5 Family Friendly Surf Vacations
While the media might paint surfing as a carefree lifestyle devoid of responsibility and attachments, the reality is that a large portion of the surf population—and in particular those who can afford to travel—are family men and women. Finding a balance between your familial responsibilities and surf obsession can be a challenge, especially when your kids are young or your partner isn’t a beach person. Fortunately, there are a number of destinations that cater specifically to family-toting wave riders, providing a perfect balance between family and surf time.
Family Surf Vacations Destination No.1
- Tavarua, Fiji: If surfing has a five-star experience, then this heart-shaped island in the middle of the Pacific is it. With fully equipped bungalows, top-level food and drink, hot tubs, massage services, and various beach-related activities for non-surfers, you don’t even really need swell to enjoy your time on Tavarua—but the two world-class lefthand reefs at Cloudbreak and Restaurants sure don’t hurt.
Family Surf Vacations Destination No.2
- Maldives: Although we as surfers tend to think of the Maldives primarily as a surf destination, the country’s atolls are actually chock full of non-surfing resorts popular for their white sand beaches, gourmet food, and five-star service. A popular destination with honeymooners, the Maldives should be an easy sell for the non-surfer in your life—just make sure you book a resort adjacent to waves!
Family Surf Vacations Destination No.3
- Oahu, Hawaii: Surfing’s birthplace is still one of the best places on earth to ride waves—and it also happens to be a great place to take the family. With beginner to intermediate waves in summer, expert waves in winter, scenic beaches, hikes up Diamond Head and other landmarks, idyllic waterfalls, the nightlife of Waikiki, and the historical interest of Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center, Oahu has something for everyone, making it one of the best all-around trips in existence.
Family Surf Vacations Destination No.4
- Noosa Heads, Australia: Treading the precarious line between hippie commune and yuppie vacation spot, Noosa Heads boasts developed art and music scenes, gourmet dining, plush hotels, a national park, warm water, and five of the most family-centric righthand point breaks in existence—all hidden away in a quiet little resort town with stunning beaches fronting rippable sandbars. There are very few destinations where the entire parents and kids can enjoy the same waves at the same time, but Noosa’s points and beaches are simultaneously user-friendly and high performance, making this the perfect getaway for the surfing family.
Family Surf Vacations Destination No.5
- San Diego: Southern California might not spring to mind when considering locations for a family/surf holiday, but at second glance it proves worthy of consideration. With WaterWorld located in San Diego and Disneyland a short jaunt up the coast, the kids will find much to keep them excited. Meanwhile, non-surfing adults will enjoy the beaches, resorts, and nightlife of San Diego, while the surfers in the family will stay busy at legendary breaks like Blacks Beach, Oceanside, and Lower Trestles (all located within 30 minutes of San Diego). And to add a little foreign flare to the trip, you can always pack the kids into a rental car and drive across the border to Baja.