You don’t have to make the decision to surf or ski with this much amazing terrain at your fingertips. Why choose when you can have both, here are the best places to surf & ski in the same day.
If you learned to ski in the northeast, you can ski anywhere, once you start on ice the rest is cake. As far as surfing goes, there are plenty of places to ride some waves with some gorgeous scenery. Start the morning out at Assateague at the National Seashore. Bring your short board, because if the surfline says a couple feet it’s actually 6+, you won’t run into many crowds and with a beach break and a sandy bottom, expect a great morning! When your arms are worn out, start driving West, grab some lunch and pick up the afternoon at Whitetail Mountain in PA. Let’s face it, PA isn’t the mecca of skiing, but Whitetail has a little bit of something for everybody. There’s plenty of un-groomed terrain for you roughriders and a couple of terrain parks with some great features. Legs too beat? Whitetail has groomed runs long enough to make it feel like real skiing.
Drive Time: 4 hours
You’re about to set the bar high with 2 of the best places to ski and surf in 1 day. Starting off at the “Lower Trestles”, which is part of a line of numerous surf breaks collectively know as the “Trestles.” This is one of the best spots in the OC, if not the state. You’ll find many pros, natives and long boarders and one of the best views you can find. Although busier than most spots, you’re visiting one of the best places to surf in America. Wrap up the morning and in just under 3 hours, you can make it to Bear Mountain Resort. The only resort in SoCal with 3 different Super Pipes, the famous “Park Run” off Chair 9 or “Central Park” off Chair 5. You won’t wait in line long since most of the chairs are high-speed quads. Finish the day off with Bear Mountain’s infamous Bloody Mary.
Drive Time: Just under 3 hours
Santa Cruz is known for consistent waves, which may interfere with your plan to hit the slopes, since you won’t want to leave. Better yet, you have about a 4 month gap to catch waves and head up to Tahoe for the snow. Santa Cruz is one of the coolest surf towns on the coast with the Wharf, the Boardwalk and countless places for surfing from beginner to expert. Start with a few hours paddling out until you’re gassed then ski the Sierra well before dark. Head to Squaw Valley on the NW side of the lake, so it’s an easy drive on I-80 and is rated the best Overall and All-Mountain Terrain in Tahoe. It has a great view of the lake, best terrain for all levels of skiing and Squaw is big enough to avoid lines, gapers and tourists.
Drive Time: 4-5 hours
The winter wreaks havoc on the region, so your best bet is to hit the surf and slopes in the spring. As the weather is gradually decreasing, your swells are sizable and continue to rumble. Start your day at La Push Beach, catch huge waves in the winter or manageable surf in the spring. What has been called “mesmerizing surf in a 3rd world town”, where the scenery is amazing and the waves are strong, you’re in for a ride. Save some energy when you head to the slopes at Crystal Mountain. This mountain gives you the best bang for your buck. This mountain is mostly intermediate and expert skiing that you won’t be waiting in long lines behind noobs all day. Hit the chutes, steep & bowls to bring out your extreme side and check out some awesome views of Mt. Rainier, the 14,000+ foot volcano.
Drive Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Taking it all the way to New Zealand, we’re heading to the North Island, where there are plenty of places to surf & ski in the same day. In just an hour, you can have both. Head to Boulders Bay in New Plymouth, it isn’t crowded, has fast and fun waves. It has public access and is suited for all levels of surfers. You can burn the candle since your drive to the Mt. Taranaki since it’s an hour drive. With easy access and a great ski field, you’re set for the afternoon.