Discover the Best Paddleboarding Locations in the U.S.

If you’re an avid paddleboarder or just getting started, finding the best locations for this popular water sport is crucial for an unforgettable experience. Luckily, the United States is home to a plethora of paddleboarding destinations, each offering unique scenery and paddleboarding conditions.

Whether you prefer calm waters or ocean waves, freshwater or saltwater, there’s a paddleboarding location for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the best paddleboarding spots across the U.S. by region, highlighting must-visit hotspots and hidden gems.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right paddleboarding location is essential for a great experience.
  • The U.S. offers a variety of paddleboarding destinations, each with unique scenery and conditions.
  • In this article, we’ll explore the best paddleboarding spots in the U.S. by region.

Exploring the Top Paddleboarding Spots on the East Coast

If you’re looking for exciting paddleboarding hotspots, the East Coast of the U.S. has plenty of options to choose from. From bustling cities to remote beaches, there are many must-visit paddleboarding locations to explore. Here are some of the best paddleboarding hubs on the East Coast:

Paddleboarding HotspotLocationWhat to Expect
The HamptonsNew YorkExperience tranquil bays and picturesque coastline while paddleboarding in the Hamptons. This popular destination offers calm waters and scenic views for the ultimate paddleboarding adventure.
Virginia BeachVirginiaPaddleboard through the calm waters of Virginia Beach and experience the natural beauty of the surrounding area. This popular paddleboarding destination is perfect for both beginners and experienced paddlers.
Outer BanksNorth CarolinaThis barrier island chain is a must-visit spot for any paddleboarding enthusiast. Explore the calm waters and stunning scenery of the Outer Banks, including the famous Bodie Island Lighthouse.
CharlestonSouth CarolinaPaddleboard through historic Charleston and take in the city’s rich architecture and scenic harbor. Experience a different side of this charming city while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the water.

These are just a few of the many paddleboarding destinations along the East Coast. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next paddleboarding adventure!

Disclosure: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Uncovering West Coast Paddleboarding Paradise

The West Coast of the United States is a dream destination for paddleboarders of all levels. With its breathtaking scenery and idyllic weather conditions, this region offers some of the best paddleboarding experiences in the country. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing paddleboarding vacation or an adventurous day out on the water, the West Coast has plenty to offer.

Here are some of the top paddleboarding spots on the West Coast:

San Diego, CaliforniaWith its warm waters and stunning coastline, San Diego is a paddleboarding paradise, offering both tranquil bays and challenging surf zones.
La Jolla Cove, CaliforniaThis picturesque spot is home to crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and a variety of paddleboarding tours and classes.
Seattle, WashingtonSeattle’s waters offer a unique paddleboarding experience, with its urban skyline and views of the Olympic Mountains.
Portland, OregonThe Columbia River Gorge is a must-visit for paddleboarders, with its steep cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque hiking trails.

Other popular paddleboarding locations on the West Coast include Lake Tahoe, California, where you can paddle amidst the stunning alpine scenery, and Cannon Beach, Oregon, where you can explore the scenic coastline and iconic Haystack Rock.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the West Coast has something for everyone. So pack your board and head out to one of these popular paddleboarding destinations for an unforgettable experience!

paddleboarding on the west coast

Paddleboarding Adventures in the Great Lakes Region

If you’re looking for picturesque paddleboarding vacation spots, the Great Lakes region should be at the top of your list. The region boasts some of the best paddleboarding hotspots, famous for their crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty.

One of the most popular paddleboarding locations in the Great Lakes region is Lake Michigan. The lake’s crystal-clear waters and stunning shoreline make it ideal for paddleboarders of all skill levels. Paddleboarders can explore the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. For a more tranquil paddleboarding experience, head to Lake Superior. The lake’s remote location provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, with calm waters perfect for long-distance paddling.

The Great Lakes region has much more to offer than just Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Head to Lake Erie for a unique paddleboarding experience, with its warm waters and sandy beaches. The lake’s central basin is perfect for paddling, with gentle waves and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Alternatively, explore the lesser-known waters of Lake Huron. The lake’s varied coastline offers a mix of sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and tranquil bays, perfect for exploring on a paddleboard.

LakeLocationPaddleboarding Highlights
Lake MichiganMichigan, Wisconsin, and IllinoisSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, crystal-clear waters
Lake SuperiorMichigan, Wisconsin, MinnesotaRemote location, calm waters perfect for long-distance paddling
Lake ErieOhio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New YorkWarm waters, sandy beaches, gentle waves
Lake HuronMichigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario, CanadaVaried coastline, mix of sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and tranquil bays

Whether you’re a seasoned paddleboarder or a beginner, the Great Lakes region offers something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your board, and head to one of these popular paddleboarding locations for an unforgettable adventure.

paddleboarder on Lake Michigan

Discovering Southern Paddleboarding Delights

If you’re looking for the best paddleboarding locations in the southern states, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner, the warm waters and diverse marine life of the Gulf Coast and Florida offer some of the most popular paddleboarding hotspots in the country.

