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  1. #1

    Trip to San Diego (or north county) in late June 2013

    I've been asking a ton of questions on tripadvisor forum, but I'd like some more input from the local surf community.

    - I'm east coast novice surfer. Been out about 15 times over 10 years but still riding whitewater mostly and missing more waves than I catch, so I'm not bothering with paddling out into Trestles or a sketchy reef breaks. Where are some good beginner breaks to check out where there is space to share with others whom aren't crowding a lineup at a point?

    Also with my family coming, looking for some advice on where to stay. Been looking at some oceanfront condo rentals up in Oceanside that we can afford and also some places in Pacific Beach area but those are many blocks from beach.

    Oceanside seems more quiet and less congested and noisy. However some on this board called it "trashy". Is that poor ocean water, or just a sketchy community/low income?

    Ocean/Mission area seems rowdy, party crowd area, but many families/vacationers tend to get geared to this area. Looking at all the rental properties, it seems like a shantytown where everyone is on top of each other and its very busy and congested. I'm not sure we'd enjoy that sort of community as a family getaway. Lets just say even though we live in MD, we prefer to drive the exta couple hours to go to OBX, NC vs. OCMD/Deleware or Jersey shores, just because of the peace and tranquility down in OBX (and better surfbreaks for me to flounder around in without being in the way of others).

    We want to visit and check out many of the coastal areas of So Cal but we need a peaceful place to stay. Is Oceanside a better option to stay than Pacific/Mission/Ocean Beaches?

    La Jolla looks beatiful but seems really ritzy and expensive to stay.

  2. hey Rob, the only advice i could really give you would be to check out San Elijo campgrounds at Cardiff by the Sea. i don't know how your family would feel about camping, or if that's even an option but the amenities there are pretty decent (all things considered). plus the location sits right on top of the cliffs, with just a mere walk down the stairs to get to the beach. the break out front is technically reef, but it's the smooth limestone type, not anything that would cut you up. the wave itself is fairly soft so it's enjoyed by many longboarders, girls and your typical teenage shredders. Cardiff as well as Encinitas may offer the type of vibe you are looking for. also it's central location makes it great for checking out other towns and surf spots in the area.

    the two downsides to Pacific/Mission/Ocean beaches are that yeah the area has kind of a "hood" feel to it. you may be totally fine there, but it's kind of a seedy area (sometimes seedy can be good) and if any of the beaches in the area were to be closed for water quality, it would be those 3. i guess due to their proximity to Tijuana.

    your family may enjoy Huntington Beach for the walking around and shopping aspect. plus the beach there is so wide open that i'm sure you could find a peak that suited your abilities. Huntington probably has more of a touristy vibe to it, while Cardiff and Encinitas are a little more homely.

    anywhere you end up, i can just about guarantee you'll have a good time. also for a family-day out, the San Diego zoo is world class. i would highly recommend it.

    best wishes man.

  3. #3
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    Since I was born on ol' Fred, let me break it down for you brother. The trashy comments about "Oside" are regarding the people.... Everyone in North County makes those references. I used to tell my buddies from Del Mar that they were from Oceanside, and those are fighting words.... its a FAAAARRRRR stretch though. You will find much more trash on Market Street or John Hansen any day of the week. Oside is a nice area... mostly military...

    I would say Oside is just far enough from San Diego, Just far enough from OC and LA that its just an annoying area.

    I would honestly say to stay in Mission or North PB. Yes, South Mission and PB are "party" areas, but only later at night, and avoid South Mission on Sunday nights... Just trust me there.... While OB is my favorite area of San Diego, its not that family oriented... Stay on Mission Bay or North PB. Its a 5 minute drive to the airport... You are 5 minutes from Downtown... You can go to the Zoo one day (5 minutes away).... Balboa Park.... Catch a Padres game with $5 park passes and sit in the grass.

