Best scandal, surf spot, place to eavesdrop and more.
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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Surf Spot (2012)
Asilomar State Beach
Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove
You can probably find a better wave in Monterey County if you’re willing to navigate the rocks and locals, but Asilomar remains the most accessible, most consistent and most forgiving of all breaks in the area. From two-foot longboard curls in the summer to double overhead winter mackers, Asilomar serves up everything your quiver can handle. Plus, unlike most spots in the immediate vicinity, it consists of numerous rideable peaks that break on to a wide sandy beach. All that said, this is not a good place to learn how to surf. Like Carmel Beach, Asilomar points due west, which means open ocean exposure, heavy currents and rip tides. Be careful (especially between the months of September and May), show the locals some respect, and all will be tasty like Spicoli.