Top 10 Best Surfing Destinations in San Diego

San Diego is a surfers’ paradise with its stunning coastline, consistent waves, and laid-back atmosphere. The city boasts some of the best surf spots in the world, suitable for surfers of all skill levels. From the iconic Swami’s to the family-friendly La Jolla Shores, San Diego has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the top 10 best surfing destinations in San Diego, exploring their unique features and giving you all the information you need to make the most of your next surf trip.

1. Swami’s

Swami’s, situated in the scenic town of Encinitas, is a legendary surf spot celebrated for its reliable waves and picturesque surroundings. The reef break at Swami’s is tailored to intermediate and advanced surfers, offering long, curling waves that pose an exhilarating challenge.

2. Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach is a hidden, visually striking spot nestled beneath the Torrey Pines cliffs. The potent waves and intense currents make it a prime location for experienced surfers. Be ready for a hike down the cliff, but rest assured, the uncrowded lineups and extraordinary surf are well worth the effort.

3. Trestles

Located just north of San Diego, Trestles is a world-renowned surf spot featuring a variety of breaks that accommodate all skill levels. Ranging from the beginner-friendly Middles to the high-performance Lowers, Trestles has a wave suitable for everyone.

4. Oceanside Harbor

Oceanside Harbor presents a combination of beach and jetty breaks, making it appropriate for surfers of all skill levels. With consistent waves and a welcoming local scene, it is an ideal spot for a relaxed surf session.

5. La Jolla Shores

Perfect for beginners and families, La Jolla Shores is a sandy beach break with gentle, rolling waves. It is also a favored spot for longboarding and stand-up paddleboarding, offering a laid-back atmosphere and breathtaking coastal views.

6. Cardiff Reef

Centrally located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Cardiff Reef is a versatile surf spot that caters to both novices and expert surfers. With a mix of reef and beach breaks, it provides enjoyable, rideable waves for everyone.

7. Tourmaline Surfing Park

Tourmaline Surfing Park is a quintessential San Diego surf location, popular among longboarders and shortboarders alike. Its mild waves and amicable atmosphere make it an excellent spot for beginners or those looking to refine their skills.

8. Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach, or “PB,” is a vibrant beach town recognized for its dynamic nightlife and array of surf breaks. From the beginner-friendly Tourmaline to the more demanding Crystal Pier, there is a wave for everyone in PB.

9. Scripps Pier

Located just south of La Jolla Shores, Scripps Pier offers consistent, enjoyable waves that cater to surfers of all abilities. With the picturesque backdrop of the pier and the neighboring Scripps Institution of Oceanography, it is a beautiful spot to catch some waves.

10. Del Mar

Del Mar is a charming coastal community with a variety of surf breaks suitable for all skill levels. From the mellow waves at Powerhouse Park to the powerful peaks at 15th Street, Del Mar provides a diverse range of surf experiences in a visually stunning setting.


The diverse coastline and consistent waves make San Diego a top destination for surfers with different skill levels. With world-class breaks like Trestles and family-friendly shores such as La Jolla, there is a surf spot for everyone in this beautiful Southern California city. So, grab your board, head to the beach, and explore the best surfing destinations San Diego has to offer. You never know – you might just find your new favorite surf spot along the way. Wishing you an enjoyable and memorable surfing experience!

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