California is known to be the place to go when you want to relax in the sun, surf, and enjoy the pleasant California weather. Anywhere the shoreline meets the water is technically a place you could jump in with your board, but some of the best spots are the popular locations filled with locals and tourists alike. Here are some of the most popular California surf spots:

Los Angeles: Let’s start with LA, where many visitors arrive in California. Although the town might be known for the movie business and upscale celebrities, there is still a relaxed and casual vibe in many of the surf beaches in the area. Malibu may be the most famous surf spot in LA and even in America, and for good reason. Although it can be crowded, you can get some great south swells and three points to hang ten. Lesser known spots in LA County include Leo Carillo State Park and County Line.

San Diego: The town has a definite surfer’s atmosphere, and is home to plenty of boarders. One of the most popular spots is the San Onofre State Beach, with three main breaks that are ideal on a southwest swell. It can get very crowded with families, so head further south along the shoreline to get your own surf space. Other favorites in San Diego include Oceanside and San Elijo State Beach.

Santa Cruz: If you want to find a great collection of surf beaches, this may be your best bet in California. For beginners, Cowells is the ideal beach to learn to stand up. Board rentals and teachers help even first timers get the hang of the easy to catch waves. Be prepared to get insurance if you need to rent a soft-top board here. Once you have the hang of it, check out other popular spots in the county, including Manresa and Pleasure Point.

Monterey Country: Here we find a fun mix of wealthy citizens and surfers camped out in RVs. Whatever your lifestyle or budget, you’ll feel at home on the beaches in Monterey. Carmel beach may only half a mile long, but it’s nearly always home to great waves and a vibrant atmosphere. Sand Dollar Beach is a popular spot, although by high tide the sand has disappeared from the shore.