What comes to mind when you think of a surf town?
Is it an oceanfront outpost in southern California or perhaps a tropical locale south of the border? While those spots are what most people immediately think of, there are many more diverse surf towns out there. Sure, sun and fish tacos are major staples of surf culture, but there are spots that don’t have either and they are some of the very best surf towns in the world.
From the west coast of Ireland to a tiny fishing village in southern Morocco and even a small town in Alaska, some of the top surf towns don’t look anything like the stereotype. Others, though, are exactly what you would expect—all sand, sun and mellow feelings that last long after you leave the water.
Some will surprise you, others will have you nodding your head in agreement—these are the top 10 surf towns in the world.
Byron Bay, Australia
Breathtakingly beautiful beaches give way to some of the best waves you’ll find anywhere in this near-perfect Australian surf town. Two of the most notable spots—The Pass and Wategos—are popular among suffers of all experience levels, but spots for the more experienced surfers aren’t far off. After your time in the water, hit the town and unwind at a café, shop smaller boutiques or check out Pig House Flicks, a local cinema featuring great independent films.
Montauk, N.Y., U.S.
Montauk, locally-known as “The End,” is set at the tip of Long Island’s south fork and subject to swells from the Atlantic. The town isn’t far from the Hamptons, but the vibe is notably more relaxed, making it a top surf town on the east coast. Head to the ever popular Ditch Plains Beach or check out Poles, which is west of Ditch Plains. Crowded in the summer and virtually abandoned in the winter, Montauk offers up fantastic sea food, a historic lighthouse and some of the best surfing in the northeast.