5 most unique surf spots

You've heard about San Diego and Hawaii, but did you know you can surf in Michigan?

Whether you're a beginning surfer or a seasoned pro; ready to trail a tanker, edge an iceberg, or eager to stay stateside, we've got a surfing surprise is in store.

Surfing in Ireland

It may not be as obvious an association as Guinness and Jameson—which you can warm up with after a gnarly session—but the Emerald Isle boasts nearly 2,000 miles of coastline. And what a picturesque coastline it is. Think: beaches that offer long stretches of golden sand, colorful reefs, and scenic coves. The western shore comprises some of the most popular surf spots, including Tullan Strand and Strandhill, but even the east coast offers a gem (check out Tramore, Co Waterford). Beginners will be especially welcome surfing in Ireland, where beaches are dotted with surf schools. And did we mention how appealing a visit to the local pub sounds after?

Tanker Surfing in Texas

Locals say tanker surfing in Texas's Galveston Bay has been around since the 1960s, when fishermen and sailors began to ride the waves in the wake of cargo and tanker ships. But since his appearance in the 2003 documentary Step Into Liquid, which introduced tanker surfing to the wider public, James Fulbright is known as the unofficial godfather of the sport. Experienced longboarders can charter a ride with Fulbright's company, Tanker Surf Charters; he doesn't take beginners, and the sport has a somewhat exclusive, members-only vibe. There's even celebrity clientele, like ultimate beach fan Jimmy Buffet himself, who called tanker surfing "a surfing experience you will never forget." Indeed, playful dolphins have been known to leap alongside tanker surfers in the waves. Of course, traditional waves are on offer in the Lone Star State, with South Padre Island boasting the best waves in the warm, shallow waters of the Gulf.

Surfing in Iran

In the small Iranian village of Ramin in the remote region of Baluchestan, women are pioneering a surfing movement. Five-time Irish surfing champion Easkey Britton and two Iranian women, Mona Seraji and Shahla Yasini, were among the first people to surf in Iran, and the subjects of the film, Into the Sea. They've brought not only a sport to Ramin but a way to break down social and cultural barriers; as the women attracted attention, they began to teach surfing to boys in the local villages. Sports in Iran are generally open to women, but their bodies must be fully covered and their hair cannot be visible. The lack of sportswear suitable for Muslim women in water sports is a challenge for female athletes, Shahla Yasini told Huck Magazine. "The lack of freedom in movement prevents women from moving quickly and feeling comfortable in the water. It's also further distancing other women who are not used to sports, stopping them taking their chance to get close to water. Moreover, a very male dominated mentality is the greatest obstacle, especially here in Baluchestan. Myself and the other women involved in the surfing movement have to face and fight against." There are now a number of nonprofit organizations to encourage surfing in the region, including We Surf in Iran and the Surf Seeds Project.

The Great Lakes

A GI returning from Hawaii with a longboard in 1945 was the first to surf the Great Lakes—what some have called America's "Third Coast"—but surfing didn't really take off on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan until the 1960s. There are only about ten surfable days a year and the frigid water requires a thick, hooded wetsuit—and sometimes even that's not enough. "Winter swells mean 30-degree water temps and sometimes subzero air temps; sometimes you get frozen into your wetsuit," a Duluth, Minnesota surfer told the Adventure Sports Network. Still, boosters have been known to call Sheboygan, Wisconsin "the Malibu of the Midwest" for its freshwater surfing, and you can't beat the friendly vibes of the local communities. "Don't be surprised if everyone in the lineup chats you up or invites you for a post-session drink," the magazine advised.

Surfing in Iceland

The Guardian called Iceland "Europe's last surfing frontier," and surfing veteran Atli Guðbrandsson called the arctic waters, "cold, beautiful and unpredictable." Midsummer in Iceland means long days of daylight and empty waves—as long as you can take seas that "strike like a slap in the face." The waves around the Reykjanes peninsula break over a rough volcanic reef—wetsuits and foot protection required. Imagine a lunar landscape that is only an hour from cosmopolitan Reykjavik. If hostile weather and tricky logistics sound like fun and you are willing to do your homework, than the glorious scenery onshore can more than compensate. Or skip the cram session and book your adventure with Arctic Surfers, founded in 2011 by Ingó Olsen, one of Iceland's surfing pioneers, who remembers the early days. "I was, like, 'Surfing? In Iceland? Are you kidding me?'" Olsen told the Guardian. "I went one summer evening with a really old borrowed wetsuit, wool socks with plastic bags over them, and sneakers – and it was so much fun."

