Top Surf Towns


Bear with us on this metaphor…If surf towns were the beds in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, then in all of Southern California, Encinitas is the bed that feels juuuust right. San Clemente? Wave-rich, but too sleepy. Oceanside? Too gritty. La Jolla? Too snobby. Pacific Beach? Too fratty. But Encinitas? Why, that’s a place with a variety of year-round surf, a rootsy bike-rideable town, and a community of ocean-minded families and individuals. In striking distance of more consistent surf spots up or down the coast (Not to mention Baja, Mexico is less than an hour south), lovely Encinitas, perhaps, is the surf town that the bear in the state flag is wandering toward.


There’s Seaside, Cardiff Reef, Swamis, and D-Street, if you’re looking for the obvious. But then there’s random, tidal beach breaks, reefs, jetties, and river mouths for miles both ways, if you’ve got some gumption and gas money. Of course, if you want a little more punch, Blacks and La Jolla reefs are less than 20 minutes south, and Oceanside beach breaks, as well as Trestles, are less than a podcast north up I-5. Swamis and Seaside can get crowded, but if you get creative, you can surf somewhere just beyond those miles of cliffs with no one out.