I just got back from SoCal a week ago. I stayed in Newport Beach but we hung out in the San Clemente area. We surfed the pier and went to Trestles almost ever day. I would recommend going to where I just told you or down in San Diego to surf Blacks beach.
SOCAL is generally considered to be south of Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. That covers a lot of coastline. Alectruelove offered some good spots for that portion of the coast. At SOCAL's northern end there's the Rincon point break south of Santa Barbara, Surfers Point near the Ventura Pier, and Silver Strand near Oxnard. There's actually several campgrounds not far from all of those spots. I used to live in the Ventura area.
One thing I missed when we moved from CA to VA Beach (in addition to good Mexican food and tri-tip) was the smell of the west coast shoreline. It's different from the east coat. I think it 's the kelp that gives many spots along the west coast that distinct ocean fragrance.
ok thanks a lot that thats awesome. how were the hotel prices and all that? im trying to keep it as cheap as possible
California is an expensive state, I didn't stay in a very cheap hotel but we could have found cheaper if we wanted to. Your best bet would be to check all those websites like; expedia, kayak, and hotels.com. Right by Trestles there was a motel called "the surf motel" or something like that. Looked kinda neat, might wanna look into it.