In the last 10 years, paddle boarding has exploded in popularity. Because it is easy to do and requires little equipment nearly anyone can paddle board. This has made it the best all around water sport in the country. Whether you want to simply have some fun or get a good workout, paddle boarding can be your go to activity. People of all sizes and athletic abilities can partake as it is incredibly easy to balance and paddle. Below we have compiled a curated list of the best places to paddle board in the US.
1.) San Diego
Yes, we are biased, but San Diego is by far one of the best cities in America to paddle board. As a company that was born and is still headquartered in San Diego, there is no better spot to paddle board. With dozens of amazing beaches to explore and sunny weather year round, San Diego is a paddle boarders dream. Besides the beach, there are multiple bays and harbors that provide calmer waters and unique views to adore while paddle boarding.
2.) The Great Lakes
A large portion of our customer base hails from the great lakes region of the country. The Great Lakes consist of Lake Michigan, Superior, Huron, Ontario, and Erie. They are the largest group of freshwater lakes by total area on earth. This provides an incredible place to paddle board. The only downside to paddle boarding in the Great Lakes is that it can only really be done 6 months out of the year. From October to March, the weather is freezing and the lakes are frozen in some spots making it nearly impossible to paddle board. However, from April to September, the weather starts to turn around and the lakes become a haven for water sports enthusiasts.
Another large part of our customer base comes from the sunshine state of Florida. With its location on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, Florida offers a year round paddling paradise. Whether you are in the crystal clear waters near Miami or on the Gulf coast, you will undoubtedly have near perfect paddling conditions. Just be careful not to paddle during a dangerous point of hurricane season. Tip: Paddle by the mega yachts in the harbor in Miami for an up close view of some of the biggest yachts in the world.
4.) Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a gem located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in between California and Nevada. It is known worldwide for its incredible skiing and snowboarding during the winter and its water sports during the summer. With pristine clear waters and amazing panoramic views, Lake Tahoe is an amazing paddle boarding spot. If the water is warm enough you might like to bring snorkeling gear along so you can explore the wildlife in the lake. Be sure to add Lake Tahoe to your paddle boarding bucket list.
5.) Lake Powell
Lake Powell is a man made reservoir in the Colorado River that sits on the border of Utah and Arizona. The Rainbow Bridge National Monument is located right next to the lake and is one of the iconic landmarks in the US. This massive sandstone bridge juts out of the red bed rock canyons on either side creating a stunning backdrop. If you are in the area we highly recommend visiting this monument. Sandstone canyons adorn the sides of the entire lake making it a picturesque paddle boarding spot. Lake Powell is a popular vacation spot with many people renting houseboats and partying on the water.
Austin Texas is quickly becoming a top notch paddle boarding spot in the US. With great weather year round and a plethora of lakes and rivers nearby this beautiful Texas city needs to be on your destination list. With the best barbecue in the country and an eclectic live music scene you can make this a weekend getaway. The Colorado River cuts directly through the city providing you with stunning city skyline views while paddling. Check out our paddle boarding Austin guide to see all the places you should go.
7.) Lake Shasta
Another California spot on the list. Lake Shasta is located just north of Redding and is a part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. During the spring and summer seasons Lake Shasta is an awesome paddle boarding destination. The cascading forest surrounding the lake provide picturesque visuals while you paddle. If you are there on a clear sunny day you may be able to get a good view of Mount Shasta in the background as you can see in the photo below. Lake Shasta is also another popular place to rent a houseboat if you are into that type of vacation.
8.) Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake, located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah is the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere. The best time to paddle on this lake would be during sunset. The sky provides a breathtaking array of colors that mirror off the calm lake water. The surrounding area has many hiking and biking trails that you can take advantage of when you're out of the water. Make sure to put this spot on your SUP bucket list.
We couldn’t make this list without including the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor enthusiasts dream location. Seattle is an incredible city to paddle board in. A seaport city situated between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Seattle offers incredible views of the city skyline and nearby islands. However, with only about 70 fully sunny days each year, there's a good chance you will be paddling in the rain. Check out our paddle board Seattle guide to see the best spots to SUP.
We may have saved the most beautiful spot for last. The birthplace of surfing is also now a huge SUP surfing destination. The hundreds of world renown beaches offer paddle boarders the best conditions possible. If you’re coming during the winter months, expect the waves to be big and the surfers to be a bit territorial. If you’re there in the summer, brace for hot temperatures and crowded beaches with the influx of tourists. For a more detailed list of places to go check out the top 5 place to paddleboard Hawaii.