The Best Surfing in Big Sur

Looking for the best surfing in Big Sur? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Big Sur. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top surfing spots in and near Big Sur

  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Creamery Meadow Trail to Molera Beach

    2 mi
    Entrance to the parking lot is $10 per car, and once you get in be sure to use the restroom before you head for the trail, since you will likely spend a good amount of time out there.Look for the sign that says Creamery Meadow Trail. You'll know it's right when the very first thing you'll need to...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    Andrew Molera is about 27 miles south of Carmel and one of the first State Parks you'll hit heading down the coast. There will be signs for the Park as you approach and the main parking lot is only a couple hundred yards from Hwy 1. There are a number of hiking trails and activities to do around ...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Surf Carmel River State Beach

    5.0
    Carmel State beach is located in Monterey county.  It's your typical beach break with both lefts and rights.  One thing that is super unique about Carmel is that the water is some of the clearest in all of California.  Depending on the sandbars, this can be a really fun wave!  It's also a great p...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Carmel Beach

    1.22 mi / 98 ft gain
    Carmel Beach is an out-and-back trail that provides a good opportunity to see wildlife located near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
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  • Pacific Grove, California

    Relax at Lover's Point Beach

    4.8
    Getting there: Drive to the bottom of Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove, California. You will reach a small parking lot. Unfortunately, the parking here is limited. On the bright side, this means the crowds never get too big! The ocean has open swells for surfers, diverse marine-life for snor...
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  • Marina, California

    Explore Fort Ord Dunes State Park

    5.0
    One of the best parts of Monterey is the beaches – but their popularity is also their weakness, so if you want seclusion head to the lesser-known Fort Ord Dunes for solitude and beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the Pacific Coast. Historically, this location was chosen as the location for Fort ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Surf Willow Creek

    4.0
    Willow Creek is a couple of miles south of Sand Dollar Beach. Sand Dollar is generally a mushier wave that is more welcoming. Willow Creek on the other hand, has more power and offers punchier waves for the more experienced. However, it is more fickle than Sand Dollar Beach. There are loads of ke...
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  • Marina, California

    Surf, Run, or Catch a Sunset at Marina State Beach

    From the moment you turn into the parking lot, you know Marina State Beach is special. Grab a parking spot in the large lot and then run down the dunes and onto the shoreline! The beach feels spacious on this section of the shore and gives plenty of room to run around or to put down a blanket to ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Surf at Big Sur's Sand Dollar Beach

    4.8
    Head into Big Sur and get a campsite at Plaskett Creek. You can either make a reservation through recreation.gov or show up and hope to luck out on one of the first-come, first-serve campsites. The campground is much more crowded during the prime summer months, so if you want to get better surf ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp Out in the Human Nest

    Located about 40 miles south of the entrance to Big Sur, Treebones Resort has everything you need for that weekend away from the screens we look at everyday. To get there, drive south on HWY 1 from Carmel. It takes about 1 hour, but the drive is exquisite the whole way down. If you watch the wate...
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  • La Selva Beach, California

    Manresa Beach Trail

    4.01 mi / 118 ft gain
    Manresa Beach Trail is a loop trail that is good for all skill levels located near Watsonville, California.
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  • Watsonville, California

    Camp at Manresa Beach

    4.7
    All 64 tent campsites here are walk-in, making them further in from the road, and more roomy. Each site comes with a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker. There is access to bathrooms and showers, as well. You can make a reservation here. 
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf Pleasure Point

    4.0
    Pleasure Point is located on the east side of Santa Cruz, California. It is a right hand point break that breaks year round. It is a popular surf spot for many people that live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  There are 3 different peaks that break at Pleasure Point. Sewers, which is the furthest ...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Pleasure Point

    0.16 mi / 33 ft gain
    Pleasure Point is a loop trail where you may see local wildlife located near Capitola, California.
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Surf the Hook

    4.0
    The hook is a surf spot found on the east side of Santa Cruz, located along East Cliff drive.  If you keep driving past Pleasure Point, you'll get to it.  It's a right hand point break that is usually smaller in size than Pleasure Point.  It's a very crowded spot due to the easy access parking lo...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Beach Day at Lighthouse Field State Beach

    4.0
    This beach is less crowded compared to other beaches in Santa Cruz.  I got there early on a Saturday and found easy street parking.  There was plenty of space to spread out on the soft sand.  Later in the day I saw dolphins several times!  This is close to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.  It’s als...
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