Santa Cruz is a magical region south of San Francisco on the edge of Monterey Bay that has legendary surf. It’s beautiful coastline and redwood forests draw an eclectic population to the somewhat sleepy, progressive community. There is a nice variety of surf spots in Santa Cruz and something for every level surfer. To surf here you need to accept colder water temperatures and sharing the ocean with sharks and abundant marine life.
Surf is best in the winter, when you’ll have your choice of multiple spots to choose from. But there breaks that don’t need much to get going. You will always be able to find something fun. It’s south facing geography means it gets hit with most any northwest to south swell. There are beach, point, and reef breaks that can work year round. Steamer Lane and Wadell Creek are popular local favorites. Pleasure Point will have good beginner and longboard spots. Crowds will be thick and fierce, but the abundance of surfable spots and uncharted territory attracts even the most reclusive surfers.