Dana Point, California

Surf Salt Creek

Originally added by Grant

A super fun beach break in the heart of Orange County.

There are two HUGE parking lots off of PCH, so parking isn't an issue (unless it's on a weekend in the summer, then it does get full). This is a paid lot with a few pay stations located around the parking lot, and they take cash and credit/ debit card...you can pay by the hour.

Once you find your parking spot, you will walk under the paved road, through a tunnel and you will see the rolling green hills leading you to the beach. Note, this grassy area is great for picnics, you can bring your dog (not on the actual beach though), your family and they have concerts in the park during the summer. Also, this is one of the only consistently decent-good surf spots in south Orange County (before San Clemente) so be prepared to share the waves with a lot of other people. People ride all sorts of equipment out here from high performance shortboards, to longboards, twin-fins, bodyboards, handplanes, etc. Just ride what you normally would and have a great attitude. 

Once you get down to the beach, you have roughly 3 main areas you can surf. 

1. The Point: once you walk down the hill, it is to the south, in front of the permanent life guard tower. It's mainly a left (although the right, during the winter, can get really good) that has a steep take off, goes a little fat in the middle and then dumps on the beach. Best bet on south swells, with a little west in it. 

2. Middles: directly in front of where you walked down is a peak, that usually has a better right on it. On most days it's really a glorified shorebreak wave that can have its moments. Definitely a quick, fast, sometimes makable wave that has a mix of surfers and bodyboarders. Pick the tides carefully here.

3. Gravels: to the north of where you walk down, Gravels is a fickle, mainly bodyboarding wave that when it's on, can be really really fun. Again, usually a glorified shorebreak wave, you'll see a peak out here that never seems to break until it hits the sand and explodes. On a big winter swell though, this place can definitely give you the wave of your month.

As with any surf spot, make sure to know your own limits and proceed with caution. Make sure you smile, wait your turn and say hi to the locals. If you have any questions, ask, it's way better to know than pretend you do.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area


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Overall rating: 

Great waves

This spot is epic

over 1 year ago

Winter Time

Is the best for uncrowned waves!!!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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