• Beach Vacations

World's Coolest Surf Towns

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Ride the waves or just soak up the good vibes—these surf towns welcome all comers.

Santa Cruz, CA

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There’s a retro vibe to this surf city some 70 miles south of San Francisco. It’s the kind of place that inspires you to eat cotton candy on the boardwalk and throw your hands up on the roller coaster (rides are $1 on Monday and Tuesday nights). The 106-year-old seaside amusement park is the West Coast’s answer to New York’s Coney Island. Surfers make a beeline for Steamer’s Lane, which locals claim is the country’s best surf spot. At Olitas on the wharf, $6 will get you a taco and a margarita on Tuesdays; walk, bike, run, or skate it off along scenic West Cliff Drive.

World's Coolest Surf Towns

Santa Cruz, CA

There’s a retro vibe to this surf city some 70 miles south of San Francisco. It’s the kind of place that inspires you to eat cotton candy on the boardwalk and throw your hands up on the roller coaster (rides are $1 on Monday and Tuesday nights). The 106-year-old seaside amusement park is the West Coast’s answer to New York’s Coney Island. Surfers make a beeline for Steamer’s Lane, which locals claim is the country’s best surf spot. At Olitas on the wharf, $6 will get you a taco and a margarita on Tuesdays; walk, bike, run, or skate it off along scenic West Cliff Drive.

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