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5. Windansea Beach

Windansea, with its iconic Surf Shack, was made famous by the Beach Boys who sang about it in the 60's and by American journalist Tom Wolfe, who described its surfers in his 1968 collection of essays, "The Pump House Gang." The palm-covered Surf Shack, originally built in 1946 to host luau beach parties, lives on and so does Winansea's reputation as a top surfing beach. Windansea offers excellent surfing and bodysurfing, but is not for beginners. Swimmers should also be careful because of the strong currents. Windansea is a rocky, rather than a sandy beach, but is very beautiful, with flat surfaces of rock that are fine for walking, sitting, sunbathing, photographing, and painting. Just south of Windansea is Big Rock - the Bonzai Pipeline of Southern California. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer. There are a few fire rings, but no restrooms. Parking is limited to a small lot with about 16 spaces and to surrounding residential streets. Despite its famous reputation, Windansea today keeps a low profile.

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