Surfing in San Diego

From the warm La Jolla beaches to the diverse breaks of Oceanside, surfing in San Diego offers endless fulfillment Continue reading for the best San Diego beach spots and food to go along with it!

surfing in san diego

#1 La Jolla San Diego

If your simply thinking of heading to La Jolla to surf, think again, you have a few specific spots to choose from.

  •   Black’s Beach

One of the great spots of La Jolla San Diego, this golden surf spot is purely for experienced surfers and good swimmers. Thrillist describes this spot as “a gorge that drops quickly to 120 deep and, farther out, wanders to depths of 1,600ft. Waves coming in through the gorge bend and shift as they hit the shallow sandbars. Black’s has many faces, from fun, high-performance peaks to scary “canyon” set that break up to 25 ft. It’s unpredictable.”

With no amenities on this La Jolla beach, bring plenty of water and some snacks. Otherwise, you’re close to the University of California, so plenty of cool local La Jolla restaurants to eat at there.

  •   Windansea

The jewel of La Jolla and also a protected spot by locals. You’ll see old-school local surfers and their kids making sure they get the best waves. These sets break far off the shoreline and further injure people consistently throughout the year. Making it a spot for experienced surfers only. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to spare your feelings and just enjoy the beautiful La Jolla beach itself. With rock caves, tides pools and of course some great surf watching, you’ll have a glorious day either way.

You can stay in the Village of La Jolla San Diego and grab some great post-surf bites and cocktails at The Promiscuous Fork or the local spots El Pescador Fish Market and Verdes El Ranchero.

  • The Shores

With Black’s Beach and Windansea being for intermediate-advanced surfing in San Diego, The Shores are for all you beginners out there. With this beach having all walks of life enjoying themselves, you’ll be able to find some great people-watching along with dozens of surf schools to pick from. Just make sure you do the stingray shuffle, which means to walk in the water shuffling your feet, not picking them up. Being the stingray capital of San Diego, you’ll want to be scaring the stingray away, not stepping on them.

While we are talking about animals, also know that this La Jolla beach is where leopard sharks come to carry their young in the warm waters. Being docile creatures, all you have to do is stand still and enjoy the view.

Post surf breakfast can be had at Harry’s Coffee Shop. For lunch, a huge burrito or bowl at Rimel’s.  

La Jolla San Diego

#2 Pacific Beach

Also known as PB, Pacific Beach is known for its beginner style, gentle wave breaks. The ideal spot for kids and adults to learn how to get up on that wobbly board. The great thing about this spot is the usual pretentious “what are you doing surfing on our beach” vibe is nonexistent. With it being a pretty universally known place for all surfers to do what they enjoy, you can go out in confidence and leave the beach smiling.

This college, nightlife area will have you surfing and partying on all your vacation days. Mix in some great eats and you’ll be struggling to force yourself to leave.

Post surf breakfast should be at Kono’s Café, a cheap lunch could have you chowing down Mexican at Taco Surf and if you’re contemplating something a little fancy, you can head to Suppannee House of Thai for Dinner.

Lo Jolla Beach

#3 Lower Trestles

Although on the San Clemente side of San Diego, locals claim this high-profile beach as their own. With these waves creating California surf legends since the ’70s, you’ll show up to a crowd of competitive surfers looking to fight for the perfect wave. If your up for it, and very experienced, try your luck out. If not, you can head to the many other surf spots around the area. Either way, it’s a great place to come and see the waves that Kelly Slater calls his favourite.

Being a pretty secluded surfing spot, accommodations close by are scarce. However, Nomads Hotel sits a short 5 minutes away and a must-eat is Pedro’s Tacos for some cheap grub.

San Diego beach

#4 Oceanside

Another desired spot for beginners, this area will not merely bring you some fun waves to surf but is also known as the coolest beach community in San Diego. You’ll discover local surfers to be fishermen, skaters or musicians alike. Throughout the summer you’ll find a mix of playful waves or dumping barrels, making it a fun surf spot to enjoy.

Being such a popular destination and a great place to learn to surf, there are, very literally, plenty of places to eat and sleep. Just do us a favour and try as many good eats as you can. The list runs deep.

There you have it, the top beaches to surf when visiting San Diego. Remember to always be mindful of locals and that you must try a California Burrito before leaving!

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Surfing In San Diego
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