Recreation

Great Paddleboarding Vacation Ideas

Paddleboarding is one of the newest watersports that has become popular. Also known as Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, it is a cross between kayaking and surfing. The board is wide and mostly flat and made to stand on while paddling with a long oar. It is suitable for nearly any body of water that is large enough, and can be calm and relaxing, not unlike yoga, or it can be intense, like surfing. 

Because of the versatility, there are many different locations that offer paddleboarding experiences, from quiet lakes to oceanfront resorts. These are all over the country, and even the world, so it is possible there is one within reasonable driving distance from you.

United States

Alaska’s Anchorage has some great paddleboarding for those who like the cold. If you have kayaked around Alaska, you might want to consider paddleboarding on your next trip. Alaska is full of lakes as well as being nearly surrounded by ocean.

Arizona’s Lake Powell is surrounded by red-rock canyons and full of beautiful blue water. Because of its size, it never seems crowded even when there are a lot of people participating.

Colorado is full of lakes and rivers for paddleboarding. SUP for all expertise levels can be found, including serene lakes and white water on the rivers. 

California’s Santa Barbara Harbor is full of calm water that allows relaxing paddleboarding. Redondo Beach is another place, where SUP Yoga is offered, combining the relaxing effects of water and yoga with fresh air and sunshine. Lake Tahoe is known for skiing, but its crystal-clear water is an excellent place to paddleboard, as well. 

Florida’s Key West tends to be a relaxed area, and this makes paddleboarding a perfect fit. The calm waters, abundant marine life, and natural beauty provide everything needed for a stand-up paddle boarding destination. Other Florida locations that offer paddleboarding include Bahia Honda State Park, Blowing Rocks Preserve, the Coastal Dune Lakes, Destin, Islamorada, Naples Beach, New Smyrna, St. Augustine, and Stock Island. 

Hawaii is likely one of the first places that will come to mind when considering places to go paddleboarding. This may partly be because of the fact that paddleboarding began in the state. The clear water which is often calm makes an amazing location for standing on water. When the waves come in, the surf side of paddleboarding can be enjoyed. It is ideal for whichever type of SUP is preferred. 

Nevada’s Black Canyon has the Colorado River and the Hoover Dam. It also has caves and hot springs that can be explored through paddleboarding. 

New York has the Hudson River, which allows paddleboarders to view the skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge as they enjoy the water around Manhattan.

Oregon’s Hood River offers some beautiful paddleboarding locations in the wilderness. Parts of the river are whitewater, so be sure to choose a section of the river that suits your level of experience.

South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach has several companies that offer paddleboarding rentals and lessons, as well as expeditions. 

Texas’ Padre Island is a well-known spring break destination. SUP also offers some great bird-watching opportunities, in the Laguna Madre.  Both calm waters and waves to ride are a possibility here.

Washington’s Seattle is situated on water – from the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound to Green Lake and more, there are so many bodies of water for paddle boarding! It is even possible to SUP from one part of the city to another rather than walking. 

International

Abacos, in the Bahamas, is a chain of islands that extend for 120 miles. Its calm, clear water allows paddleboarders to float along and enjoy the view of reefs and underwater creatures such as sea turtles and parrotfish, among others.

Antarctica – the coldest continent – also has places where paddleboarding is a possibility. Those who want to tour there may find that paddleboarding is easier than kayaking for viewing the wildlife. It is more potentially dangerous than SUP in warmer locations, but for many, it may be worth it!

Australia’s Perth has the Swan River, whose waters are flat and calm and perfect for beginners. Cottesloe Beach has gentle waves for intermediate paddleboarders. 

Bali has calm beaches and low-wave water areas that are available year-round for SUP for beginners or advanced paddleboarders. 

Belize has the Glover’s Reef Atoll, in which the Slickrock Resort offers SUP on the turquoise water which also has a variety of islands and cays to explore. 

Canada’s town named Whistler is a resort town in British Columbia that offers a variety of activities, including SUP. Whistler has lakes that are perfect for the sport and the mountain views that surround the town make it a beautiful experience. On the other side of the country, Sauble Lake and Lake Huron offer sandy beaches and large areas to paddle.

Cornwall, in the UK, offers SUP on the coastline which includes lessons. 

Costa Rica SUP Adventures offers retreats that include lessons that teach new paddleboarders the safety and etiquette necessary before they practice their new knowledge on the Pacific Ocean. Playa Danta is one of the best locations, and its warm temperatures of air and water (about 85 degrees Fahrenheit) make watersports a great idea.

Fiji is known for watersports, and SUP is getting a foothold there, too. 

Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta is near the Pacific, but also has a more protected bay – Banderas Bay – that allows paddleboarders to enjoy calm water or waves, depending on their desires and level of experience. People may be treated to the appearance of humpback whales, sea turtles, or dolphins while out on the water. Punta Mita, about twenty minutes away, also offers paddleboarding in the rolling waves. 

Nepal’s Kali Gandaki river begins a tour that Live The Adventure offers. The trip continues through the Drangme Chhu in Bhutan, and ends in India, via the Manas. 

Netherlands may seem like an odd addition to this list, but Amsterdam is full of canals which are perfect for paddleboarding through the city for sightseeing. 

North Wales has white water on the River Dee that makes a great SUP destination for experienced paddleboarders. Stand Up Paddle Boarding UK is a company that will teach advanced methods as well as offering luxurious lodging.

Slovenia has many waterways that are ideal for paddleboarding. The company Viados offers guided tours that include paddleboarding as well as bicycling, wine tasting, and more. 

Sri Lanka has a retreat that offers paddleboarding and yoga. 

While many locations are mentioned here, this is in no way a comprehensive list! Chances are, if there is water in your area, paddleboarding is a possibility. Most lakes are perfect for SUP, and many rivers are appropriate territory, as well. If you are looking for a fun and relaxing way to get a full body workout, consider stand-up paddleboarding!

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