Oahu's North Shore is incredible, if a spectacle, and SoCal's beaches are convenient. But if you're looking for the best surf in the Western Hemisphere, head for the border. Since the sixties, Mexico's Baja Peninsula has embodied the classic surf experience—pulling your 4x4 up on the sand and pitching camp for a week of empty barrels and cheap cervezas. And here's the thing: With many SoCal weekend warriors scared off by reports of drug-related violence near the border, the region's lineups are now relatively vacant. So if you're smart about it, you can surf Baja as it was in the sixties. Go with a buddy who knows the region, drive only during the day, and travel a few hours south of the border—once you pass Ensenada, you're set. Then make for the mile-long, crescent-shaped Punta Cabras beach and surf away. The nearest town is Erendira, six miles south, where you'll find cold beer and Coyote Cal's hostel ($15–$60 per night; coyotecals.com) if you don't feel like camping.
Filed To: Surfing