I've done it all, from 5+ hours to across the street. In Norcal I could use my binoculars to check the local point break from our front porch. In upstate NY I had an overnight drive through 3 states. Let me tell ya, that required some serious commitment! Once I got there, the water was always freezing cold, which made things even more interesting. At the moment I live in Annapolis, 2+ hours from the ocean. I have a sick job and don't regret it at all, but I think one's early/mid 20's are definitely best spent within earshot of breaking waves. I'm hoping to score a job in the Pac NW sometime in the next year or so and return to a more ideal setup.
3 hours. Been making the drive at least once a month for 8 years. Wish I could live closer but the wife's career is based in DC and she can't take her skills elsewhere. I often go more than once a month. Off season is much easier in terms of traffic etc.
1 mile from the beach at MONMOUTH UNIVERSITY which is soooo good.
Been doing alot of daytrip hitups missions to NJ on winter break and during the end of high school. If you pick the good days and go all out for 10 hrs straight thats pretty satisfying and worth the drive. Delaware isnt what it was even 3 yrs ago. Nj is pretty much better on most situations. OCmd is fun too on a north swell so I got that in reach too from beach house. Del used to have so many spots but it blows now and everyone bunched at a few places. Still a few spots that noone looks at that I get empty in NJ and DE.