Visit The Best Surfing Spots This Summer!
Sun, sea, and bright blue skies. What more do you need on a summer vacation?
Well, if you’re the active type, a sturdy surfboard wouldn’t go amiss. And where better to go surfing than the gorgeous Pacific coastline of Southern California? So grab your favorite board, hop in your rented camper, and read on to discover the best surfing in California.
1. Oceanside City Beach, Oceanside
Oceanside is a delightful shorefront town with a massive surfer community. It is a popular town for every level of surfer and one of the best places for a summer surfing vacation. The long stretches of sandy beaches are directly opposite rows of surfer-run restaurants and bars. Oceanside even hosts the California Surf Museum.
If you want to test the waters, the best starting point is near the Oceanside Pier. It’s a hotspot for locals and tourists and you will always find a friendly surfer to give you some pointers if needed. Larger swells can be found slightly further north around Harbor Beach.
Nearby Campground: Oceanside RV Resort, 92054
The Oceanside RV Resort is situated almost directly on the sandy beaches of Oceanside. The campsite provides full RV hook-ups and features a games room, swimming pool, and a spa with a hot tub. Sleep and surf in Oceanside from $109 per night.
2. Grandview Beach, Encinitas
Encinitas is another great surfing town to the north of San Diego. It is the best place to learn how to surf in Southern California, with many surfing schools operating along the shorefront. The surfing community is also strong here, with many shops and bars catering to visiting surf-enthusiasts
Grandview Beach is the best spot for beginners and intermediates, with gentle swells picking up in every direction. Both surfers and long-boarders enjoy the waves, although a few people come for a pleasant stroll along the sand while they watch the surfers in action. More experienced surfers can test their luck on the waves of Moonlight State Beach.
Nearby Campground: Riviera Mobile Home & RV Park, 92024
This lovely mobile home park in Encinitas also doubles up as a pleasant campervan park, only a few minutes’ walk from the ocean front. Grandview Surf Beach can be reached quickly by vehicle or with a half-hour walk along the sand. A full hook-up pitch at Riviera costs $84-90 per night.
3. Mavericks Beach, Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is a surfing haven to the south of San Francisco. Every year, surfers from all over the U.S. and the world head to Mavericks Beach to try their luck on some of California’s biggest waves. The swells at Mavericks can reach up to 20 feet (with a rare few topping 60 feet) and begin far out from shore, so only experts are recommended to surf here.
For a more relaxed surf, drive over to The Jetty, a less-crowded beach that’s perfect for beginners. If you aren’t up for the challenge of Mavericks but still want to catch some decent waves, then Surfer’s Beach is your best bet.
Nearby Campground: Pillar Point RV Park, 94019
Stay in this fabulous oceanfront RV park, based within walking distance of many great surfing beaches, and only a 5-minute drive from Mavericks Beach. You can not reserve a spot here, so it’s best to arrive earlier in the day. Full hook-up pitches are available from $95 per night.
4. Trestles Beach, San Clemente
San Clemente is known as one of California’s best-surfing spots. The locals are friendly but can turn on you if you behave poorly or leave trash on their beaches. The long, sandy San Clemente Beach is divided into many named sections. The best patch for surfing is Trestles Beach, which itself is divided into segments.
Upper Trestles is great for intermediate surfers, with casual yet consistent waves. Beginners should stick to the Middles, where gentle swells let you get a feel for your board. The Lower Trestles is the ultimate surfing spot for practiced surfers, as the waves really pick up in the summer. Long-boarders can often be found on the northern tip of the beach, known as Cottons.
Nearby Campground: San Mateo Campground, 92672
This National Park Service-owned campsite welcomes RVs and motorhomes from just $40 per night. San Mateo is situated half an hour inland from Trestles Beach on foot, but it is a lovely country walk. There are basic and full hook-up pitches available
5. Cowell Beach, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a classic surfer’s beach town and one of the best places to visit with families and not just because of the easy waves. Kids will enjoy learning about aquatic animals in the Seymour Marine Discovery Center or riding the rollercoasters on the Beach Boardwalk. Wave-riders flock to Santa Cruz for the abundant surfing opportunities, so be respectful of others in the water.
Cowell Beach is the best beach for surfing beginners. Although it can get crowded, the shorefront is filled with friendly locals and newcomers testing out the gentle waves. For more dramatic waves, try out Steamer Lane or Four Mile Beach (located four miles outside of Santa Cruz).
Nearby Campground: Santa Cruz Harbor RV Park, 95062
The best campground in the heart of Santa Cruz, the Harbor RV Park is within walking distance of the town’s central beaches. Don’t expect many campsite activities, most guests spend their days swimming and surfing. An RV pitch here, including a full hook-up, amounts to just $60 a night.
Are you ready to hit the waves? We hope you feel inspired by this guide to California’s greatest surfing beaches. If you’re in need of a campervan, then check out all the RV rentals that we have available this summer!
Own your very own camper? Then you could be making money from it while it’s not in use! And remember to stop by this Friday for our essential packing guide for a beach trip.