The Best Surfing in California

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

Top surfing spots in and near California

  • Orick, California

    Tall Trees Grove, Redwood Creek, Emerald Ridge Loop

    4.4
    4.41 mi / 1043 ft gain
    Day 1: Check with the Rangers station before heading up for best camping opportunities. Assuming you've checked with the rangers for approval...if there are openings, off of the main road, there are side streets with access to the beaches. Pull into one of these areas and drive down as far as you...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Beach Bonfire at Ocean Beach

    4.3
    Yes, it's often cold in the city. So, what's the best way to warm up? Bring some blankets, a jacket or two, and come out to Ocean Beach to enjoy a bonfire, a sunset, and some quality time with friends. The fire pits are between Fulton and Lincoln. On a sunny day, get there early if you want to ge...
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  • Palos Verdes Estates, California

    Catch a Sunset at Bluff Cove

    4.4
    Parking for Bluff Cove is located along the sides of the street of Paseo Del Mar, and the trailhead is located right next to the street. Bluff Cove is one of those unique locations in that there are a variety of activities you can do here.It is a great location for surfing, paddle boarding, body ...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to Black's Beach via the Ho Chi Minh Trail

    4.7
    1 mi / 400 ft gain
    Finding the actual trail is 80% of the adventure. Once you turn down La Jolla Farms Road you will follow it for about 3/4 of a mile and there won't be anything too apparent that you are there, except a few cars parked along the street. Make sure to plug in the directions from the map so you know ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Rodeo Beach

    5.0
    Rodeo beach is 10 minute drive past the Golden Gate. Pack up the car with a couple beverages and something to eat, then spend the afternoon and evening taking in the sunset. If you're taking the romantic angle, remember to pack a few blankets just in case the wind picks up or it's colder than ant...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Newport Pier

    4.9
    Newport Pier is located just south of Huntington Beach at the center of the Balboa Peninsula. Balboa Pier, the more crowded pier of Newport Beach, is nearby to the south. Thanks to the awesome weather of Southern California, there’s no reason this beach can’t be enjoyed all year long, which means...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Camp at Francis Beach Campground

    4.0
    If you love to log as much water time as possible, this little gem is the campsite for you. Half Moon Bay State Beach is actually four smaller beaches, with a total of two miles of sandy shore, but you'll be camping right at Kelly Ave., one of Half Moon Bay's most consistent surf spots. Keep in m...
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  • San Luis Obispo County, California

    Camp at Montaña de Oro State Park

    5.0
    Located about 7 miles south of Morrow Bay, follow Los Osos Valley Rd into the state park. Watch for the signs to park, as you will be cited after 10pm.The campground is located just across the road from the famous Spooner's cove, but there are any number of trails and hikes you can enjoy (check ...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Oceanview Camping at San Elijo

    4.5
    This campground is located right next to the beach as well as next to the San Elijo Lagoon. Head to the beach during the day for a swim. This is also a great place to catch a sunset. If you want to stretch your legs and get moving a bit, you can hike around the San Elijo Lagoon to the east of the...
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  • Malibu, California

    Camp at Thornhill Broome State Beach

    5.0
    Take PCH through Malibu towards Oxnard and the campground will be on your left. There is no day use here and you can drive right to your campsite.During the summer, make reservations or arrive really early to nab a site. Spaces can fill up quickly.There is access to a hiking trail across PCH.
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  • San Clemente, California

    Camp at San Mateo Campground

    5.0
    San Onofre State Beach, best known for its famous surf breaks, additionally offers two well equipped campgrounds.San Onofre Bluffs has fire pits and picnic tables, as well as outdoor showers, chemical toilets, and an RV dump station. Swimming and surfing are popular here.Further inland from the b...
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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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  • 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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  • Manhattan Beach, California

    Take a Sunset Surf at Manhattan Beach

    4.6
    Manhattan Beach Pier is a popular spot in the South Bay of Los Angeles for surfers of all levels. With its exposed beach break with consistent surf and more than 300 days of sun per year, you can pretty much always count on good weather in Manhattan Beach so you can surf no matter the season. Ide...
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  • Whitethorn, California

    Camp at Usal Beach on the Lost Coast

    5.0
    Getting to Usal beach can be a little tricky, but it is well worth the effort. Usal Road (Mendocino Country Rd 431) is found 13 miles north of Westport or 14.5 miles southwest of Legget on Highway 1. The turn off is extremely easy to miss so it is recommended to use your odometer to gauge how clo...
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  • San Clemente, California

    Beach Day at San Onofre

    5.0
    This spot is no secret but it’s by far one of the best beaches California has to offer and has been regarded since the 1950s as a friendly surfing sanctuary. The beach is divided into three surf spots (named from North to South), known as “The Point,” “Old Man’s,” and “Dogpatch.” To access the be...
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