15 Beach Destinations Where You Can Learn to Surf
Have you ever sat on the beach, watched the surfers do their thing and found yourself filled with a massive amount of admiration mingling with envy? The freedom, the thrill, those sweet yet salty waves lapping against tanned limbs; it looks pretty ideal no matter what ocean you’re gawking at. While watching seasoned surfers is one thing, actually daring to ride the waves yourself can be a daunting dream. Thankfully, there are resort destinations all over the world that are there to help you live out your wave riding fantasies.
1. Del Watersports at Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA: The legendary Hotel del Coronado, famous for its cameo in Some Like it Hot, offers lots more than just old school Hollywood glamour. Along with the stunning architecture and a beachfront locale, they host all sorts of activities for guests including surfing. At Del Watersports, guests can sign up for a group or private surf lesson. They provide everything one needs: wetsuits, boards of all shapes and sizes, and seasoned instructors. Add on the Del Surf Photography package and have photos and videos captured on a GoPro by a surf instructor during the lesson to show off your new skills to friends and family. (Photo via Hotel Del Coronado)
2. Dreamsea Surf Camp, Various Locations: Surf camp Dreamsea takes surf students to waves all over the world at their locations in Bali, France, Nicaragua, Portugal, Spain, and Sri Lanka. Their accommodations range from sleeping in tents in France to staying in a beachfront villa in Sri Lanka. At all the locations there’s culinary delights, a wide variety of activities, and surfing instruction for every level.
3. Kalon Surf, Costa Rica: For a deep dive into surfing culture, head to Kalon Surf for a seven-night all-inclusive luxury surf experience. Minutes from their chic resort are pristine and crowd-free beaches where the surf coaches, who can address every skill level, will build confidence and surfing awareness with post surf video analysis and photo coaching. Along with surfing, they include gourmet meals, a mid-week massage, and beautifully appointed rooms. (Photo via Kalon Surf)
4. The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, BC: When you think of surfing, you usually don’t think of British Columbia. But if you happen to be up north and are yearning to hit the waves, the concierge team at the well-appointed Wickaninnish Inn can help. Along with watching the surf from the guestrooms overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Chesterman Beach, you can ride the waves with customized surf experiences for beginners and experienced surfers. (Photo via The Wickaninnish Inn)
5. Paséa Hotel & Spa, Huntington Beach, CA: Hit the waves in “Surf City, USA” AKA Huntington Beach, California. The Paséa’s concierge team can hook guest up with the HB Surf School for a one-of-a-kind experience like having private surf lessons by Clint Carroll Surf School (the son of famed surfer Corky Carroll, who’s known for being the very first real pro surfer). Or guests can opt for a “surf fit” class, a guided 45-minute body weight training fitness class with an emphasis on toning and strengthening the body to prep for hitting the waves.
6. Witches Rock, Costa Rica: At Witches Rock, there are camps for the beginner, the intermediate, the advanced, and for families all at a beachfront hotel. This low key surf camp includes a mix of daily surf lessons, surf seminars, surf tours by van and boat, video analysis, and they even have a graduation surf trip and party. (Photo via Witches Rock)
7. Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach, CA: This summer, Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand Resort is offering guests a crash course in surf culture with their Make a Splash package. Included are a one night stay, a hearty breakfast or lunch, and the choice of a private surf camp for two or stand up paddleboard lessons where guests learn how to paddle out, use wave judgment, learn surf etiquette, and pop-up techniques.
8. Rosarito Beach Hotel & Spa, Baja Mexico: Known for hosting spring breakers of every age, Baja has way more to offer than fish tacos and a multitude of margaritas; the area also has some of the best waves in the Pacific. Guests at the Rosarito Beach Hotel can surf the waves where the Mexican national championships were held and also sign up for one of the hotel’s many surf lessons. (Photo via Rosarito Beach Hotel)
9. Surf Diva, San Diego: Twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi provide a wide range of educational surfing experiences geared towards women, although they also very much welcome men and have oodles of options for kids. Along with their private and group classes, they host surfing camps for kids from age 5-17, hold a Five-Day Women’s Surf Clinic, and offer adult surfing camps in Costa Rica.
10. Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort, Kauai, HI: Located on the “sunny side” of the island at Poipu Beach, this boutique hotel is a perfect home base for beachy adventures. The hotel is located by a surf spot that is perfect (and safe) for beginners and fully trained instructors are available for group, semi-private, or private classes. For more challenging surfing, there are several legendary surf spots nearby including Salt Pond, Allerton’s, Kukuiula Harbor, Davidson’s at Kekaha and more. (Photo via Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort)
11. The Resort at Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Learn to surf with local pros during The Resort at Pedregal’s Find Your Board Room: Baja Surfing Paradise Luxploration excursions. Lessons happen along the stunning Baja Sur coastline with its warm water, ample waves, and lesser populated beaches. The trips range from a beginners paddle out at the beach break of Los Cerritos to the full throttle wave riding at Zippers’ right reef break. (Photo via The Resort at Pedregal)
12. Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA: For those who want a quick lesson in surfing, head to the Monarch’s Surf Hosts at the Beach Club’s Ocean Adventure for their brand new 30-Minute No Fail surf lesson which guarantees that all students will be able to stand up on a board by the end of the lesson. They also offer private and group surf, body board, and stand-up paddleboard instruction too. (Photo via Monarch Beach Resort)
13. Eden Roc Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: This Eden Roc Relais & Châteaux resort has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation: beachside villas, fine dining, a brand new 30,000 square Solaya Spa & Wellness center, and last but not least, surfing. The Ride & Relax package offers surf and kitesurfing lessons for the beginner to the pro on some of the best waves in the world. (Photo via Eden Rock Cap Cana)
14. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, CA: Sitting on the edge of the Pacific Ocean atop a 150-foot bluff, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is an ideal place to dive into surfing. Their So Cal Surf Experience includes a luxury room plus a two-hour lesson that includes beach instruction, paddling techniques, ocean awareness, and safety; everything you need to know to get started. The experience ends with a photo session with the hotel’s photographer to show all your pals that you are indeed a surfer now.
15. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, Maui, HI: The newly-renovated Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, located in Ka‘anapali right at the foot of legendary Pu‘u Keka‘a, partners with the Ka‘anapali Surf Club for guests to fulfill their surfing dreams. They offer 90-minute private, semi-private, and group surf lessons on the beautiful Ka‘anapali Beach at Ka‘anapali Point. After learning about surf safety and water etiquette, guests hit the waves with their coaches for an hour of surfing. (Photos via Island Dream Productions and Kaanapali Surf Club)
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