For much of the East Coast, the old saying rings true: spring is a lion before it’s a lamb. From the Northeast down through the mid-Atlantic, weather conditions are anything but sunny in March. But luckily, there’s a pilgrimage that’s become tradition for many Right Coast school kids. Hop in the car, hit I-95, and pull up to the beach in Central Florida in a day or less, depending on your departure point. That leaves you plenty of time to soak up the Space Coast’s balmy weather (that routinely sees glassy mornings, much often than in the fall) and maybe even a lingering north swell or an early season tropical treat (if the two combine, you’re really in for a treat). From Cape Canaveral (hence, the name ‘Space Coast’) to Sebastian Inlet you’ll find a variety of different waves and scenes. For example, there are the bustling boardwalks of Cocoa Beach and Indialantic, the quiet stretches of shore on Patrick Air Force base and south Melbourne Beach, and the revered peaks of Sebastian and coquina reefs of RC’s. There’s no better place to thaw out come springtime on the Eastside. Just bring a fishing pool and a beer coozy in case you get skunked.
Get there: $300-$500 for gas (round trip), depending on your car and the ping ponging price of fuel.
Wave Consistency: Spotty but hopeful.
Spots: Patrick Air Force Base, Indialantic Boardwalk, Sebastian Inlet.
Boards: Small wave, fish, longboard, kayak.
Localism: While you’ll never get a wave at First Peak, at the majority of big name spots you’ll find mostly Southern hospitality and blissful kooks. Or look around and find your own empty spot—there are plenty of them.
Danger: Almost non-existent in the crime department. But watch out for mosquitoes, other assorted insects that bite, extraordinary sunburns, deadly lightning storms, and the “men in grey suits,” to name a few of the numerous natural threats.
Lodging: Reasonable (40-$75- for shared rooms) in motels and hotels; book ahead as things fill up fast, including the campsites (which are reserved a year out).
Party Scene: Have you seen any of the Girls Gone Wild videos?