The Gulf Coast is one of the top paddleboarding destinations in the southern states, with its calm and clear waters providing an ideal setting for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. Paddle through serene marshes and mangroves, and keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, and other marine life along the way.

Florida is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, which make it a paddleboarding paradise. Whether you want to explore the mangrove tunnels of the Everglades or paddle through the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys, there is no shortage of must-visit paddleboarding locations in the Sunshine State.

The Southeastern states, including Georgia and the Carolinas, also offer some of the best paddleboarding locations in the country. Explore serene marshes and vibrant beachside paddling, and experience the beauty of the South’s coastal landscape up close.

With its warm waters, diverse marine life, and stunning scenic beauty, the southern states are undoubtedly among the best paddleboarding hotspots in the country. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler, there is no shortage of amazing paddleboarding destinations waiting to be discovered in this region.

Paddleboarding Gems in the Mountain States

When it comes to paddleboarding hotspots, the Mountain States offer some of the most breathtaking locations in the U.S. From the towering peaks of Colorado to the serene lakes of Utah, there’s something for every paddling enthusiast. So, grab your board and head to these must-visit paddleboarding locations in the Mountain States.

Blue Mesa Reservoir, ColoradoHome to Colorado’s largest body of water, Blue Mesa Reservoir offers miles of picturesque coastline for paddleboarders to explore. With crystal-clear waters, towering canyon walls, and plenty of wildlife, it’s a paddleboarding paradise.
Lake Powell, UtahOne of the most popular paddleboarding locations in the country, Lake Powell boasts over 1,900 miles of shoreline and crystal-clear water. Paddle through narrow canyons and enjoy stunning rock formations as you explore this paddleboarding gem.
Flathead Lake, MontanaThe largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, Flathead Lake is a must-visit for paddleboarders. With water temperatures reaching up to 75 degrees in the summer and surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, it’s a popular paddleboarding destination for a reason.

These popular paddleboarding locations offer the perfect mix of scenic beauty and exhilarating paddling opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, the Mountain States have something to offer every paddling enthusiast.

Paddleboarder on a mountain lake

Exploring Paddleboarding Hotspots in the Pacific Northwest

If you’re searching for the ultimate paddleboarding paradise, look no further than the Pacific Northwest. With its dramatic coastlines, stunning mountain ranges, and serene lakes, this area offers a diverse range of paddleboarding destinations that are sure to satisfy any outdoor enthusiast.

One of the top paddleboarding spots in the Pacific Northwest is the San Juan Islands in Washington state. With crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, this area offers a unique and exciting paddleboarding experience. You can explore the island’s secluded coves and beaches, or even glide alongside majestic Orca whales.

Paddleboarding in the Pacific Northwest

Oregon’s Crater Lake is another must-visit paddleboarding destination in the Pacific Northwest. This stunning lake holds the title of deepest in the U.S., and its clear blue waters offer a serene paddleboarding experience surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

If you’re looking for a hidden gem, head to Lake Chelan in northern Washington. This narrow, 50-mile-long lake offers tranquil paddleboarding conditions and stunning views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

Other paddleboarding hotspots in the Pacific Northwest include Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, which boasts breathtaking waterfalls and vistas, and Lake Tahoe in California, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountain backdrop.

Paddleboarding Adventures in the Northeast

Discover the charming Northeast region of the United States, which boasts some of the country’s most scenic paddleboarding destinations. From rocky coastlines to tranquil inland lakes, the Northeast has something for every level of paddler.

If you’re looking for a vacation spot to explore, head to Maine’s Acadia National Park, where you can paddleboard among stunning granite cliffs and crystal-clear waters. Further south, New York’s Finger Lakes region is a paddleboarding hotspot, known for its calm and picturesque lakes.

Paddleboarding Hotspots in the NortheastLocation
Acadia National ParkMaine
Finger LakesNew York
Sebago LakeMaine

For those seeking an inland adventure, head to Vermont’s Lake Champlain or New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, both offering beautiful scenery and calm waters.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing paddle or a more challenging adventure, the Northeast has an abundance of popular paddleboarding locations and vacation spots.

Paddleboarding in Maine

Coastal Paddleboarding Experiences in the Southeast

If you’re looking for the best paddleboarding locations in the Southeast, you won’t be disappointed. The region offers a diverse range of coastal paddleboarding experiences that are perfect for both beginners and experienced paddlers. From serene marshes to vibrant beachside paddling, there’s something for everyone.

One of the most popular paddleboarding vacation spots in the Southeast is the Gulf Coast, known for its warm waters and white sandy beaches. You can paddleboard along the coastline and discover hidden coves, or explore the inland waterways and see diverse marine life.

If you’re looking for paddleboarding hotspots that offer a mix of coastal and inland paddling experiences, head to Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina. These states have a variety of paddleboarding destinations that cater to both the adventurous and the laid-back paddlers.

A must-visit paddleboarding location in the Southeast is the Outer Banks in North Carolina. With its calm waters and scenic coastline, it’s the perfect spot for a peaceful paddleboarding adventure. You can also try your luck at Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) fishing in the area.

