It’s the tranquility of being surrounded by nothing but blue ripples contrasted with the adrenaline that comes crashing with each powerful wave that draw surfers to the jagged coastlines that boast the best breaks around. Picture lazy afternoon naps, warm sand between your toes, and beach vibes that you’re dreaming of on Monday mornings. Come join us on a virtual tour of our 10 favourite surf spots in the USA- ready, set, surf!
1. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
Although the remarkable beaches of Hawaii are no secret, a list of the best places to surf in the US would not be complete without Hanalei Bay. The white sands stretch two miles long, forming a half-moon bay that opens to a backdrop of majestic mountain peaks. Here in the north of Kauai, the bay’s shallow sandy bottom gives way to gentle sways and excellent conditions, guaranteeing a day of ocean adventures.
2. San Clemente, California
Because of its unique geography, San Clemente has deservedly earned its reputation for one of the most consistent, wave-rich zones in Southern California. With the right conditions, you can find an epic variety of waves for miles of coastline. Forget the picturesque streets that you find in Newport or Huntington, but in San Clemente you’ll also beat the crowds - discovering an authentic, local and perhaps a bit rougher surf culture!
3. Cocoa Beach, Florida
For many who surf in the USA, Cocoa Beach is lovingly known as the East Coast surf capital. With year-round warm temperatures, its consistent waves are easy and enjoyable to ride for surfers of all levels. Although tucked away on the East Coast, you’ll find that vibrant surf culture that many of us associate with the more iconic US surf spots. Pro tip: Try to plan your trip around one of the many of surf festivals and events that are hosted here in Cocoa Beach!
4. Malibu, CaliforniaThe people and surfers of Malibu live a very much slower pace of life than its neighbor, the sprawling city of Los Angeles.. Although most surfers don’t actually live in Malibu because of the astronomical prices for real estate, we do have the Hollywood A-listers who call it home to thank for the preservation of this natural beauty. Behind national parks and intimidating coastal lines, lie dozens of beaches brimming with breaks for your surfing pleasure. Summer and fall are the best times to hit this surf spot.
5. Pa’ia, Hawaii
In Maui’s north shore lives the funky, little town of Paia, home to an eclectic mix of new age hippies, organic cafes, interesting shops and of course a water-sport obsessed local population. Because of Maui’s usual winds, the place is crawling with kite- and wind-surfers; that being said- if you’re brave enough get a little messy, Paia is where many pro surfers got their feet wet!
6. Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills, located on the thin strip of land known as the Outer Banks of North Carolina, oscillates drastically between a hot summer tourist destination and the cold, remoteness that winter brings. Yet regardless of the season, the Outer Banks is a swell magnet and specifically attracts surfers for some of the best tubes in the area. Its remoteness makes Kill Devil Hills one of the best surf spots for those seeking some peace from the chaos of everyday life.
7. Santa Cruz, California
Santa Cruz has been surf-obsessed long before surfing gained mainstream popularity. The surf community is protective of its birthright, meaning it may take some patience to get in with the locals, but you’ll find no lack of culture, art and inspiration. Along the county’s 45-mile coast-line, you can find over 60 surf breaks with wave varieties for every surfer. With rideable waves almost every day of the year, Santa Cruz is undoubtedly one of the top places to surf in the US.
8. Montauk, New York
Once a sleepy fishing village, Montauk has quickly risen as a popular surf spot for surfers seeking some of the best waves in New York with consistent breaks and good wave variety. At the peak of summer you will find Montauk packed with Hamptons tourists, but stay around for off-season and be left with just the ocean waves and the small population of locals.
9. Cape Kiwanda, Oregon
If you’d like to surf in paradise, Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, Oregon should be top of the list for your next surf trip. The beach is beautiful and along the coastline you can find beach breaks suitable for all levels. While the waves can get pretty big, especially right after a storm, the idyllic charm of this laid back town will really draw you in!
10. La Jolla, California
Just north of downtown San Diego, La Jolla Shores is a must visit for beginner surfers because of its reliable, predictable waves. La Jolla is a great surf spot for anyone craving some quality time in the water to improve their practice. And if you’re feeling more adventurous, hike down the cliff to Black’s Beach, where many consider the best waves of San Diego to break.
The extensive US coasts are filled with surfing gems, you just have to know where to look! Where are your favorite US surf spots?If you want more trip inspo, our West Coast USA surf map poster has over 200 gems from California all the way up to Washington via Hawaii! And for those with ambitions further afield, our ever-popular Surftrip Map has surf spots galore from all around the world!