Best for Learning to Surf
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Grand Isle State Park, Louisiana

Known as the Cajun Bahamas, the beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana (110 miles south of New Orleans), offer killer fishing and kayaking and, when the winds are blowing, surprisingly good surf breaks. Though Grand Isle was belted by hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, its beaches have been restored, and nearby salt marshes still produce prize 20-pound redfish. Captain Danny Wray specializes in kayak fishing, offers long-range motor-assisted "mothership" charters and surf lessons, and runs the island's best fish camp.