Surfin’ Highway 1

2 people, 525 miles, 3 days

by Samantha S.


Surfing in Northern California is not only challenging, but also offers one of the more grand and picturesque views unique to this part of California. While I’ve lived in San Francisco for over six years, it wasn’t until recently that I picked up surfing and started taking advantage of the beautiful nature beyond the city limits. With a desire to explore more of the beautiful coast and surf spots lining it, I grabbed one of my more experienced surfing buds and headed down to Big Sur for a weekend packed full of surf-inspired adventure.

Locked and loaded! After meeting Tom and getting a full run-down on his bad-ass and super lux ride, he warmly wished me a fun weekend away and I cruised over to load my pack, swooping Andrew along the way with his pick of boards from the quiver. And, we’re off!

We headed straight for Ocean Beach, taking Highway 1 toward Santa Cruz, scoping out and stopping at as many surf spots along the way as we could. The day we left was overcast and pretty choppy on the Ocean Beach side of things. Playlist blaring and eager to get out in the water, we hoped the tides would turn in our favor and pushed onward after a pit stop for some breakfast sandos and coffee.

We arrived in Santa Cruz and, to our luck, the sun came out and the waves were rolling in, giving us just the right amount to work with before lunch. Randomly meeting one of our friends in the parking lot, we all grabbed a post-surf beer and burrito before heading to our beach house in Watsonville for the night.

Turns out, Watsonville is a very quaint town with lush farmland surrounding it. We realized there were no nearby markets so we had to backtrack 30 minutes out of town to the nearest grocery store. Once we loaded up on food, we headed back and fired up the grill just as the sun began to set. We noshed on our kebabs and corn and enjoyed the last the sun had to offer.

Bright and early, we woke to a beautiful morning, prepped some coffee, and sat on the deck to plot our next move into Big Sur while enjoying the dolphins in the distance. We decided to head straight for Sand Dollar Beach for a bit of surf and sun before heading to our campsite for our last night of the trip.

Big Sur was crystal clear, with the waters glistening. To our excitement, we noticed loads of whales in the distance and stopped along the road to watch them play from afar.

After an awesome night of camping, we quickly packed up and loaded up the car to retrace our route back to get the most surfin’ out of the day before heading home. I will surely be doing this trip again.