Catch a Wave at One of the Top Surf Spots This Summer

Sand, sunshine, and salty ocean water. There are few things more quintessentially San Diego than hitting the surf at the beach. In fact, San Diego is known for having some world-class surfing spots, and plenty of options for all skill levels. Since beaches can get crowded, especially during the warmer summer months, be sure to get there early enough to stake out your spot and make parking a bit easier too. So grab your board and some sunscreen and check out some of these top local spots to catch the perfect wave!


La Jolla Shores, La Jolla

La Jolla Shores is one of San Diego’s best and most popular beaches. It’s a safe spot for beginners to learn or practice surfing on gentle waves. And it’s great for the whole family – the beach has year-round lifeguard services, good facilities, a parking lot, fire pits, and a children’s playground just across the sidewalk. Several surf schools operate from here as well.

Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach
Tourmaline has a history of being a true surf hangout for San Diego locals. The waves are soft and gentle and the beach comes equipped with showers and restrooms. Hop on over to Garnet Ave. after your surf session for a bite to eat while you watch the sun set.

Swami’s Beach, Encinitas
Swami’s is an internationally known spot for good surf. A variety of breaks make for high-performance waves for longboard and shortboard surfers. It can be difficult to paddle out here, though, so strong swimming skills are a must.

Black’s Beach, La Jolla
Black’s is arguably home to San Diego’s best surf. An offshore underwater trench funnels powerful swells into this area, which can be dangerous for inexperienced surfers. Getting to the beach requires a bit of trekking and since Black’s is infamous for its “clothing optional” rule, it might be best to leave the kids home for this one.

Lower Trestles, San Onofre
Lowers, as it’s called, is part of a collection of surfing spots at San Onofre State Beach that sits at the top of San Diego County. It is one of the world’s most high-profile and high-performance spots, often hosting expert and even professional-level surfers. For this reason, Lowers can get crowded and claiming waves can get competitive.