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Southern California is known for many things, but consistent sunshine (think Endless Summer) and reliable surf breaks stand out above the rest. Surfing is a rite of passage for kids who grow up in Socal. Those who visit the beaches of Southern California need to know where to take their boards to. We wanted to provide a map and a list of the best surf breaks in the region.

RELATED: See the best surf spots in all of California

bigs-Huntington Beach Surfing US Open Tatiana Weston-Webb-E1 (Large)

Even if you are not a surfer, heading to the beach to watch the experienced surfers is a good time. Several of the beaches on this list (OB, PB, IB, HB and others) have public piers that give you an even better vantage point for watching.

SurfingSurfer next to Huntington Beach Pier

Below is a list of the best surfing beaches in San Diego County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County. They are listed from south to north.

Beaches on this map

  • Imperial Beach City Beach

    Imperial Beach, California has an impressive beach running the length of its waterfront called Imperial Beach City Beach. This beach is generally located between Palm Avenue and Imperial Beach Boulevard […]

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  • Ocean Beach City Beach

    Ocean Beach City Beach is the main beach in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach. This is a wide sandy beach that has formed at the south side of […]

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  • Mission Beach

    Mission Beach (the beach) is a long wide sandy beach in the Mission Beach area of San Diego. The beaches here are continuous, but Mission Beach is typically considered the […]

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  • Pacific Beach

    Pacific Beach (the beach) is located between Pacific Beach Drive and the Crystal Pier in the Pacific Beach District of San Diego, CA. North of the pier is North Pacific […]

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  • Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach

    Tourmaline Beach is at a San Diego area surfers’ mecca called Tourmaline Surfing Park. This beach sits on the border of the Pacific Beach and La Jolla districts of San […]

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  • Windansea Beach

    Windansea Beach is below Neptune Place in La Jolla at the west end of Westbourne, Nautilus, and Bonair Streets. The name is a shortened version of “Wind-and-Sea” and comes from […]

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  • La Jolla Shores Beach

    La Jolla Shores Beach is a long, wide, and very popular beach in northern La Jolla. Compared to most of the La Jolla beaches which are tucked into gaps between […]

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  • Scripps Beach

    Scripps Beach is adjacent to the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus in northern La Jolla. The long concrete Scripps Pier is not open to the public unfortunately, but the […]

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  • Black’s Beach

    Black’s Beach is a famous clothing-optional beach below a “gliderport” parking area on Torrey Pines Mesa. Blacks is a combo of Torrey Pines City Beach and Torrey Pines State Beach […]

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  • Del Mar City Beach

    The Main Beach of Del Mar City Beach starts at Powerhouse Park and goes north all the way to the lagoon entrance at the San Dieguito River. On the other […]

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  • Cardiff State Beach – Seaside Beach

    Seaside Beach is a sandy beach in Cardiff State Beach at the border between Solana Beach and the Cardiff-by-the-Sea area of Encinitas, CA. Cardiff State Beach is the long sandy strip along […]

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  • Swami’s Beach

    Swami’s Surf Beach is a famous surfing mecca at the south end of Encinitas, CA. The park at Swami’s Beach is a great vantage point for watching surfers and has […]

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  • Beacon’s Beach

    Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas is technically “South Leucadia State Beach” because it is the southern beach access of this state park, but this state-owned and city-run beach has been called […]

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  • Oceanside Pier View North Beach

    Pier View North Beach in Oceanside is a popular sand beach just north of the Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier. The beach on this side of the pier is a little […]

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  • Oceanside Pier View South Beach

    Pier View South Beach is the most popular beach in Oceanside, CA. Like the name suggests, it’s the beach just south of Oceanside Pier, and yes the beach on the […]

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  • San Onofre State Beach – Surfing Beach (Old Man’s)

    San Onofre Surfing Beach (the official state park name) is located next to Camp Pendleton in North San Diego County. Access to this public beach is via the Old Pacific […]

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  • Trestles Beach

    Trestles Beach is the northernmost part of San Onofre State Beach and of San Diego County, but access is from San Clemente in Orange County. Surfers know this area near […]

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  • T Street Beach

    T Street Beach is found at the west end of Esplanade Street in San Clemente and that is why it is sometimes referred to as Esplanade Beach. T-Street is part […]

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  • Salt Creek Beach

    Salt Creek Beach Park is a popular Orange County park located in Dana Point, CA. This wide sandy beach is directly below the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel beach resort, the Ritz […]

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  • West Jetty View Beach – The Wedge

    West Jetty View Park is located at the end of Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, CA. The park is small, but the beach here is large. The waves at this […]

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  • Huntington City Beach

    Huntington City Beach is the center of a long stretch of sandy waterfront for the city of Huntington Beach, CA. This huge asset and the fact that surf’s up regularly […]

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  • Bolsa Chica State Beach

    Bolsa Chica State Beach is a three mile long wide sandy beach in Huntington Beach, CA. Due to its location and size this is a popular beach for sunbathing. With […]

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  • Seal Beach

    Seal Beach (the beach) is located in the city of Seal Beach, a small beachside community wedged between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. It is the northernmost beach town and […]

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  • Hermosa City Beach

    Hermosa City Beach occupies the entire waterfront in the city of Hermosa Beach in LA County. It starts at King Harbor Marina in Redondo Beach and continues north for nearly […]

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  • Manhattan County Beach

    Manhattan Beach (the beach) is the main beach of the city of Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles County. It’s a popular beach that becomes a madhouse on weekends especially near […]

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  • Venice City Beach

    Venice City Beach is the main beach in the Venice District of Los Angeles. It stretches from the Venice Pier up to the north end of the Venice District at […]

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  • Topanga Beach

    Topanga Beach is the closest Malibu California beach to Los Angeles. The Eastern Malibu coast faces south and Topanga Beach is at the east end next to the Pacific Palisades […]

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  • Malibu Surfrider Beach

    Malibu Surfrider Beach is the popular sandy beach and surfing spot between the Malibu Pier and the Malibu Lagoon. Surfrider Beach is part of Malibu Lagoon State Beach which has […]

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  • Zuma Beach

    Zuma Beach is a Los Angeles county park facility in Malibu. It’s a long wide beach with enough parking spaces for the Superbowl. The main beach at Zuma is about […]

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