Santa Cruz, aka Surf City, was the first city in the United States to learn about surfing. In 1885 three Hawaiian princes took a break from boarding school in San Mateo and taught the locals how to surf.
The Surfing Museum in the old lighthouse in Santa Cruz lets you in on over 100 years of surfing history. The museum is free, but kindly asks for donations. Listed in decades, it takes you through the advancements of surfboards and the history of local surfers. You can see the board that was attacked by a white shark, including two of the teeth left in the board!
From here, if you start walking towards the boardwalk, you come across the memorial for surfers that have left the earth for good. Behind the memorials are some surfing rules by Sam Reid.
Where is your favorite surf spot?