Cal... Not my first Choice-
California is not really a surf trip. In Southern Cal you can get burned if it gets small and crappy, and north Cal is buried in onshore winds. My advice (I've lived there for 12 years) is this, If you want to surf there, go in oct/ nov. and you will be amazed, even if it is ordinary over there, it blows the east coast away. Also, if you rip, your good anywhere, but if you don't, the crowds are more manageable at beach breaks. If you want to go in the summer, go to San Diego and go later in the season as the conditions get better (fog ends in July). If a south (swell) comes and you want to head north, surf Newport or Huntington, or even Malibu to say you did it. Don't go North of Santa Barbara (fall - spring) unless you've got some hair on your balls. EC Hurricane surf is a joke, compared to what goes on up there.
If you really want to go on an easy, predictable surf trip, Go to Nicaragua and surf glassy, semi closed out beachbreaks until your arms fall off. It's an east coasters wet dream.