surfers can explore the charming downtown area, known for its shops, restaurants, and waterfront promenade. With its perfect waves and laid-back vibe, Dana Point is a must-visit destination for any surfer exploring Orange County.

Santa Barbara

the cost of living in oceanside ca includes going to the beach

Further north, we find Santa Barbara, a picturesque coastal city known for its stunning beaches and world-class surf breaks. From Rincon Point, known as the “Queen of the Coast,” to Leadbetter Beach and Sands Beach, Santa Barbara offers a variety of waves for surfers of all levels. Moreover, the city’s Mediterranean climate and laid-back lifestyle make it a perfect destination for a surf getaway.

Santa Barbara’s stunning beaches and pristine waves make it a paradise for surfers seeking a taste of California’s coastal beauty. Surfers can ride the legendary breaks of Rincon Point, known as the “Queen of the Coast,” or explore the laid-back vibes of Leadbetter Beach and Sands Beach. Additionally, Santa Barbara’s charming downtown area offers plenty of opportunities for post-surf relaxation, with boutique shops, farm-to-table restaurants, and wine tasting rooms lining the streets.


Last but not least, we have Malibu, a legendary surf spot famous for its perfect point breaks and long, peeling waves. Surfers have been flocking to Malibu’s iconic breaks like Surfrider Beach and First Point for generations, drawn by the promise of endless waves and classic California surf culture. Moreover, the city’s stunning coastline and vibrant surf community make it a dream destination for any surfer. Moreover, Malibu’s iconic coastline and legendary surf breaks make it a dream destination for surfers from around the world. Surfers can catch waves at legendary spots like Surfrider Beach and First Point, where long, peeling waves and stunning scenery await. Additionally, Malibu’s luxurious beachfront properties and celebrity sightings add to its allure as a glamorous beach destination, while its laid-back surf culture and beachside cafes offer a taste of California’s quintessential beach lifestyle.

California offers a wealth of incredible surf destinations, each with its own unique charm and surf culture. Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer seeking the ultimate ride, there’s a perfect spot waiting for you along the Golden State’s shores. So grab your board and wetsuit and get ready to experience the thrill of surfing in California’s top cities.

StorAmerica Management

In addition to exploring these amazing surf destinations, it’s essential to ensure your surf gear is stored safely between your adventures. Consider utilizing StorAmerica Management as your storage company, where you can securely store your surfboards and equipment in climate-controlled units, keeping them protected from the elements. Our facilities offer peace of mind, allowing you to focus on catching waves without worrying about the safety of your gear. Moreover, don’t forget to check out more of our articles for additional insights into the best surf destinations and valuable surfing/storage tips.

Check out our latest blog posts:

To stay updated on all things StorAmerica Management, connect with us on LinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.