Paddleboarding has grown to become one of the most popular outdoor sports in the world – and for those who have wondered why this is, the answer is actually pretty simple. Paddleboarding offers a great way for the entire family to stay fit, and there are inflatable paddleboards that will suit every age and experience level – and many offer exceptional value for money. However, suppose there is one thing that would make anyone take a long hard look at paddleboarding besides building core strength, enjoying the company of friends and family, and getting a great cardio workout. In that case, it is the places that paddleboarding can offer those who want to explore the USA. The simple fact of the matter is that paddle boarding can take one to some of the most scenic spots in the country.
However, there are simply so many of these across the US that making travel plans can be frustratingly challenging – choosing which natural wonder to enjoy is no easy task given the sheer amount of beauty that the US packs into its borders.
So for those who want to make that choice a little bit easier, here are some of the spots that should be on anyone’s paddle boarding bucket list. Choose just one and you will not be disappointed – take an extended trip and you will enjoy scenes of natural splendor that will rival the best in the world.
1. Lake Tahoe, California.
Lake Tahoe repeatedly appears on the wish lists of those who want a paddleboarding experience that has it all. Although this region of Northern California is perhaps best known for its winter ski activities, Lake Tahoe is perfect for a summertime paddleboarding visit. Make no mistake, the waters are not going to offer you a warm embrace – but the cold is absolutely perfect to provide relief from a hot summer’s day. To say that Lake Tahoe is extensive might be a little bit of an understatement – the Lake sprawls across 122,200 acres. Some research on where to stay is in order. That decision should be based on what parts of the Lake you might want to enjoy. Popular spots include Brockway Hot Springs, Zephyr Cove, and Kings Beach. Note that there is gear available to rent from a number of outlets around the Lake – a simple Internet search will provide you with plenty of options.
2. The Florida Keys.
For those who want to be in close proximity to the salt water, the Florida Keys and its mangrove swamps are a wonderful place to haul out the paddleboard and go exploring. The wildlife that can be viewed is simply spectacular. The mangroves act as a nursery for sub-adult fish – and this attracts all sorts of predators in search of a tasty meal. A gentle meander through the Keys will reveal Barracuda, various types of Rays, and, for the lucky, a group of manatees at play, nursing, or feeding. There are also Key Deer (which are endemic to the area) and a variety of snakes that can often be seen swimming in the Mangroves’ waters. The birdlife is also incredibly varied. For nature lovers, the unique experience of paddleboarding the Florida Keys is an experience that should not be missed. There are a number of outfits in the area that offer guided tours of the Keys – and they offer exceptional service to those who really want to get the most out of paddleboarding in this area.
3. Anchorage, Alaska.
If you want to explore one of the last great wilderness areas on the planet and are prepared to pack for some (very) chilly weather, then Anchorage, Alaska should be on the agenda as a paddleboarding destination. The area has become a special favorite with those who favor the stand-up version of paddleboarding, with lakes such as Wasilla Lake in the Matanuska Valley attracting more and more attention. For those who want to be simply blown away by the scenery, then it’s hard to beat Eklutna Lake. Other lakes that are worthy of special mention are Lake Clark (22,000 visitors a year can’t be wrong) and Kenai Lake in the Chugach National Forest, which is a fabulous destination for those who want to combine camping with paddleboarding. There are four camping sites around this 5,590 hectare Lake – each offering differing levels of comfort. Alaska is filled to the brim with wonderful lakes to explore on a paddleboard – some research will definitely pay off in the form of the perfect paddleboarding experience. Keep alert and avoid whales, seals, and sea otters. Niy only is that the safer option – it leaves them undisturbed, where they add to the natural wonder of the area.
4. Lake Powell, Arizona.
If there is one word that describes this lake, it is ‘magnificent’, but the word ‘grandeur’ would also find its way into any sentence that’d describe why it is so popular with those in love with freshwater, paddleboarders included. The setting sun illuminates canyon walls that glow with every shade of red and ochre imaginable, and the calm waters are incredibly welcoming. The Lake boasts secluded inlets and coves in abundance – it is one of those magical places that will provide a feeling of privacy to all who are on its waters; it simply never seems crowded. This is in part due to the fact that it actually stretches over Utah and Arizona and consists of 250 square miles of water. Those who want to explore the Lake would probably find that basing themselves in the town of Page is a great idea. It’s close to two marinas (Wahweap and Antelope) and has plenty of accommodation options.
5. Oahu, Hawaii.
Hawaii has often been described as a slice of paradise. It certainly lives up to its reputation for those who are in love with the saltwater. This includes a growing number of paddle boarders who make their way to its magnificent coastline to enjoy one of the most beautiful settings for water sports in the world.
It’s great for stand up paddleboarding and for those who want to remain seated. Take the trip during summer when the waves are friendlier to paddleboarders. There are other options for those who do not want to brave the sometimes challenging waters of Waimea Bay, including Lanikai Beach, Haleiwa, and Puaena Point. It’s a destination with wonderful attractions for those times when one is not on the water – and exploring the islands is definitely recommended.
There are so many wonderful paddleboarding spots in the USA that any list will definitely miss some of them. Get on the Internet and do some research – there is almost certainly a great spot close to home -or one that will satisfy your wanderlust and thirst for natural beauty. While your on the internet make sure you have the right inflatable paddle board for the job. Check out PaddlingWaves.com for there full line of recommended inflatable paddle boards.