With the Midwest and East Coast of the United States in a deep freeze this winter, the surf, sand and sun is on just about everyone’s mind. For a special surfer’s winter getaway, check out a few of these beaches and islands around the world that shine in the wintertime. If you’re not in the mood to hit the waves, these beaches also make for great spots to take a seat and soak in the sun.
Now everyone knows that nothing beats a spring or summer vacation in the calm waters of the warm Atlantic, but who would have thought that the waves are actually at their peak in the winter? This island located in the Lesser Antilles is in fact renowned to have some of the most consistent swell in the Atlantic Ocean. This is especially true of the eastern shore of the island, where locals and visitors flock to the spot known as the Soupbowl, named for its frothy swell. If the crowds at the Soupbowl are getting you down, try any one of the surrounding white sand beaches. While the waves may be a bit mellow as compared to the Soupbowl, wave conditions found anywhere on Barbados are considered a haven for surfers. The surf can vary from a daily to hourly basis, ranging from glassy to pumping and tubing.
Hanalei Bay (Kaua’i, HI)
While most surfers fly to the north shore of Oahu for fantastic waves, you can get similarly awesome conditions without the heavy crowd on the shores of a different island. On the northern end of Kaua’i sits one of the most scenic beaches in the Hawaiian Islands. The crescent-shaped, 2-mile stretch of beach is cradled by beautiful mountains and is perfect for a family of surfers looking to get away and shred. During the summer months, the waves in the bay are usually gentle and lake-like, but during the winter, conditions are a true delight for surfers. This side of the island
Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz, CA)
For a chillier vacation, Northern California offers the quintessential wave every waterman and waterwoman dreams about. Santa Cruz is known to many as one of the best spots in California for waves, and the right-hand breaks there are to die for. With surf shops located side-by-side in this seaside town, you’ll never need to go far for extra equipment or supplies. Plus, if you come for the surf, you can stay and visit the charm and quirk that is Santa Cruz. Home to the University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs (yes, that is their mascot), the city is full of people from all different walks of life, come together for the love of surf. Be sure to visit the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California’s oldest surviving amusement park and catch the beautiful sunset view on the beach.
As Surfline puts it, “Morocco is to Europe what Mexico is to Californians; a nearby, warmer place with good food, exotic culture and pumping surf.” You’ll find that the best Moroccan waves can be found from November to February, and the area is known for right-hand breaks. Morocco’s winter weather is identical to the Southern California fall and winter climate: warm, sunny and borderline arid. Agadir is a popular spot to surf, but don’t limit yourself to the known spots. The entire northern coast is a jackpot of offshore winds and perfect swell directions that make for heavenly conditions. Journey in this direction for miles of sun-kissed, warm, sandy beaches great for swimming, surfing and relaxing.