Windansea Beach Historic Landmark
Windansea Beach is a picturesque coastal beach that has remained a locals’ favorite for decades. It’s rich in history and is one of Southern California’s most iconic surf breaks. San Diego locals come here to enjoy adventurous surfing, sunbathing, walking or just sunset gazing. This little spot in La Jolla has always had a lot to offer. The Shoal La Jolla Beach Hotel is only a short walking distance from this history-rich landmark, and we want to share its history with you.
World War II surfers
After the Second World War the wives of the returning World War II surfers asked them to build a shade for their kids at Windansea. Woody Ekstrom, Fred Kenyon, and Don Okey initially created the palm-covered shack in 1946. It was destroyed by a storm that same winter. But Don Okey with the help of the locals restored it, and ever since the palapa structure, lovingly called the Shack, has been rebuilt multiple times. During the 60s the shack was used to hold huge luaus and as the years went by louder and rowdier parties got held there. Some sources narrate the “Mac Meda Destruction Company” a gang made of party lovers and the underground society of surfers, held huge parties here despite many police raids.
Windansea Beach, formerly known as Neptune Beach, was named after the oceanfront Windansea Hotel built in 1909. The hotel was named by its owner Arthur Snell. The Windansea Hotel burned down around 1943, but the name prevailed. It was not long after that when surfers discovered this hidden gem.
At Windansea Beach the surfing conditions are great year-round. There are certain times of the year when surfers can experience high-performance waves in the two-to-ten-feet range. So shortboard and longboard surfers alike love this spot.
Windansea Surf Club
In 1963, Chuck Hasley created the Windansea Surf Club after retiring from being a high school teacher. The club had famed surfer members, like Mike Hynson, Butch Van Artsdalen, Rusty Miller, Joey Cabell, and Skip Frye.
In 1967, pop artist Andy Warhol shot his “San Diego Surf” film at Windansea beach. The film made Windansea Beach famous as one of Southern California’s most iconic surf breaks.
Favorite beaches for locals
Today, Windansea continues to be one of the favorite beaches for locals and visitors alike. The Shack gives it character and is often used for pictures. At Windansea Beach you can bring your dog after 6:00 pm during the summer and 4:00 pm during the winter. This option gives the beach a true Southern California groove and is appreciated by the locals and all pet lovers.
Although the Shack has endured many circumstances, the landmark will always prevail with a little help from the locals. What once was a loud and destructive party venue is now a relaxing and calm home to anybody who appreciates spectacular waves and breathtaking sunsets. You will often find beach goers reading a book and sunbathing. This relaxing and calming beach is hidden within a residential area in San Diego’s most prestigious neighborhood, La Jolla.
When you plan to visit San Diego, consider staying at The Shoal La Jolla Beach Hotel. Walk 3 minutes west to Windansea and get your own taste of a true So Cal beach life.
Make the most of your vacation and book your stay today.