Professional Outdoor Adventure Guide and Boat Captain, I've been working in the outdoor adventure industry since 1996.
Hilton Head Island, United States
Folly Beach near Charleston, SC is a decent surf spot as far as South Carolina surfing goes. Go to the north end of Folly, not the main public beach where the pier is (and too many people). Here in Hilton Head Island, we have "great for beginners" surf on a regular basis, which is knee to hip high long rollers decent for longboarding. Good swells can be had with storms in just the right place at just the right time, and the surfing is limited to about two hours before to one hour after high tide on most days. Palmetto Dunes Outfitters runs a great surf camp. For anyone interested in more remote beaches for exploring and beachcombing, my company Live Oac runs private charters to remote beaches, sandbars, and shellbanks. Hilton Head and it's nearby island beaches are great for that kind of thing. Oh, one more thing... Hilton Head tends to have the warmest water along the SC coast. We're a bit spoiled by our water that might even be called "too warm" for a while in August! As a surfer who used to live and surf in Oregon's cold waters, I've definitely gotten too used to the comfortable warmth! almost 10 years ago
For most of the US East Coast, a car is almost your only realistic option. The exception would be between the major points between Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and New York City, where train service is a realistic option. And in regards to travel within NYC / Manhattan, driving here is not for the faint of heart. It's the one spot where I'd say "park and take the train in". For everything south of DC, a car is the way to go. Trains and buses in the southeast are a tremendous waste of time and will limit your ability to get to the "real" destinations. almost 10 years ago