Surfrider Beach -- Malibu, California
First, Second, and Third Points are all easy paddles. And for the most part, on a good day, they all offer easy takeoffs. Not so easy? Navigating the crowds. Located in what is technically North Los Angeles, Surfrider Beach is the perfect storm of locals who you'd swear never leave, fast-moving city folk grabbing a quick surf before work, or weekend warriors who refuse to let anyone/anything put a damper on their free time.
However, this place is the stuff of lore (and Surfrider Foundation basically started here) and songs (literally, think Beach Boys) and is a break everyone should check off their list at some point. Summer makes for a great longboard wave while the fall and winter months offer up fun sets for the shortboard.
Heads up: Right off the PCH, be sure to look before you leap — if it looks like a koi pond at feeding time, there are plenty of other spots all through Malibu and Ventura County is only a short drive up the coast. But don't hold your breath as those will likely be crowded as well.
Break Type: Rock-bottom pointbreak.
Crowds: A grocery store parking lot is less slammed.
Localism: Less and less these days, but there are plenty of surly locals.
Surfwear: You can trunk it right now, but come mid-October and you'll want a 2/2.