13 Best Places to Surf in Florida

This 13-mile stretch of sandy white beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast harbors major breaks. Walk your board down to the beach, or load up the car and drive right onto the shore. New Smyrna’s waves are known to be some of the most consistent in the entire
Photo: Jason Obenauer/@surfsupwolf; Surfer: Jeremy Johnston/@jermjohnston

There is nothing quite like the beaches in Florida, with their pristine waters and colorful coastal towns. Many pro surfers, along with newbies to the sport, locate to one of the many Floridian beaches to practice and/or compete. Surfing is a sport that can be learned by anyone at any stage—even if you don't live by the ocean. On your next trek to Florida, sign you and your whole family up for a surfing lesson. There are plenty of great places to ride the waves, especially on the spectacular coast of Florida. Cocoa Beach, St. Augustine, Indian Rocks Beach, and so many others are great options. So, with the help of pro surfer, Jeremy Johnston, we set out to discover the all-time best spots to hang ten in the Sunshine State—and didn't come up short for travelers who live to ride the waves.

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New Smyrna Beach

This 13-mile stretch of sandy white beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast harbors major breaks. Walk your board down to the beach, or load up the car and drive right onto the shore. New Smyrna’s waves are known to be some of the most consistent in the entire
Jason Obenauer/@surfsupwolf; Surfer: Jeremy Johnston/@jermjohnston

This 13-mile stretch of sandy white beach on Florida's Atlantic coast harbors major breaks. Walk your board down to the beach, or load up the car and drive right onto the shore. New Smyrna's waves are known to be some of the most consistent in the entire state, and if you're looking for an ideal spot for trick riding, well, it's a match made in surfing heaven.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Quiet Flight NSB has all the best brands and great service, too. Gnarley Charley's Surf Series offers private and group or family instruction, but his true specialty is coaching students to surf competitively. For a more laid-back lesson, check out Surfin' NSB. They offer private and group lessons for all levels.

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Jacksonville Beach


Home to the Annual Wave Masters Contest, where more than 200 competitors gather for a weekend of rivalry in the waves, Jacksonville Beach has an esteemed surfing reputation that is nothing short of tradition. During summer, Atlantic Beach is a prime spot for beginners. Travel south to Jacksonville Beach, near the new Jacksonville Beach Pier, to find abundant sand breaks at the end of every beach access. For surfers seeking the area's largest, most challenging swells, plan a visit for fall or spring.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Jacksonville Surf and Paddle is your one stop shop for surf lessons and gear. The business offers rentals for all the gear you could need on the beach, and offer individual and group lessons with the motto: "any age at any stage!" Plus, the store even has a coffee shop, and who would pass a cup of caffeine before hitting the waves?

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St. Augustine


Known as America's oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, also has one of the oldest surf scenes. Now, the city is representing the sport louder and prouder than ever before, and although surfers may not come across the biggest, most intimidating waves upon stepping foot in the Atlantic, they will experience one of the tightest-knit communities of loyal surfers.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Both The Surf Station and the St. Augustine Surf School offer surf lessons, camps, and rentals. The Surf School will even deliver boards straight to your hotel door.

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Flagler Beach


Nestled between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, this laid-back beach town offers more than six miles of uncrowded, sparkling beaches and lovely ocean views. The surf is best here during a cold front or winter (pictured here).

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Located one block south of the Flagler Beach Pier, Z Wave Surf Shop has been in business for more than 30 years renting and selling boards and top-notch apparel. Flagler Board Shop offers lessons with their experienced surfers.

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Ormond Beach


Just north of Daytona Beach, this quiet Atlantic getaway has a bit of resort-style glitz (it was once home to John D. Rockefeller) mixed in with its cozy, small-town feel. Known for its orange sand, thanks to an abundance coquina shells, and history of car racing on the beach, Ormond is also home to plenty of surf-worthy waves.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Located in Ormond Beach and known as the original surfing school in the Daytona Beach area, Daytona Beach Surfing School teaches the sport to more than 300 people each year. Dawn Patrol Surf Company, owned by a local surfer, is another go-to and sells and rents top brand stand up paddleboards, as well as SUP, soft top, and standard surfboards.