For a unique paddleboarding experience, head to the coastal marshes of Georgia, where you can paddle through a maze of grass-lined waterways and discover the diverse ecosystem. You might even spot some alligators along the way!

Coastal Paddleboarding Experiences in the Southeast

Overall, the Southeast has a lot to offer when it comes to paddleboarding vacation spots and popular paddleboarding locations. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore the waters and create unforgettable memories.

Inland Paddleboarding Treasures in the Midwest

If you’re looking for serene and scenic paddleboarding experiences, the Midwest is home to some of the best inland paddleboarding hotspots in the country. From the Land of 10,000 Lakes in Minnesota to the winding rivers of Wisconsin, there’s no shortage of must-visit paddleboarding locations in the heartland.

One of the top destinations for paddleboarding in the Midwest is Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning natural surroundings, Lake Minnetonka is a popular spot for paddleboarders throughout the summer months. In addition to peaceful paddling, you can also enjoy fishing, swimming, and picnicking on the lake’s many secluded beaches.

Paddleboarding LocationStateDescription
Chain O’LakesIllinoisKnown for its calm, clear waters and beautiful scenery, Chain O’Lakes is a popular paddleboarding destination in the Midwest. With a total of 15 interconnected lakes, there’s plenty of room to explore and discover new paddling routes.
Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife AreaKansasFor a unique paddleboarding experience, head to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in Kansas. This wetland preserve is home to a variety of bird species and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding grasslands and waterways.
Devils LakeNorth DakotaNamed one of the top fishing destinations in the country, Devils Lake in North Dakota is also a great spot for paddleboarding. The lake’s calm waters and scenic beauty make it a must-visit location for anyone looking to explore the beauty of the Midwest.

In Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is another popular paddleboarding destination. With its stunning sea caves, sandy beaches, and clear blue waters, this national park offers some of the most picturesque paddling routes in the Midwest.

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or just starting out, the Midwest has something to offer for every level. So grab your paddle and board, and head to one of these popular paddleboarding locations for an unforgettable adventure in the heartland.


From the East Coast to the West Coast, the Great Lakes to the mountain states, and the Southeast to the Midwest, there’s a paddleboarding destination for everyone.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, these locations offer stunning scenery and memorable experiences. Take on the waves of the Pacific Ocean, paddle through serene marshes, or explore calm inland lakes – the choices are endless.

Remember to always prioritize safety on the water and follow local regulations. Bring the proper gear and equipment, and don’t forget to take in the breathtaking views around you.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your paddleboard and head to one of these amazing paddleboarding locations for an unforgettable adventure.


Q: What is paddleboarding?

A: Paddleboarding, also known as Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), is a water sport where a person stands on a board and uses a paddle to propel themselves across the water.

Q: Is paddleboarding suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, paddleboarding is suitable for beginners. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. However, it is recommended to take lessons or practice in calm waters before venturing into more challenging conditions.

Q: What equipment do I need for paddleboarding?

A: You will need a paddleboard, a paddle, a leash to attach to your ankle or calf, and a personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. It is also recommended to wear appropriate clothing and use sunscreen.

Q: Are there any safety precautions to consider while paddleboarding?

A: Yes, it is important to wear a PFD and leash, especially in open water or rough conditions. It is also advisable to check the weather forecast and avoid paddling in strong winds or stormy conditions. Additionally, knowing your limits and staying within your abilities is crucial for safety.

Q: Can paddleboarding be done in rivers and lakes?

A: Yes, paddleboarding can be done in rivers and lakes. In fact, many people enjoy paddleboarding in calm inland waters, as it offers a different and serene experience compared to paddling in the ocean.

Q: Do I need experience to paddleboard in the ocean?

A: While prior experience can be beneficial, it is not mandatory to have experience to paddleboard in the ocean. However, it is recommended to have some basic paddleboarding skills and knowledge of ocean conditions, such as tides and currents.

Q: Are there any paddleboarding competitions or events?

A: Yes, there are paddleboarding competitions and events held worldwide. These can range from recreational races to professional competitions. Participating in these events can be a great way to meet fellow paddleboarders and challenge yourself.

Q: Can I rent paddleboarding equipment?

A: Yes, paddleboarding equipment can be rented at many locations, including beachfront rental shops, recreational centers, and water sports facilities. Renting equipment is a convenient option for those who do not own their own gear.

Q: What are some tips for paddleboarding beginners?

A: Some tips for paddleboarding beginners include starting in calm and flat waters, practicing proper paddling technique, maintaining a balanced stance, and staying aware of your surroundings. Taking lessons from a qualified instructor can also be helpful to learn the basics and gain confidence.

Q: Can paddleboarding be a full-body workout?

A: Yes, paddleboarding can provide a full-body workout. It engages the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, core, and legs as you paddle and maintain balance on the board. It is a great way to improve strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Article by Updated on September 11, 2023

Mike brings his technical expertise and passion for the outdoors to Stream City as an outdoor adventure specialist and writer.

Leave a Comment