What makes surfing in USA one of the best vacation activities is that there is something for every type of surfer. From novice surfers to professionals, the USA is full of exciting spots for all. So what are the best locations for surfing in the USA? Without much wait- let’s try to answer that and see the best locations for a surfing vacation in the USA have to offer.
- 1 Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
- 2 Newport, Rhode Island
- 3 Huntington Beach, California
- 4 York Beach, Maine
- 5 San Onofre Beach State Park, California
- 6 Topsail Island, North Carolina
- 7 Ocean City, New Jersey
- 8 Virginia Beach, Virginia
- 9 Rockaway Beach, New York
- 10 South Padre Island, Texas
- 11 Cape Lookout, Oregon
- 12 Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
- 13 Maui, Hawaii
- 14 New Smyrna Beach, Florida
- 15 Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
You can’t talk about beaches in the USA and not mention Hawaii. Waikiki Beach offers one of the best surf cultures in the country. This beach is a surfer’s paradise with its mellow waves and the ‘aloha spirit’. It is one of the best vacation spots for those learning how to surf, thanks to the various surfing schools run by professionals.
The more experienced surfers would also enjoy the Waikiki Beach with its long rolling waves and warm air and water. From Pops to Canoes and Queens, there are numerous surfing breaks. Between November and February, waves are more powerful and bigger, which are considered as the best months for skilled surfers.
While you are there, you can tantalize your History bids by taking the Waikiki Historic Trail Tour, which covers close to 23 sites and is completely free of charge. Find out more about free and cheap things to do in Hawaii in our dedicated sampling.
Newport, Rhode Island
If you are looking for 20-foot waves on the East Coast, then Ruggles, a surf-break in Newport may just be your best bet. While there are several other surf breaks in Newport, Ruggles is among the most famous ones especially for those seeking the big waves. Newport has many other surf-breaks as well, including 54th & 56th Streets, Newport Point, The Wedge, and Corona Del Mar among others. Winter is the best time to go surfing here with the winds being more favorable and bigger swells due to the storms. You will find plenty of great surfing schools as well to help you get started on your surfing journey.
Huntington Beach, California
With over 8.5 miles of continuous beach break, Huntington Beach, also known as ‘Surf City USA’ is the among most popular surfing areas in the country. It has everything from some amazing surfing schools to over 50 surf contests and some great surf shops selling some of the best tandems in the world. If you are not coming for the competition, then this surfing vacation is ideal even if you have never surfed before- this beach has seven surf breaks for beginners.
In the right conditions, you will catch some classic hollow waves on this beach. If you want to avoid the summer crowds, going during the winters during bigger swells, between October to March, may be the best time.
York Beach, Maine
Just like New York, Maine may not be one of the first things to come to mind when you think about a surfing vacation. In York Beach is Long Sands, offering consistent longboard waves all through the summer. These gentle waves are perfect for beginners who want to get some experience in surfing and stand on their boards for the first time. Buoys are placed to mark the designated surfing areas.
Do note that especially during summers, surfing is restricted to those specific areas and permitted only during lifeguard hours, which are generally from 9 AM to 5 PM.
You can check out the complete list of our sampling or New York Road Trip Destinations if you wish to visit the place.
San Onofre Beach State Park, California
With a 3-mile beach, the San Onofre Beach State Park has been home to surfing and fishing camps since the 1920s. Trestles is a world-famous spot for surfing, offering consistent waves. Trails is a surf break located in the southern part providing sandy breaks as well as rock bottoms. Two other surf-breaks here are Church and Surf Beach that is further divided into 3 breaks.
Topsail Island, North Carolina
With over 26 miles of coastline and waves for every surfer level, Topsail Island, home to Surf City, is a popular surfing destination. The Topsail Beach on the island’s south end is a more family-friendly location and has small crowds. Most of the time the waves on this beach are small, but you can always paddle towards the larger ones that are waist-deep, varying as per the swells.
