Whether you are an avid surfer or someone who has never set foot on a board before, you are probably excited by the idea of riding the waves. If you do fall into the novice category, you wouldn't want to head to the huge swells on Oahu's North Shore. However, there are plenty of surf spots where everyone from new surfers to experienced wave riders can enjoy themselves both on the water and away from it.
Even for the most avid surfer, a surf retreat is not only about the time spent on the water. Certain surf spots have the facilities and attractions to offer a complete summertime holiday experience with nighttime concerts, great seafood, parties, shopping, and maybe even a bit of culture. Finding a destination with a balanced menu of activities and attractions is important if you want to have a surf retreat that could also be considered an ideal summertime vacation.
Planning a surf retreat that everyone will enjoy
The best surf retreats are as fun away from the water as they are on it. If you can plan a well-rounded summer vacation with a surfing element, you will be certain that everyone will enjoy themselves. Perhaps someone in your group doesn't like to surf, or they become frustrated by the learning curve. In a well-rounded destination, these non-surfers won't be stuck sitting on the beach for the whole day. They will have opportunities to find other thrills and make other memories out of the water.
Everyone is aware of the amazing surf spots in the far-flung corners of the globe. However, some of the best places to catch waves are actually very accessible. If you live on one of the coasts of the US, for example, you might find that you are within driving distance of some amazing waves and some awesome beach scenes.
Here are several places, both near and far-flung, where you can enjoy a summertime surf retreat this year.
An exotic surf destination
Bali and Fiji are two of the most famous surf destinations in the world. Both these Pacific Ocean hotspots have a variety of waves, from gentle rollers that are perfect for beginners to tall barrels that will excite experienced riders. Also, both Bali and Fiji highlight what we have just been saying about an ideal surf destination....
Bali is a culture-rich island that has traditions that are not seen anywhere else on earth. Hindu statues, colorful festivals and exotic wildlife are everywhere on this Indonesian isle. A trek inland to the art town of Ubud is the best way to come into contact with the cultural side of Bali. A good resort on Bali can put you in close proximity to both the waves and the culture.
Fiji is made up of remote island chains. The best way to find a well-rounded vacation experience here is to check into an island resort. The ultimate option is Laucala. This resort is on its own private island. Over-water thatched-roof villas provide accommodations to guests, who are pampered with gourmet restaurants and spa services. Fiji is a haven for adventurers. In addition to finding waves, Laucala's guests can ride the island's beaches on horseback, dive the clear coastal waters or learn another water sports, like sailing or kite surfing.
American surf destinations (besides Hawaii)
Hawaii is America's surf hotspot, but some of the best surf retreat destinations are right on the coasts of the US mainland. Big Sur, California, for example, has a number of different surf spots. This region has a more-rustic feel than, say, San Diego or Malibu. When you aren't surfing or headed inland to visit a Central California winery, you can simply sit in your hotel room at a place like Big Sur's Post Ranch Inn and enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific.
On the other side of the country, the Long Island enclave of Montauk draws summertime vacationers from all over the US (and even from overseas). The aptly named Surf Lodge can provide a stylish retreat with easy access to the waves. This resort also has a summertime concert series and one of the best seafood restaurants in the Hamptons.
Florida is another great surf spot, though most of the people who ride the waves here are locals. Atlantic Beach, near Jacksonville, sees some of the best conditions in the state. One of the best accommodations in the area is the Atlantic Beach Estate. Originally designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this vacation venue has a sense of classic style that few Florida resorts can match. Away from the waves, the town of Atlantic Beach has a vibrant arts community and plenty of shopping spots.
Tell us what you think...
Do you surf? Or would you like to learn? Use the comments section to tell us about your favorite surf retreat destination or about where you would like to go to learn to ride the waves this summer.