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Daytona Beach

Photo: Patrick Ruddy/@ruddyphoto

Nicknamed the world's most famous beach, Daytona Beach, Florida, is a must-visit for the avid surfer. The Main Street Pier break is one of the best places in town to catch a ride.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

With a slogan like "Clothes for the Soul," the original family owned and operated Maui Nix Surf Shop will only further feed your need to indulge in the watersport. Also check out Pure Life Surf School, where private and group surfing lessons for all ages are offered year-round.

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Cocoa Beach


Home to six-time world champion Kelly Slater and the world's most famous surf shop's flagship store, Cocoa Beach is a legendary spot for smaller crowds with great waves for beginners and longboarders. It's also home to local surf contests like the decades-old Easter Surf Festival, where there are categories that range from men's shortboard to tandem and dog surfing (that's right, it's home to the East Coast Dog Surfing Championships).

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Covering more than two acres, Ron Jon Surf Shop's flagship store is stocked with more beach gear than any other single location. Cocoa Beach Surf Company is also another excellent stop for loading up on watersport gear.

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Sebastian Inlet


With three miles of beautiful beach, Sebastian Inlet is a prime spot for surfers. Where to catch the biggest ride? Monster Hole, a break created by a man-made sandbar, can hold a solid 10 feet of surf.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Located up the street in Melbourne Beach, Florida, Catalyst Shop is the best stop for boards, surf accessories, and apparel. Sebastian Inlet Surf and Sport also provides lessons and surf gear.

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Jupiter Beach


This low-key, quiet corner of Florida's east coast has been frequented by surfers for decades. Visit its long, broad beaches (specifically Jupiter Inlet) during lower tide for a quality surfing experience.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Locals Surf Shop. The name speaks for itself, but this local hot spot is the place to go for all your surfing needs. Aloha Surfing School can give you the hook up with excellent surfing lessons and camps.

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Boynton Beach

Boynton Beach
Crystal Bolin Photography/Getty Images

Wedged between the Atlantic and the Florida Everglades, Boyton Beach is known as "America's Gateway to the Gulfstream"—a trait that lends cool summer breezes and warm winter rays to the area. Boynton Beach's Oceanfront Park is not only alluring because of its beauty; it also plays host to the area's best strip of shoreline for riding the waves.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Stocked with cool Nomad-branded surf gear and apparel, Nomad Surf Shop has been family-owned and operated for almost 50 years. In addition to their Boynton Beach accessories, they also offer surf lessons and rentals.

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South Beach

Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

On the southeast coast of Florida, Miami's South Beach is home to some of the most glorious beaches in the nation—wide beaches where locals and out-of-towners alike flock for sandy fun. With the best beach-breaks from July to November, the zone near the jetty at First Street is one of the best surfing spots in Miami. The surf here is best at low- to mid-tide.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Island Water Sports is one of the oldest surf shops in the Miami area, with a deep-rooted dedication to providing the latest and best gear for board sports. For lessons, check out SoBe Surf (short for South Beach) or South Beach Surf School.

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Indian Rocks Beach


Home to international surfing champions Cory and Shea Lopez, Indian Rocks Beach fronts three miles of shoreline along Florida's Gulf Coast. With plenty of public beach accesses, Indian Rocks is the best spot to catch a fun, beach-break surf.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

Nekton Surf Shop's inventory includes some of the best clothing and surf gear and accessories—even hand-painted surf board fins. The Island Shop also serves the Indian Rocks community and visitors with surf reports, rentals, and top-brand accessories and apparel.

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Pensacola Beach


Known for its pristine, sugar-white beaches and clear emerald water, Pensacola Beach also tops the charts for surf-worthy waves. The best breaks along this stretch of Florida's northwest Gulf Coast? The Wall and the Pier.

Where to Grab Gear and a Lesson

What started in a 400-square-foot cinder block building, Innerlight Surf and Skate has evolved into a board sports lover's mecca with four locations across the Florida panhandle.

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Thanks to Pro Surfer Jeremy Johnston


Jeremy Johnston, pro surfer and New Smyrna Beach, Florida, resident, helped us with our list and provided us with many of the pictures in our gallery. Many thanks to Jeremy! You can find him on Instagram at @jermjohnston.

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