Catch Some Waves at a Surfing Beach in Southern California
Top Five Surfing Beaches in Orange County CA
Orange County is blessed with some spectacular surfing beaches, and this wondrous stretch of coastline is a hotspot for California surfing and surfing culture. While quality surfing can be found year-round, the best time of year to surf is in the summer and fall, as storms coming from the Southern Hemisphere and Baja create larger swells for more enjoyable surfing conditions. Continue reading for the top five surfing beaches in Orange County CA.
Salt Creek • Dana Point
Located in a beautiful large cove in the northern end of Laguna Niguel, Salt Creek attracts a collection of locals, long boarders and boogie boarders, as well as the Dana High School surf team. It features three different areas — “The Point,” “Middles” and “Gravels,” which offers some very fast right breaking tubes during higher swells.
Known as the unofficial Surf City of California, Huntington Beach is a premiere surfing destination. While surfing around the pier can get crowded and competitive, Huntington Beach offers several miles of high-quality California surf break, with some emptier peaks around Bolsa Chica, the cliffs and south of the pier. When Huntington gets the combination of swells from the south-southwest and west, combined with offshore/Santa Ana winds, get ready for a phenomenal surfing experience.
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Lower Trestles • San Clemente
The world famous “Lower Trestles,” also known as “Lowers,” is a part of a stretch of several surf breaks collectively known as “Trestles” and is one of the best surf spots in all of California, with high energy surfing conditions. Located in a mostly undeveloped stretch of land, Trestles is situated in a beautiful area where the San Mateo Creek empties into the ocean. Trestles as a whole offers surfing for all abilities — from North to South — “Cottons Point,” “Upper Trestles,” “Lowers,” “Middles” and “Church,” with the most challenging conditions at the Lowers.
San Onofre (“San O”) • San Clemente
Located in San Onofre State Beach, “San O” is a historic surfing spot that dates back to the days of all-wooden surf boards. It’s a great beginners spot with mostly gentle rolling waves. The three main breaks include “The Point” (the most challenging), “Old Man’s” and the easiest, “Dog Patch.”
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Trails • San Clemente
Also located in San Onofre State Beach, Trails offers consistent quality surfing, with the best conditions in the summer when winds come from the east. Waves come from both the left and right, and surfing is best around mid-tide when the tide is rising. Trails is great if you’re looking for an uncrowded area, with a series of dirt trails that meander down to the beach with camping spots, just off the 5 freeway.
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