With an unseasonably warm December finally giving way to arctic-level temperatures in January, it might be time to plan a winter getaway and rediscover the sun and sand. Escape the threat of snow by heading to one of the five destinations below, known as some of the best surf spots during the winter months!
1. San Diego, CA: Black’s Beach
San Diego’s Black’s Beach is a secluded, two mile beach situated at the base of 300 foot cliffs (where you can often spot hang gliders floating above, adding to the excitement!). The cliffs are part of the beautiful Torrey Pines, one of the wildest stretches of land in Southern California. Black’s Beach boasts one of the most powerful surf breaks in Southern California, with exceptionally strong waves. Due to the large surf, fast waves and crowds, Black’s Beach is best tackled by more advanced surfers. Visitors to the area should check out the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina or the Bahia Resort Hotel, both competitively priced and located near the beach.
2. Kauai, HI: Hanalei Beach
The Hawaiian island of Kauai, known as the “Garden Isle” for its tropical rainforests, is home to Hanalei Beach. Hanalei, a two-mile beach with white stands, is both a romantic paradise and a world-class surfing destination. The best surf season is a fairly long one, from September to May, so it’s the perfect place to check out in the winter. The beach is a great option for surfers of all levels as the current is study and the waves break evenly. Kaui Shores and Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa by Outrigger are decently priced yet upscale hotel options for visitors, both located just a 40 minute drive from Hanalei.
3. Rincon, Puerto Rico: Rincon Beach
For budget-conscious travelers, Rincon Beach, located on the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico, is an inexpensive surf destination boasting great waves.The island itself offers unparalleled beauty, with the clear water, white sand beaches, and palm trees, making it the perfect place to forget about snow! Rincon offers waves for all levels, with the gentle Caribbean providing softer swells while the Atlantic produces tougher waves for more advanced surfers. Those wishing to stay in the undisputed surfing capital of the Caribbean should consider the Rincon Beach Resort or the Case Verde Hotel, offering laid-back luxury at hard to beat prices.
4. Queensland, Australia: The Gold Coast
Those willing to travel Down Under for their winter surfing fix should explore the steady waves of Australia’s Gold Coast. Host to the Association of Surfing Professional Tour, the beach is a haven for fans of the sport. Early birds will enjoy mornings, when waves nearly always come in. The fun continues all day as well, as the southern stretch of the Gold Coast offers some of the longest rideable waves worldwide. Visitors have many options for lodgings, but the Crowne Plaza Surfer’s Paradise and the Mantra on View Hotel are affordable options catering specifically to out-of-towners looking to ride the waves.
5. Bathsheba, Barbados: The Soup Bowl
Home to the Atlantic’s most consistent surf, the eastern part of Barbados offers a constant swell and endless routes, making it a great option for surfers looking for new challenges. The Soup Bowl, so named for its foamy surf, is an always rideable reef break popular with both locals and visitors. It’s best for surfers who don’t mind crowds, as the consistent swells mean there’s always someone around. Visitors should try staying in the Crystal Cove All Inclusive Resort or the Atlantis Hotel, both just a quick 30 minute drive from the beach.