It seems like most people at one point or another add “learn to surf” to their bucket list. And while it might seem that the sport requires a death-defying sense of courage and athleticism (to an extent, it does) the act of learning how to surf is actually pretty beginner-friendly. As long as you have a very basic sense of balance, a positive attitude, and you’re not afraid to slip off your board a few times in the process, chances are you’ll be able to stand up by the end of a lesson or two. And even if you aren’t shredding waves on your first go, the experience of paddling out into the water and learning to catch your first wave is all part of the fun.
That being said. have you ever thought of learning to surf as part of your honeymoon?
Consider this: more often than not, surfing is taught in scenic, tropical locales, and surf towns from Chile to the California coast are reliably laid-back, and often not too far from stunning hotels that cater to honeymooners. So the fact that a surf vacation and a honeymoon could go hand-in-hand should come as no surprise. The real clincher here is that learning to surf with your significant other is a great way to build memories together. Just think—whatever happens on the water is certainly going to bring you two closer together. From laughing at each other’s goofy slips and falls, to cheering each other on when you finally catch that first wave, learning to surf is something memorable and unique that you can experience together.
While surfing can be found all over the world, here are just a handful of our suggestions, especially for beginner surfers and especially for love birds in search of a romantic getaway.
Southern California Dreaming
Perched on a dramatic 150-foot bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point offers a “So Cal Surf Experience” that includes overnight accommodation and a 2-hour lesson. If you’re feeling sore after your lesson, go unwind in the hotel’s excellent spa, which offers treatments that use oceanic ingredients like marine collagen, sea salt, scooted beach stones and rejuvenating seaweeds.
Its historic architecture and unparalleled frontage at the top of Waikiki Beach are a throwback to the golden age of Hawaiian travel.
A Hawaiian Legend
Any Hawaii expert will tell you to steer clear of Honolulu’s traffic jams and charmless high-rises. But any surf expert will tell you that the gentle, consistent waves at Waikiki Beach are one of the best places in the world to learn surfing. There are a number of hotels on this stretch of beach, but the best is by far The Royal Hawaiian Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort, a grand hotel which has commanded the most impressive stretch of sands since the property opened its doors in 1927. Its historic architecture and unparalleled frontage at the top of Waikiki Beach are a throwback to the golden age of Hawaiian travel. The concierge can easily arrange not only for private surf lessons with the best teachers in the area, but also for a professional photographer to capture the moments.
It’s no secret that Costa Rica has long been a tropical favorite for Americans, but what you might not know is that the surf town of Tamarindo is actually one of the best places in the world to learn surfing (often mentioned in the same breath as Waikiki Beach, Hawaii). The brand new W Costa Rica — Reserva Conchal is located on a private beach just a short drive north of town, far from the backpackers and rowdy crowds. Have the resident “W Insider” set up some surf lessons for you, then once the day is done treat yourself to an indulgent couple’s massage for two at the AWAY Spa to treat those tired surfer’s arms. The hotel hits that perfect “W Hotels” mark of high-design, funky modernity with local spirit and sense of place. All of the rooms feature coffee tables made of surfboards from the nearby Cheboards, a local surfboard shaper with an international reputation—the hotel can even coordinate visits to the Cheboards factory, where guests can help create their own surfboard from scratch.
It’s a surf experience unlike any other.
A Design Lover’s Dream in Chile
If sustainable, adventurous, South American hospitality is your vibe then set your sights on the impossibly chic Hotel Alaia, located in the sleepy beach town of Pichilemu, a few hours south of Santiago. Every guest room (there are only 12) is made from low-lying minimalist structures made from native woods, rocks and materials upcycled after the 2010 earthquake, and also features a sweeping view of the world-famous Punta de Lobos beach below. Ask the hotel to arrange some surf lessons from you—and after you’ve worked up an appetite, come back and feast on organic seafood, the best ceviche you’ve ever had, and more than a few glasses of local wine. It’s definitely a commitment to fly all the way south to Chile, but it’s a surf experience unlike any other.
The New England Curveball
Surfing? In New England? You bet. In the warmer months when a swell comes in, the New England coastline between Boston and Portland, Maine gives Southern California a real run for its money. The best part here is that it’s an easy drive from most East Coast cities (no flying involved) and it has more of an authentic, low-key vibe than many other flashier destinations—think boat shoes, lobster rolls, and lighthouses. Discover quintessentially New England hidden gems like the TKTK-room Great Island Inn in New Castle, or the breathtaking Cliff House in Ogunquit, Maine. Both are located within minutes of consistent breaks and local surf shops. The friendly instructors at Summer Sessions are a great place to take your first lessons—they’ll have you shredding in no time.