Surfing in the Netherlands

From April to October, Holland has its own surprising surf-scene on the North Sea that is "absolutely epic." Summer is the most welcoming time for beginners—seasoned pros will get their kicks in spring and autumn. And you won't have to venture far from Amsterdam. One of the Netherlands' best surf spots is Wijk aan Zee. Sign up for a lesson at Ozlines surf school for surfing lessons. Or head to Zandvoort, where surf schools Surfana and First Wave can help you ride the waves. In Bloemendaal there's a surf camp in the summer months. But locals call Scheveningen in The Hague the Dutch surfing mecca. Wherever you go, supplant visions of sun, sea, and palms with one that is windy, cold and gray. But as surfers say: that can make for an ideal day of waves.

Any one of these adventures could you leave you feeling like Wilma Johnson, author of Surf Mama: One Woman's Search for Love, Happiness, and the Perfect Wave. "In a moment I might be under the wave swallowing seawater and small jellyfish, but right now I am an ancient princess of Hawaii, I am a bikini model, I am a goddess before the crest of a monster billow."

To which we say, right on.

Read More from Journiest

Subscribe now

Related Posts
Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com


A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!

Seattle, Washington is a rainy, coffee-fueled, coastal town often referred to as the "Emerald City."

Located against the ecological wonderland of Puget Sound, this cosmopolitan, seaside city is a mishmash of arts, culture, history, nature, and, of course, cloudy weather. Thanks to its proximity to nature, its greenery, and its culturally rich, big-city atmosphere, the city is becoming increasingly popular, both for tourists and those looking for a change of scenery.

The Big Stops: Tourist Seattle

If you only have a few days to visit Seattle, you'll probably want to check out the area's most famous attractions.

For nature lovers and summit-chasers, there's the imposing, wildflower-shrouded Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainierthebesttravelplaces.com

Mt. Rainier

For foodies, there's the popular Pike Place Market, a giant patchwork of food-sellers and friendly chaos where you can purchase everything from giant crabs' legs to bottomless amounts of coffee (more on that later).

Pike Place Marketseattle.eater.com

And finally, there's the iconic Space Needle and the Sky View Observatory, which will give you extraordinary views of the city.

Space Needlegetyourguide.com

Seattle Arts and Museums

For arts and culture lovers, Seattle has plenty to cut your teeth on. Don't miss the Chihuly Garden and Glass, a collection of extraordinary blown-glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly Gardensfodors.com

Chihuly Gardens

For art, there's the giant Seattle Art Museum Downtown. Seattle also offers the Museum of Pop Culture, a nonprofit that features all your favorite icons from history, and plenty of other options.

Museum of Pop Culturesmithsonianmag.org

For some history, there's the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which commemorates Seattle's history as a gold rush hub.

There are plenty of quirky attractions—like the giant Fremont Troll, the 18-foot sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood that cuts an imposing figure.

Fremont Trollsillyamerica.com

You could also take in the city from a boat—marine enthusiasts might enjoy visiting to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to explore the history of this port city.

Seattle, of course, also has a gritty underground side—you may know the city from its time at the heart of the '90s grunge movement.

It also has a long, storied history that has left more than a few scars. You can literally see its underground through one of its underground tours, which will take you on a walk through the "buried city," the remnants left over from before the Great Fire of 1889.

Seattle Undergroundpinterest

Natural Wonders

Seattle is notorious for its natural wonders. For a close-up view, there's the Seattle Aquarium, a marine experience that showcases the best of what Puget Sound has to offer.

For more exposure to the beauty of Seattle's nature, try the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre showcase of Seattle's wetlands and natural wonders.

Washington Park Arboretumtriposo.com

You might also pay a visit to the Alki Beach for some time with the ocean waves.

Alki BeachMetropolitangardens.blogspot.com

Or consider taking a more exhaustive adventure to Discovery Park, a giant and labyrinthine natural park at the edge of Puget Sound.

Discovery Parktrip savvy.com

Food and Drink

Food tours are also popular options for those who want to get more intimate with the city's cuisine, and Seattle is often ranked as one of the best cities for foodies.

It's also a great place for coffee-heads. You might also pay a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, AKA Ultimate Starbucks, a tasting room that features a coffee library amongst other treats for coffee addicts.

Sarbucks Reserve Roasterydesigner.com

Moving to Seattle

If you're planning on moving to Seattle, locals say there's a few things you should know. First off, it is most definitely overcast the majority of the time, though the rain is rather like a mist. That makes the rare sunny day shine even more, though, locals say, in addition to fostering natural abundance.

The city is generally very congested with traffic, which can be noisy, though it offers great public transportation options, from buses to rail—regardless, you'll want to get an Orca Card for that.

Like every city, Seattle has a number of diverse and charismatic neighborhoods. For example, there's the beachy, more laid-back West Seattle.

