Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times
San Diego area
Distance: 114 miles one-way
Not a state beach, not a county park, Windansea has nevertheless been on the Big Map of California Beach Culture for years. It's home to the Pump House, where Tom Wolfe's Pump House Gang used to hang out in the 1960s. And it has a wicked shore break that has slammed countless bodysurfers into involuntary headstands. It's handy to a beloved pizza joint, Carino's. No public restrooms, no picnic area, just 18 off-street parking spaces. The neighboring residential area is many blocks south of La Jolla's trendy boutiques and pricey restaurants. In other words, there's not much here for Mom, Dad and the little ones. But for those in their teens and 20s, this is where cool kids have been hanging out for about as long as there have been cool kids.
6800 Neptune Place, La Jolla; www.sandiego.gov/lifeguards/beaches/windan.shtml