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It seems like most places are either good for surfing or diving, but not both. Purely anecdotally, it seems like the clearer the water, the smaller the waves are. I'm an intermediate level surfer and a beginning diver, and my girlfriend is a beginner surfer and intermediate level diver. Are there places that are good for both? Something that could be a 3-4 day trip from New York would be ideal. Still, I'm interested in anything in the world that you might recommend.

I'm ok with traveling a bit between locations (e.g. if the diving was outside our hotel and we had to travel 45 minutes to get to the surfing beach, that would be ok). Maybe a good rough guide would be that one should be able to do both diving and surfing in the same day (so something like Mexico, with great diving on the Caribbean side and great surfing on the Pacific side, would not be an option).

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Could you explain which country you'd be looking for? A 3-4 day trip - that mentions Mexico, I'm going to assume you're in the United States? Could you provide a bit more detail about what you're after; at present the question is a bit too broad (faq) –  Mark Mayo Dec 4 '11 at 19:48
Ah, sorry - we're coming from New York, but am interested in places all over the world. I'm editing the question now. Thanks. –  Jer Dec 4 '11 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

Funnily enough, there's an answer on Google Answers by omniscientbeing-ga which seems ideal. I'll reword and adjust for here.

The real trick is finding a place that is good for both diving and surfing. I could list a ton that are good for either or, but it's tough to come up with places that have surfable waves and good diving that meet your criteria. That said, here are my suggestions:

  1. Nassau, Bahamas.-- Excellent snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Surf only if you can charter a boat to take you to the outer reef breaks. There’s not really surfable waves on the main island of Nausau, but there are remote reef breaks if you’re willing to pay a charter to take you there. The diving is easy access. Besides that, night life is there if you want it, as well as fine dining, gambling and just plain relaxing on the white sand beaches.Cable Beach is the main beach tourst area where most of the beach hotels are. English spoken everywhere, US dollars accepted. U.S. passports are not necessary if you have an original birth certificate with you as well as a driver license. You’d probably fly from NY to MIA (Miami Airport or perhaps Fort Lauderdale) and from their a smaller jet goes to the Nassau. It’s about a 45 min. flight from Miami to Nassau.
    Search Google for “Nassau Bahamas” and you’ll find plenty of info. “Atlantis” is the fanciest resort there. Nassau Beach Hotel is about as inexpensive as it gets to stay on the sand. If you stay in a hotel downtown, out of the main tourism area, it’s much cheaper. Taxis and shuttles abound.

  2. Florida Keys Again, fantastic snorkeling and SCUBA diving (John Pennekamp State Park is there, in Key Largo), but here there is absolutely zero surf. Diving in the Keys is best in Key Largo and Key West. There is also some good diving in the middle Keys around Marathon, but you’ll need an experienced boat captain to take you there. Although there is no surf in the Keys, Sebastian Inlet, on the Florida mainland, is known for good surf, depending on the conditions. It’s about a 6 hour drive north from Key Largo. So, you could conceivably rent a car and head up there for a day or 2 out of your stay in the Keys. Search Google for “Florida Keys” and you’ll find plenty of info.

  3. Bermuda - Nice diving. Surg occasionally if the conditions are right. Relatively close to you in NY. To find more details on the surf there, search for “Bermuda surfing” and see what comes up.

  4. North Carolina, Outer Banks—Good diving here offshore, if you go on the dive charter or “six-pack” boats. Also, there is surf both on the mainland and the Outer Banks. Close proximity to you in NY. Search Google for “North Carolina Outer Banks diving and surfing”

  5. With a 7 hour flight range, you can make the west coast of the U.S. North of Santa Barabara, California, it gets cold, so if you’re looking for warm, tropical water, this is not the place for you. However, southern California, especially in the Summer, is pretty warm, with water temps in the low 70s to upper 60s. Catalina Island comes recommended. Fly from NY to LAX. From LA you can take the express ferries daily to Catalina for about 80 bucks round trip for both of you. It’s 22 miles off the LA coast. Fantastic diving, if a little chilly, but with 1\8 to 1\4 inch wetsuites, you’ll be fine. Also, the backside of Catalina has excellent surf, for the adventurous, and of course LA has reat surf. Notably, Malibu beach, Zuma beach, El Porto and Palos Verdes, among other spots. Search Google for both “Catalina Island” and “Los Angeles diving” and “Los Angeles surfing”

  6. Baja California, Mexico. You could probably fly to San Diego, California, from NY in about 7 hours. From there, you could rent a car and drive south of the border into Mexico for 90 minutes to Ensenada, where both the diving and surfing is great. Water temp similar to Los Angeles and Catalina, some freaky cold currents aside. This would be an adventurous” type of trip, but there are nice hotels there if you choose. Or, you can camp along the beach. Search Google for “Diving and surfing in Baja California, Mexico.” Again, if you want warm tropical-ness, then Cabo San Lucas is the most tropical place for you in Baja, but that’s the tip of Baja, a solid 24 hours drive from San Diego.

I hope this gives you some good ideas. Have fun on your trip, and remember to always dive and surf safely, and don't fly after diving!

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This doesn't look very reworded to me. In such cases, please make clear it's a quote, and give the original author's name or username. –  Matthew Flaschen Dec 5 '11 at 2:03
The original had a bunch of references like 'I think that' or 'my friends liked'. I've referenced the site, but quoting it now that I've taken out quite a bit out feels disingenuous to them. Fair point on their username tho, have added it to the answer. –  Mark Mayo Dec 5 '11 at 2:22

Hawaii is a good candidate, with its world-famous surfing waves and numerous scuba diving spots, including dives near flowing lava.

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