California Surf Museum

Top choice in San Diego

It's easy to spend an hour in this heartfelt museum of surf artifacts, from a timeline of surfing history to surf-themed art and a radical collection of boards. It also houses the camera that Doc Ball, surfing's first dedicated photographer, used to snap pioneering images in the 1930s.

Exhibits change frequently; previous themes have included Women of Surfing, Adaptive Surfing and Surfers of the Vietnam War. The surfboards which appeared on the TV show American Pickers are still on display in the Plastic Fantastic section.

Bethany Hamilton's surfboard

The museum's most popular exhibit is the surfboard of professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, which has a huge shark bite taken out of it. Hamilton lost her left arm in the 2003 attack at Kaua'i's Tunnels Beach in Hawaii, but she has since recovered and continues to surf professionally. The bikini she wore on the day of the attack makes up part of the exhibit too.

Tickets and other practicalities

The California Surf Museum is located at 312 Pier View Way in Oceanside, San Diego. Admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for students and children under 12 years go free. On the first Tuesday of month, tickets are reduced to $1.

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