10 Awesome Paddleboarding Destinations in North America
Known as one of the most popular water sports there is, paddleboarding is enjoyed by thousands of people across the world. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast that enjoys being on the open ocean, packing your travel gear and going off on an adventure may be your sort of thing.
When planning your trip, it’s important that you go to the right place, so if you live in North America, or are keen to visit, we have put together a list of the 10 of the best paddleboarding destinations to seek out in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Some places are world famous which you will recognise whilst others are more off the beaten track and unusual locations which are also incredible.
1. Lake Tahoe, California
If you’re after a lake that’s known for its clear blue waters, Lake Tahoe should be your first on your list. Many standup paddleboarders head to Lake Tahoe, with a range of events taking place across the year. When on the lake, you can take in some breathtaking underwater life that reaches up to 70 feet deep.
Throughout the winter months, why not head into the mountains and take in the beautiful clear waters, not to mention the snow-capped mountains? Whenever you decide to head to Lake Tahoe, you can be sure you’ll have a experience of a lifetime.
2. Key West, Florida
Florida has a year round warm climate with miles of coastline making it one of the best places in the United States for paddleboarding.
The Florida Keys is a very relaxed place to visit with a laid-back vibe, and although it is touristy, it isn't overcrowded. There are beaches and lots of amazing swimming and paddelboarding spots dotting around.
You can also visit the unique mangrove forests and if you are lucky you will get to see marine life like manatees to sting rays.
3. Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii is an incredible destination famous for having some of the best surf spots in the world but what you might not know is that this is where paddleboarding is said to have originated.
Hawaii is also a great place to go paddleboarding with some amazing spots to check out including the famous Waikiki beach, coral reefs of Waimea Bay or the beautiful Sunset beach.
If you are feeling advenurous you could also do the epic 32-mile trail used in the M20 Paddleboard World Championships. Start in Kalua Koi on the island Molokai and travel through the Kaiwi channel to Maunalua Bay Beach Park on Oahu.
Summer is the best time to visit due to the weather and also calmer seas.
4. Black Canyon, Nevada
While many people associate Nevada with the bright lights of Vegas, there are tons of other exciting areas to explore in the state. Located along the Colorado River, the Black Canyon has always been known as the ultimate hotspot for kayaking, meaning that it’s perfect for standup paddleboarding too.
With an array of canyons to take in, you won’t find views like it anywhere else in the country. If the Black Canyon is on your go to list, you need to remember that some parts of the canyon only experience 33 minutes of sunlight per day, so it’s important that you make the most of it while you can.
5. Lake Powell, Arizona
If a visit to this lake isn’t already on your bucket list, prepare to be persuaded. With 96 breathtaking red-rock canyons to take in, not to mention surreal blue water at your fingertips, it’s no wonder why so many water sports enthusiasts flock to Lake Powell every year. With tons of inlets and caves to check out and explore, you can be confident your trip will be filled with everlasting memories.
6. Hood River, Oregon
Regarded as one of the greatest summertime destinations for SUP enthusiasts and professionals, Hood River has all sorts on offer. Although known primarily as the windsurfing capital of the globe, Hood River welcomes standup paddleboarding too.
When out on the river, you can take in a glorious view of the snow-capped Mount Hood. For those who want to paddle through the rapids and feel at one with nature, a trip to Hood River should be next on your destination list.
7. San Diego, California
San Diego is located on the Pacific coast of California and famous for its beaches and warm climate.
8. Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo
Mexico is an amazing destination to go paddle boarding due to the warm sunny Caribbean climate and spectacular destinations. Riviera Maya is very safe with millions of tourists visiting annually and there are so many incredible beaches.
Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are all great places to go paddleboarding due to the corals, reefs and marine animals like fish, turtles and whales.
9. Tofino, British Colombia
Tofino is one of the lesser known places on our list and probably somewhere you haven't heard of before. This small district located on Vancouver Island, off Canada's west coast is stunning with nature, lakes, inlets and rainforest.
There are sandy beaches with year-round surfing and paddleboarding available in places like Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach and Long Beach, part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
10. Anchorage, Alaska
If kayaking in the cold doesn’t faze you, why not give paddle boarding a go? Alaska is a fantastic paddleboarding spot that will provide you with memories you’ll never forget. There are lots of lakes dotted across Alaska that you can check out and explore, giving you plenty of SUP adventures. If you enjoy flatwater SUP, you must take a trip to the Wasilla Lake which is found in Mantuska Valley. For those after an area that’s not too windy, the Eklutna Lake may be more your thing.
Other Places to Consider
These are some other top destinations to check out which didn't quite make our top list:
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Malibu, California
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Santa Cruz, California
- Seattle, Washington
- Puerto Rico
- Toronto, Ontario
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit
- Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur
- Puerto Vallarta
Preparing for Your Trip
Before you head off to any of the destinations listed, it’s important that you’re well prepared and have the right equipment in place. An inflatable paddleboard may interest you, especially as they’re easy to travel with. No matter how long you’re heading away for, knowing what to pack is important.
For the adrenaline junkies who like to go straight in at the deep end, visiting any of these awesome destinations will enable you to paddleboard to your heart’s content. Before you head out the door on your exciting adventure, make sure that you create a checklist of everything you need to ensure your trip is one you’ll never forget.
Have you been to any of the destinations featured on our list? Or do you have any recommendations for places we have missed? Let us know in the comments section below.