    As far as surfing, simply go to one place.... Tourmaline or Law Street. North PB. Total beginner area. you will find a peak somewhere between the Point and the PB pier... Its the easiest wave on the west coast... Even on Big Wednesday, the surf there maxed out at like 6-8 feet. No rouge sets.... Easy street.... Mission, OB and La Jolla are loc'ed out year round... If you attempt to surf anywhere in OB in June, you will most likely leave with a bad taste in your mouth from the locals.... If you want to surf La Jolla, go to La Jolla shores... its a great beach... The shores are generally blocked from steeper angled swells that time of year, so you can look North to Scripps and Blacks and it will be 6 feet, and the shores, 200 yards south is waist to chest... The shores has its days, just not in June....

    Thats my advice.... Oceanside is a nice, quiet place though... so dont let the Hype deter you... Its just difficult driving to all the SD attractions from there... Traffic both ways and not much to do in Oside....

    Hope that helps.... Mission Bay and Central part of SD is whats up though... Tons to do every day... Kayak on Mission Bay with the family... Surf in the mornings. Hang out on the beach.... go shopping... Check out the city... Checkout the ports downtown....

    You MUST, and I mean MUST at least drive down Sunset Cliffs once... Even if you are not surfing, walk down to one of the little coves or beaches... That is what San Diego is all about... That rugged, beautiful coastline, and on the off chance that there is decent swell in the water in June, there are a few Summer reefs to surf or at least watch... The locals will be all over it, but you can watch some serious talent... There are a few inside reefs that offer quick barrels on every way in the summer if its working. A couple points and just a beautiful scene for sure....

    PM me if you want any further details or contacts while you are there.

  4. #4
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    Beach closers in SD city are only due to urban runoff and the sewage plant breaking down on Point Loma... These are only threats during winter months and only after rain... June will be safe no matter what. And the current runs south... All the runoff comes from the SD rivermouth in between the Jetties that seperate Mission and OB... No worries in the summer though ever...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    Since I was born on ol' Fred, let me break it down for you brother. The trashy comments about "Oside" are regarding the people.... Everyone in North County makes those references. I used to tell my buddies from Del Mar that they were from Oceanside, and those are fighting words.... its a FAAAARRRRR stretch though. You will find much more trash on Market Street or John Hansen any day of the week. Oside is a nice area... mostly military...

    I would say Oside is just far enough from San Diego, Just far enough from OC and LA that its just an annoying area.

    I would honestly say to stay in Mission or North PB. Yes, South Mission and PB are "party" areas, but only later at night, and avoid South Mission on Sunday nights... Just trust me there.... While OB is my favorite area of San Diego, its not that family oriented... Stay on Mission Bay or North PB. Its a 5 minute drive to the airport... You are 5 minutes from Downtown... You can go to the Zoo one day (5 minutes away).... Balboa Park.... Catch a Padres game with $5 park passes and sit in the grass.

    As far as surfing, simply go to one place.... Tourmaline or Law Street. North PB. Total beginner area. you will find a peak somewhere between the Point and the PB pier... Its the easiest wave on the west coast... Even on Big Wednesday, the surf there maxed out at like 6-8 feet. No rouge sets.... Easy street.... Mission, OB and La Jolla are loc'ed out year round... If you attempt to surf anywhere in OB in June, you will most likely leave with a bad taste in your mouth from the locals.... If you want to surf La Jolla, go to La Jolla shores... its a great beach... The shores are generally blocked from steeper angled swells that time of year, so you can look North to Scripps and Blacks and it will be 6 feet, and the shores, 200 yards south is waist to chest... The shores has its days, just not in June....

    Thats my advice.... Oceanside is a nice, quiet place though... so dont let the Hype deter you... Its just difficult driving to all the SD attractions from there... Traffic both ways and not much to do in Oside....

    Hope that helps.... Mission Bay and Central part of SD is whats up though... Tons to do every day... Kayak on Mission Bay with the family... Surf in the mornings. Hang out on the beach.... go shopping... Check out the city... Checkout the ports downtown....

    You MUST, and I mean MUST at least drive down Sunset Cliffs once... Even if you are not surfing, walk down to one of the little coves or beaches... That is what San Diego is all about... That rugged, beautiful coastline, and on the off chance that there is decent swell in the water in June, there are a few Summer reefs to surf or at least watch... The locals will be all over it, but you can watch some serious talent... There are a few inside reefs that offer quick barrels on every way in the summer if its working. A couple points and just a beautiful scene for sure....

