Lyn Mettler – For travelers headed to a beach this summer who want to learn a new skill, several U.S. resorts offer surfing lessons for all ages. Within just a few hours, beach-goers can be hanging ten like a pro. Here are five resorts offering surf lessons for guests from the Carolinas to California:
1. Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
One of the largest resorts on Hilton Head Island with 3 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers surfing lessons as a tradition every summer. Would-be surfers can sign up for an hour and a half Surf School that focuses on the fundamentals and water safety, starting on the sand and then moving into the water. Everyone is guaranteed to get up and ride a wave by the end of the lesson. Every lesson ends with a delicious snack of juicy watermelon. Choose to join in a group lesson ($90/person) or schedule a private one-on-one session ($125/person). Click here to see Palmetto Dunes Surf School in action.
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is centrally located and one of the largest resorts on Hilton Head Island. The resort sits on 3 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach and provides many other activities for all ages including three golf courses (including one of only two oceanfront courses on Hilton Head), a tennis center, an 11-mile inland lagoon system for fishing and kayaking, miles of paved bike trails, multiple restaurants and the resort’s entertainment district, Shelter Cove Harbour with live music, shopping, fishing charters, dining and more.
2. Sanderling Resort, Outer Banks (Duck), North Carolina
Ages 7 and older can take a spin on a surfboard at the Sanderling beach resort in the Outer Banks. In less than two hours, students learn ocean safety, such as identifying rip currents and reading ocean conditions, proper paddling and how to catch your first wave. Classes are $65 per person.
Sanderling Resort sits on 13 acres with stunning sunrises over the Atlantic and sunsets over the Currituck Sound. The resort was renovated in 2016 with all new guest rooms and offers indoor and outdoor pools, a full-service spa, several restaurants serving Southern coastal cuisine, as well as tours to see the wild horses roaming the beach in nearby Corolla.
3. Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville, North Carolina
Learn to surf during low tide each day with Blockade Runner Adventures at Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville, a popular area for surfing. Blockrade Runner Resort offers all waterfront rooms facing either the Atlantic or Banks Channel Sound, so you can watch the surf whenever you’d like.
Instructors teach surfing basics on high-quality boards at $50 per hour for a group lesson or $100 per hour for private lessons. Guests can also rent boards by the hour or half-day to continue practicing on their own. Other area activities include sailing, fishing, SUP, a children’s program and fresh local seafood at the resort’s restaurants.
4. Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, California
Guests can try their hand at surfing some of California's most impressive waves at this luxury beach resort in Southern California. Situated on a 150-foot bluff along the coastline known as Dana Point, which is considered the Whale Capital of the West because it attracts large numbers of blue whales each year, the resort offers an oceanfront fitness center, tennis courts, outdoor pools, a spa, wellness classes and several on-site restaurants.
Perhaps one of the resort's signature experiences is its Surf Tour, which gives guests personalized coaching for navigating advanced breaks that they can see crashing against the rocks outside their hotel window.
5. Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, California
This beautiful Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which was built in 1927 and played host to many a Hollywood star, lets guests "Surf With a Legend." Spend the day with surfing talent Tom Curren, heading to some of his favorite breaks for lessons for any skill level followed by a gourmet picnic lunch.
After surfing, the resort, which is situated on Butterfly Beach with the Santa Ynez mountains in the background, offers plenty of recreation for active types, including tennis and golf, horseback riding and sailing, as well as a croquet lawn and complimentary bike rentals. Dine at two on-site restaurants and one lounge and enjoy luxurious treatments to soothe sore surfing muscles at The Spa.