Can’t drop everything to chase waves in Tahiti? Stick to these closer-to-home breaks. From Western Mexico to Encinitas, here’s where you should consider taking your next surf trip.
Punta de Mita, Western Mexico
This quick and easy warm-water getaway is less than an hour from Puerto Vallarta International Airport and clusters a handful of fun, crystal-clear beaches that are reliably wave-packed from November until early April. The best is Punta Burros, a right-hand reef near the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, which sits just above the break. Expect families and out-of-towners.
Playa Encuentro Beach, Northern Dominican Republic
Near touristy Caberete, and just 25 minutes from the airport, is Playa Encuentro—one of the most consistent surf spots in the Caribbean. There are five breaks, ranging from mellow to gnarly, with the biggest waves coming February to April. Spring and summer bring manageable chest-high waves, to challenge rookies.
Encinitas, Southern California
With 70 miles of circuitous coastline and a seemingly endless array of surf spots, San Diego County is arguably the most wave-blessed place in the continental U.S. While the best surf arrives in the fall, waves break here year-round. Base yourself in Encinitas, in the northern part of the county, which is home to Grandview Beach—a super-reliable and easy-riding break usually filled with locals.