    PM me if you want any further details or contacts while you are there.

    Zach, awesome info! You've given me more valuable travel info. than numerous posts over the last week and half on the tripadvisor boards. I knew where to go! I'll IM you on some extra travel questions. Good to hear from a fellow Frednecktonian! PS: The John Hanson project got tore down about 7-10 years ago!

  6. #6
    Thanks zaGaffer! I was reading about the June Gloom thing and was wondering if it would still be a concern for June 25-July 3 while we are there. It seems our stay is right on the end of it. We'll pack sweaters just in case. Defintely going to the zoo...and probably up to LA for a day trip to do the touristy Beverly Hills thing (stop to see Trestles break along the way just to see it and take pictures and such).

    How much rubber should I pack for that time of year? I've got a 4/3 full, 3/2 shorty, and a thermal rashie (and boots, gloves & hood but I doubt they are necessary?. I don't want to clog up the suitcases with surf rubber...don't want to pay the extra fees on airlines. Maybe its just as easy to rent some rubber there. Honestly, I'll probably be luck to get 1 1/2 day session in on this trip...maybe 2 separate days if I'm lucky, because we'll be running around alot site seeing and such.

  7. #7
    OK so lets say I look for places to stay in Pacific Beach/Mission Beach/bay areas. Just for a "bad example" we were looking at a house rental on Felspar Street in Pacific Beach. The reviews I read by other patrons said there were late night partiers, fights, bars only 1/2 a block. That would have been a dream location back when I was 18-25, but I'm in early 40's now and have a family and we need a more subdued location where its a little more quiet at night. So can you give some street locations in Pacific/Mission areas that would be more idea zones for us to check out hotels or rental condos and such? I think we probably can save some coin staying off the ocean a few blocks at least. Since we don't plan to camp out on the beaches all day, but instead want to do alot of ventures around the area, it probably isn't a necessary luxury for this trip. Sorry if this is more of a travel post than surfing, but you surfing guys are giving waayy better info. than tripadvisor trolls have been.

  8. #8
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    Feldspar isn't bad. If u can find anything up around law street or north into South La Jolla. If u don't mind a 5 minute drive to the beach, stay in Hotel circle. There are like 50 hotels there. All close to everything. South La Jolla or north Pb is good by the beach tho. Otherwise look off mission bay around Ingram street. That's bayside and low key.

    As far as wetsuits, bring a 3 mil or spring suit. You can get away with a 2 mil even. I just never trunk it until kid July or August. If people say its trunk able in June they are lying .

    There are some nice hotels down on shelter island and harbor island by the airport and Sam Diego bay. Or go HUGE and stay at the hotel del Coronado

  9. #9
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    Ohh, and yes 9 out of ten times the June gloom is gone by late late June. 2 an 3 years ago it lingered into July 4th weekend but that is not common.

  10. #10
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    zach619 and zaGaffer are right, PB OB and MB are good for beginners, especially PB. In the summer though, it's madness...not exactly "uncrowded" or "family oriented".

    Johnnydon'tsurf has a great recommendation for San Elijo/Cardiff. Very mellow breaks with mellow crews for the most part, and not as crowded as the City breaks.

    My personal recommendation would be any of the North County areas, particularly between Cardiff and Carlsbad. Plenty of glassy and uncrowded breaks, away from the hassle and urban "ick" of PB MB and OB. Leucadia and Carlsbad have tons of uncrowded glassy consistent surf...just find a decent place to park and walk down the stairs.

    I would definitely bring a 3/2 for late June. A short sleeve spring suit would probably work too. You won't be trunking it unless there's a heat wave. "June Gloom" usually burns off by 11am-noon, but gives way to daily NW onshore winds of 10-15 knots.

    BTW: I was born and raised in SD, lived there for 30 years, and surfed it for 15 of those years. I still make annual trips there. I've traveled the entire coast there, as well as Tijuana to Cabo. I have also surfed OCMD and OBX as well.
    Last edited by kidrock; Mar 12, 2013 at 03:39 PM.