Surfing is an extremely popular sport and one of those activities that tops off a lot of bucket lists. You don’t have to be in your twenties to take up surfing. Just Google “senior surfers” and you’ll be surprised at how many oldsters are riding the waves. No matter what beach you bring a board down to, you’re sure to find surfers of all ages and experience levels. If you want to try your hand at surfing, then you’ll want to pick an awesome surf town for your next vacation.

Coronado, California

To get to Coronado, go to San Diego and then go a little bit further. This beach hamlet is just over the bridge from SD and it includes about seven miles of idyllic shorelines with five designated beaches. The most popular beach is Central Beach, which as you can tell by the name is right in the heart of Coronado. That’s helpful if you want to stroll up from the sand to snag a fresh made ice cream cone at the MooTime Creamery. Fans of the cinema might recognize the grand Hotel Del Coronado. This was the hotel featured in The Stunt Man and Some Like It Hot. Be sure to check out the Wizard of Oz exhibit at the town library. Author L. Frank Baum wrote some of his Oz stories here. Makes this a magical beach town, wouldn’t you say?

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Not every great beach town has to be on an ocean. The Gulf of Mexico will do rather nicely. This quiet little beach burg is just a pond skip from the Bon Secour National Wildlife refuge. It’s also ground zero for the country’s seafood industry. You can bet that any restaurant that features a “catch of the day” means it. In fact, during the warmer nights towards the end of the summer, you might be able to take part in the jubilee. This is the random night when crabs, fish and shrimp wash up on to the shore. It won’t take much effort to pick a terrific seafood boil.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Some beach lovers like a town that offers some boardwalk action such as Wildwood, New Jersey or Ocean City, Maryland. However, if your version of a beach town is peace and quiet then you’ll want to check into Sanibel Island. There are only around 6,500 full time residents. No stoplights and no building taller than the palm trees. Over at Bowman’s Beach you’ll find some of the best shell pickings anywhere.

Pa’ia Town, Maui

You can’t really have a list of beach town without including at least one from Hawaii. Technically, every beach town in Hawaii is a great beach town but Pa’ia Town on Maui’s North Shore might stand out. Most folks drive right past as they race to the big waves up on Hana but they’re missing a real treat. Pa’ia Town has that laid back, hippie shaka vibe that you came to Hawaii for in the first place! Best of all, you can walk to all the beaches from the town. Park that rental car; you’re not going to need it here.

If you go to one of these popular beach towns, then you’ll be able to rent a board and take lessons. You might not master the skill in a day but you’ll have fun trying. And if it turns out that surfing isn’t your thing, at least you’ll still be at a great spot for a vacation.