West SeattleWest Seattle

There's the vibrant Capitol Hill, a hub of arts, culture, tech bros, and nightlife (during non-COVID times).

There's the historic and artsy Pioneer Square, featuring plenty of museums, shops, galleries, and pubs.

Pioneer Square SeattleExpedia

Fremont is a more bohemian area. Belltown is a trendy waterfront neighborhood that's close to everything.

In general, Seattle residents love the city for its proximity to nature, from beaches to glaciers, and its abundance of arts and cultural attractions. As Kimberly Kinrade said, "Seattle is for people who love culture, but refuse to sacrifice their wild nature to attain it." Residents dislike the steep cost of housing and all things that come from rising prices, including the city's large homeless population.

In general, the city is known as environmentally conscious, liberal, and dog-loving. The people are often referred to as nice but possibly a bit standoffish and cold (the "Seattle Freeze" is when you make plans to hang out and then bail, which is apparently very common). The rain can certainly get depressing, but the proximity to nature helps.

Remember, if you do happen to move: umbrellas are dead giveaways for tourists.

What's your favorite part about Seattle? What did we leave out? Let us know at @thejourniest on Twitter!


Weed World Candies Exist to Prey on Gullible Tourists

Weed is still illegal in New York, but scamming tourists is not.

You wouldn't know it walking around midtown Manhattan, but marijuana is still illegal in New York.

It does seem strange to think that perhaps the most metropolitan city in the US would be lagging behind so many other parts of the country that have legalized possession, production, and sale of cannabis and THC products, but it's true.

New York's decriminalization of marijuana has led many smokers to be more brazen with their public consumption in recent years, and Governor Cuomo recently announced plans for limited legalization for recreational use at the state level. But for the time being the sale of products containing THC is still very much illegal.

buy happiness You sure about that?

Adding to the confusion is a company that has sprung up to prey on tourist's uncertainty. Weed World trucks have multiplied at a staggering rate since they first started appearing in Midtown and the Village a few years ago. Easily a dozen RVs and vans now line the tourist-dense streets of Manhattan, advertising Girl Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue, clad in marijuana-leaf decals and occupied by employees who are paid either to be stoned out of their minds, or just to pretend they are.

With eyes nearly in slits and an air of relaxation that suggests that customers are temporary interludes from a permanent nap, they will promise you as much as they can get away with while letting their branding do most of the work. They will sell you four lollipops for $20, which would seem like a great deal if not for the fact that they will not deliver on the strong implication that they'll get you high.

They have a Twitter account where they celebrate the supposed availability of weed and claim to "have New York locked down." They'll even sell you vape cartridges that advise you to "get medicated," and which are packed with potent doses of… flavor?

weed world truck

An employee once assured me that their candies do contain THC—maybe they wouldn't be so brazenly dishonest today—and in a drunken state I coughed up $5 to test that claim. There is a faint weedy taste to their candies, and you may find trace amounts of CBD inside, but that's it. It's a scam. There is no THC. Nothing that will give their customers the experience they're selling.

Worse than the trucks is the Weed World Candies storefront that opened in midtown in 2019. Just walking past you would swear that people were passing a massive blunt inside.

The smell is unmistakable and overpowering, except that it's fake. Whatever chemical fragrance they pumped onto the street, it was not connected to anyone smoking weed. Inside, the psychedelic wall art complemented shelves lined with suggestive candies and boxes emblazoned with pot leaf insignia.

Whatever the venue, they are all too happy to sell you overpriced hemp products and CBD creams and chocolates made to look like nugs. And if you're a tourist, or a moron like me, you might believe the scam long enough to give them money, but nothing they sell will get you high.

weed world store Hiroki Kittaka

The owners of Weed World, Judah Izrael and Bilal Muhammad—who prefers to go by "Dro Man" or "Doctor Dro"—will defend their products by claiming that they serve to promote legalization and decriminalization efforts by normalizing the idea of public sale of marijuana. But at no point in the purchasing process is the illusion that their candies will get you high broken. At no point are their customers offered literature explaining the mission of Weed World.

On their website's FAQs page, there is no mention of THC or its absence from their products, but the first question, "How much should I eat?" is answered, "It's all based on your tolerance but there's no limit." Tolerance for what? Sugar? The company—which originated in Alabama and has spread to cities around the country—mostly seems like a very profitable way to sell candy to gullible adults.

weed world wall art Nicole Mallete

The best thing I can say in their defense is that one of their trucks was recently busted by police in Saraland, Alabama, with products that "tested positive for marijuana." Assuming this isn't a screw up or deliberate frame-job by the police, it's possible that some of the Weed World trucks are using their faux activism as a front for selling actual drugs. If so, that would be the most honest thing about this company. Until that's confirmed, ignore these trucks and maybe just ask a friend for a hookup.