Surf Road Trip
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Feb 13, 2013 3:39 AM Last Post By: bobatea
Feb 11, 2013 6:11 AM
Surf Road TripHello,
My brother and i are planning a surf road trip through the west coast of america for the end of the year. We were planning on either renting or buying a Van but were not sure which would be a better. We Are hoping to head to America maybe fly into either Miami and drive across to the west coast or start in Seattle. We were hoping to start in October and can travel up the west coast for at least till decmber where we would like to head into Canada for a month. I was wondering if anyone could help us with the road trip i've been doing my own research but figured locals would know a lot more than web pages would.
Information that would be helpful would be:
-Best surf spots on the west coast
-Rental Van or Buy Van?
-How long would the trip take to drive
-My bro and I also like to party so any good nightlife or festivals/events going on during that period
-Any other fun and exciting things to do other than surf on our way up, we are a bit of adrenaline junkies so big theme parks or anything to get the heart racing
Also we don't mind deviating the drive a bit to go check out some of americas beauties either natural or man made
Thanks any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated
Feb 11, 2013 7:27 AM
1A quick note first:
It seems like you'll be here for at bout three months, maybe longer, with a month in Canada. If you enter via the Visa Waiver Program, you are only allowed 90 days from your first entry into the US, and your time in Canada is included unless you do not come back to the US (even to transit). I would definitely be aware of the issues that this could cause for your plans.
Buying a car.
Renting a car.
You must have insurance. See FAQ 271.
You cannot sell the car in Canada unless you formally import it. This involves a lot of paperwork and fees.
Feb 11, 2013 7:40 AM
- You're planning to surf in December? Can you change your timing at all?
- Best surfing is on the Pacific coast mostly between San Diego and SF. However, anything north of Santa Barbara is going to have pretty cold water, especially in November and December. October is a good month for surfing anywhere in California, however. You might even be able to skip a wetsuit that month. You'll need it most other months.
Here's a list of some of the best surfing spots: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/beach2003/2003-10-08-best-surfing_x.htm
- You may also want to spend some of your time in Hawaii
- There is good nightlife in most major cities. Once you figure out a route, we can recommend specific spots. You may want to make a quick detour to Vegas (about 4 hrs from LA)
- Magic Mountain outside of LA is a must for an adrenaline junkie who wants to check out a theme park. Here's a list of some other activities you might like. If anything sounds interesting, let us know and we can help with destinations that offer these activities on your final route. http://www.nerverush.com/adrenaline-junkie-activities/
Feb 11, 2013 7:55 AM
3Keep in mind it will be winter on the west coast, lots of storms and frigid waters to say least.
I dont know why you would want to head to this area to surf, when everyone in that area will be surfing in Central America, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica.
As a surfer myself, thats is where I head all year round, as the water is much warmer, no sharks, lodging is 1/4 the price, the food is better and 1/10th the price, the bear is cheap, the women are everywhere, and atmosphere far more exotic, tropical and geared to a surfer on a budget, as you can take busses, shuttles, boats and taxi hire thru each country.
Though Oct is rainy season and hurricane season in the gulf, you could start in LA, then bus to Mexico, down the Baja and into Guatemala, then surf your brains out from El Salvador on south.
Then get a a boat to Nicaragua bypassing Honudras to here...
The head to San Juan Del Sur-
The head to Costa Rica, endless beaches to surf party, most the californian surfers have winter residences along this coast.
And the longest left break in the Americas, in a Jungle setting.. Playa Pavones
These links just scratch the surface for surf towns/breaks. In the US, you will be lucky to stay within a few miles of the beaches due to high cost, and limited budget lodging options (none overall) and a cold wind and water, why on earth would you come to the US to surf?
You can hang out in Central America on $20-30 day and live like a king, roll out of hammock and surf, all day long.
Feb 11, 2013 7:57 AM
4What #1 is saying is that you are going to need a full tourist visa to do what you want to do. For most Australians, this visa is good for multiple entry over 5 years.
Travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean
You might want to look into Mavericks. This is a surf contest. You can't participate, but you can watch. Maybe. The contest is held south of San Francisco.
The "giant swells" can be 15 meters or more.
The viewing is a large party with big screen broadcasting the event. A news article about this year's contest. You can sign up for alerts to get a notice that it's happening.
Be sure to bring wetsuits. You will need them. Water temperatures along the West Coast can be pretty cold and surfers wear wetsuits at that time of year. Southern Calif. water temperatures There are links on the right to take you farther north.
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Feb 11, 2013 8:04 AM
5Looks as if you should buy...as surfing equipment and sand will "trash" a rental van over time... What you probably require is a fill size "conversion van" Having a fold down bed,cooker & mebbie a loo... Or a older Class "B" full on,mini motor home...As these units are best found near retirement communities... I suggest you fly direct Phoenix,Las Vegas or Portland(there is no sales tax in the State of Oregon) You will need to figure out a "permanent"address ... As you must, license and insure the unit in your name... Plan on about $5,000 US, in up front costs...carracar
Feb 11, 2013 8:05 AM
6Smart Cookie- your advice is absurd
No wet suit in Oct in California? Have your surfed there, or do you surf?
Magic Mountain outside of LA is a must for an adrenaline junkie...now that is funny-
In Central America
Extreme Zip Lines
All in a natural setting, no manmade theme parks...
You can snowboard in Cali at Heavenly valley- or Ski, in Dec.
Its a 5 day drive from Miami to LA, and a very boring one at that, unless you stop at the national parks, but Oct many can be getting bad weather...New Orleans would be worth a stop.
Decent surfing north of Miami, especially is a tropical storm is nearby...otherwise, Virginia and Carolinas is next decent surf.
Feb 11, 2013 8:08 AM
Feb 11, 2013 8:43 AM
8Sorry. Solo. Disagree 100%.
First, the OP asked for a THEME PARK specifically for adrenaline junkie. I provided a theme park recommendation for that. Magic Mountain has the best rollercoasters in California.
Second, October water temperature are pretty much the same as summer temperatures. No problems surfing without a wetsuit in San Diego, Malibu etc. You can stop by there this October and see plenty of surfers do it. http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/spac.html
Feb 11, 2013 9:03 AM
9I used to surf in La Jolla all the time, every August, and mostly everyone, even then, wore a wetsuit.
By the way, these surf breaks in Cali everyone is talking about, are about 100 times more crowded than in Central America too, so have fun with that...
Feb 11, 2013 9:10 AM
Feb 11, 2013 11:34 AM
Feb 13, 2013 3:39 AM
12Your trip seems a little goofy.
Warm water in socal peaks at approx 70* for 2) weeks, at best.
End of year winter-time = 50s
I spent 2) months in Santa Teresa, CR last year.
Can't wait to go back.
endless warm water waves DAILY
beautiful yoga woman everywhere
beer sucked, but Flur de Cana Nicaraguan rum was A+!!!!
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