September 23, 2016

Best Beaches: Top beaches for surfers in and around Orange County

One of the most recognizable and well known things to do in Orange County is surfing. Riding waves, salty hair, and surf lessons all seem to be part of the Southern California experience, and what better way to take part in that adventure than to explore our best Orange County surf spots to catch a wave or ten!

You'll find awesome surfing opportunities all along the California coast and in Orange County especially. Here are our top picks for the best beaches in Orange County for surfers.

1. Huntington Beach
Taking its place at the very top of the list is Huntington Beach. This iconic location celebrates its surfing culture every year by hosting the U.S. Open, where surfers of all ages and levels come together to compete. On a typical day, Huntington Beach is filled with locals, drinking shakes from Ruby’s diner, hanging out on the pier, and swimming in the water! Whether you are new to surfing or an old timer, Huntington Beach always seems to be the place to be for a solid surfing afternoon.

Parking: Huntington Beach offers a variety of parking meter spots, usually starting at $1.50 an hour, or beach parking lots with rates around $15 per day, depending on the season. For detailed information about parking, check out . For the widest variety of parking options, consider purchasing an annual beach pass from the City of Huntington Beach .

Rentals & Gear: With its heavy surfing culture, HB is surrounded by many surfing rental options. Zack’s Rentals is a local favorite, and they also serve burgers and burritos for a satisfying end to a long surf session!

2. 56th Street Newport Beach
Imagine waking up on a beautiful Southern California morning, glancing out the window, and noting the perfect weather and conditions to surf. Where should you travel to for the best surfing experience? Newport Beach’s 56th Street would be the perfect choice. With it’s sandy bottoms and jetty, 56th Street is known to provide steady waves and good combination swells for professionals and amateurs! It's also just a few minutes' drive from our Court Street Condos , so if you're staying our Newport Beach vacation rentals, be sure to visit 56th Street!

Parking: 56th Street gets quite busy if you are not an early bird. There are a number of metered spaces available, though, surrounding 56th-starting at $1.75 and hour. Or, try parking by Balboa Pier, only a short walk away.

Rentals & Gear: If you're a Beachside guest we would love to introduce you to our local surf experts and set you up with the perfect surf lessons in Newport Beach . If you're looking for more options, or if you're not staying with Beachside, try Ray’s Rentals , Newport Beach Surfing Lessons , or The Frog House Surf Shop for a wide spread of gear options, and lessons.

3. T-Street Beach
If you are looking to have a surf-intensive day, T-Street Beach may be the surf spot for you. Located right by the San Clemente Pier, this beach is so focused on its surfing culture, that it is declared ‘blackballed’, or exclusively dedicated to surfing and boarding, from the hours of 9am to 6pm during the summertime. Whether you are staying nearby for a San Clemente vacation, or looking for some San Clemente surf lessons, T-Street’s enthusiasm for the sport influences all visitors and locals to try out the waves!

Parking: Parking can be difficult, especially during the peak of summer. The easiest way to enjoy T-Street is to stay at one of our nearby vacation rentals. Our Monterey Condos, Pier Bowl Condos, and Ola Vista vacation rental are all half a mile or less from T-Street so you can walk, or elect one of your party to drop the rest of you off with your surf gear. There are also a number of metered parking spots nearby, so do not fear!

Rentals & Gear: If you're staying with us, let Beachside help you plan the perfect San Clemente surf lessons . Our local surfing contacts will set you up for success. If you're not a Beachside guest, or if you need more options, the BC Surf Shop , Surf Skate Supply , San Clemente Surf School , and T Patterson Surf Shop are all San Clemente local rental and specialty shops where you can find the gear you need.

4. Salt Creek Beach
Known to be both friendly and serious about surfing, Salt Creek Beach ’s surfing seems to be on of the most popular things to do in Dana Point. This beach is sectioned off into three areas: “The Point”, “Middles”, and “Gravels”-describing its waves and surfing conditions. But Salt Creek offers more than just surfing opportunities. It is located right below Ritz Carlton Drive, making it accessible to the Dana Point Harbor , and other Dana Point restaurants and shopping.

Parking: Plentiful parking is available at $1 an hour!

Rentals & Gear: Beach and surf rentals are available a little closer to Dana Point Harbor on Pacific Coast Highway. Check out Girl in the Curl , Keli's Outrigger , Jack’s Surfboards , and Killer Dana Surf shop .

Pro-tip: Salt Creek Beach is located right next to the Monarch Beach Golf Links , making this location ideal if you want to both surf and golf. For a perfectly located Dana Point vacation rental with ocean and golf course views, check out our Tennis Villa vacation rental .

5. Trestles Beach
Last, but definitely not least, Trestles Beach. For the more advanced surfer, Trestles Beach in San Clemente offers competitions every year in association with the National Scholastic Surfing Association, and is the neighborhood favorite for experienced surfers and professionals. Some even call Lower Trestles the "best surf spot in the world." For families, this location is an exciting place to watch as surfing veterans ride sold waves and challenge new ones. Plus, the walk to the beach is filled with enjoyable nature and wildlife.

Parking: There is no immediate parking by Trestles Beach. Park by the State Parking Lot with an Annual Pass, $2 an hour, $15 a day, or find street parking on El Camino Real. The walk from both these locations is about a half a mile.

Rentals: Just like Salt Creek, there are many options to choose from near Trestles Beach. Along with Jack’s, and Killer Dana, there are Surfboard Rentals San Clemente , San Clemente Surf School , BC Surf Shop , Surf Skate Supply , and T Patterson Surfboards .

Pro-tip: If you're a hiker, check out this guide to hiking at Trestles and San Onofre . And i f you plan to spend a lot of time at Trestles and nearby San Onofre beaches, book a stay at our Surfer's Row vacation rental on El Camino Real. Surfer's Row is about a mile from Trestles, with plenty of space to store surfboards and other gear.

Looking for more?
There are so many great surf spots in Southern California, and we've only listed a few. The best way to find new surfing adventures is to ask other local surfers where they like to go to catch the perfect wave.

Stay tuned for our next post, best beaches for a romantic stroll on the coast!

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