For the more experienced surfers, Topsail Island is also home to the King of the Peaks competition. This competition has been going on since 2014 and its proceeds fund the scholarship for a nearby high-school. There are plenty of surf schools and shops in and around the island to help you get the gear and learn all there is to surfing.
Ocean City, New Jersey
South to the central coast of New Jersey lies the surfing mecca of this garden state, Ocean City. This is the most established surfing town in the Northeast, home to some of the most famous professional surfers. You will find consistent waves here. It is the first town along the East Coast where surfing thrived and continues to have one of the most active and visible surfing scenes.
On the 3rd Street Jetty, you will find plenty of chances with waist-to shoulder high waves. While the surfing scene may seem welcoming and friendly here, it can get highly competitive as well. You can plan a vacation here to get a good surfing break and learn from some of the professionals.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Also known as the birthplace of surfing on the East Coast, Virginia Beach offers average but consistent waves for surfing in USA. This is one of the best places to get some experience for those who are relatively new to surfing. For the more experienced surfers, it is also home of the East Coast Surfing Championship- which is ideal to watch the pros or compete in. Do expect some crowds here especially during the championship season.
Rockaway Beach, New York
Situated just an hour away from Manhattan in Queens is the Rockaway Beach. Until a few years ago, this beach was just for the hard-core surfers. But now if you have a nice thick wetsuit to keep you warm, you too can enjoy the frigid surfing conditions at this beach. The best time to experience New York surf is from September through April. January to March in particular are times of big waves with stormy seas.
Rockaway Beach is now home to year-round beach-goers, surfers, and food outlets. This developing scene makes it one of the ideal surfing vacation spots for those who want something unique. There are several surf schools on the beach and shops that will help you get gear on rent. Also, New York City has one of the best nightlife’s in the USA. Check out our guide to find the best nightlife cities in the USA.
South Padre Island, Texas
Texas may not seem like the state to go surfing- especially since it is not quite common there. However, South Padre Island is an exception. This is one of the most consistent spots that has swells from the East, North, and South. Texas waves are generally flat during summers but improve the rest of the year. Wait it out for the hurricane season before vacationing in Texas if you are looking for an adventure.
Cape Lookout, Oregon
Located inside a state park, Cape Lookout is one of the two major surfing spots in Oregon. This beach breaks fast and big, having the best surfing waves in the state. You may find some crowds here, especially of the locals, as this is probably the best place to surf in the state, the second being Seaside Point.
To find out about more surfing locations or Oregon road trip destinations, check out our dedicated sampling.
Sunset Cliffs, San Diego
Sunset Cliff is a hidden surfers paradise in San Diego on the California Coastline. This spot with hidden waves has some killer waves and little Crowds. There are two miles of beach bluffs with glassy barrels during low tides. The trek to get to the beach is a journey in itself- making it the ideal vacation destination.
Maui in Hawaii has some of the best surfing spots for professionals and first-time surfers both. You can see the pro-surfers in action near Lower Paia, especially at Honolua Bay. Peahi is the most famous destination for surfing on big waves. First-timers can take lessons at South and West Maui, which offer less-intimidating waves.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna Beach has Point Inlet, which is also the home of the most consistent waves in Florida. These moderately sized waves offer a great surfing experience for beginners as well as the more experienced surfers. Beware though, a lot of sharks are also known to inhabit this area.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
A small town in North Carolina, Kitty Hawk is famous as the town where the first flight by Wright Brothers took place. The pier at the Outer Banks Island is the place to get the best breaks with good swells as far as the East Coast goes. Head over there to ride some powerful and hollow waves.
These are just 15 of the best locations for surfing in USA, but there is a lot more to explore out there. If you have a property in any such location that is a favorite for tourists, you can easily make it available as a rental with RentalTrader.com. Complete a process that is as simple as filling out a few forms, adding photos and you are all set to start generating rental income from your property.
Tourism and travel are sure to rise in the coming years, and using your property can be the best way to get a good rental income. Reach out to us at Rental Trader to learn more about how you can start doing that.