July 02, 2019 6 min read 1 Comment

Need a new spot to inflatable paddle board? Read on for 16 terrific spots to SUP in the USA...don't miss this amazing list! Do you have an epic SUP adventure in the USA not listed here? Comment below!

Glacier Bay/Bear Glacier Lagoon, Alaska

Paddle Boarding in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Alaska

Ditch the swimsuits and dawn your cold weather gear for this Alaskan Adventure! Take a trip Alaska and you can Paddle Board next to glaciers and giant icebergs. You’ll need to take a jetboat or helicopter to get here, and this isn’t for the first time paddler - although the paddle boarding isn’t difficult. You’ll likely spot wild bears, humpback whales and harbor seals, and the wildlife varies from day to day. Check out Liquid Adventures: they provide everything you need from dry suit to inflatable SUPs for an adventure to remember.

Black Canyon, Nevada

Just 45 minutes outside the Las Vegas strip is a SUP Paradise that may be the best kept secret of sin city. The Black Canyon Water Trail is 12 miles long and filled with hot springs, narrow canyons and serene desert landscapes. While you can Paddle Board the Black Canyon year around, I recommend Spring or Fall as the hot springs are what make this trip unique. You can rent gear or opt for the guided tour from Kayak Las Vegas.

Lake Powell, Arizona & Utah

Paddle Board Lake Powell

With amazing desert scenery, Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Park is a sprawling 1.25 million acre water and back country playground! Wind, erosion from the Colorado River and volcanic lava carved out hunks or rock over millions of years to create this desert wonderland. Lake Powell Paddleboards offers two tours: a short 2.5 hour and longer 5 hour tour. Both will provide time for swimming and photos, and the longer 5 hour tour is for advanced paddle boarders only as it’s a 7 mile journey on the water. Lake Powell is one of the world’s top SUP destinations, it’s also one of the most remote. You will stay in Page, Arizona - you can fly there direct from the Phoenix or Denver Airports. Page, AZ is 130 miles from Flagstaff, AZ, 272 miles from Las Vegas, NV, 271 miles from Phoenix, AZ, and 385 miles from Salt Lake City, UT if you’re thinking about making the trek in your car. If you don't have your own gear you can rent from Lake Powell Paddle Boards.

Lake Tahoe, CA

Paddle Board Lake Tahoe

Known for it’s Ski resorts and Casinos, Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place to paddle board in the hot summer months. The water is cold, but SUP in the summer months and you’ll want to jump in. If you go in the Fall or Spring there are hot springs to keep you warm. Bare in mind, Lake Tahoe is HUGE so you’ll want to plan your trip a bit in advance: check out Brockway Hot Springs, Kings Beach & Zephyr Cove. Lake Tahoe is only two hours from Sacramento International Airport making Lake Tahoe a must SUP spot if you find yourself in Northern California. You can book a tour and rent gear from Tahoe Paddle.

Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington

You’ll find many places to Paddle Board in Seattle: Green Lake, Lake Union, Lake Washington, Shishole Bay and more, but paddling Lake Union is unlike any other SUP destination. Start your day with tasting Seattle’s famous coffee and head out to Lake Union to enjoy the spectacular city skyline, and the Space Needle all bathed in the background glow of the Olympic Mountains. Need a rental? Check out Northwest Outdoor Center.

Mangroves, Florida Keys, FL

Paddle Board Mangroves

Paddle through the Mangroves in the Florida Key’s for a SUP adventure unlike anywhere else. Underwater, mangroves serve as nurseries for all kinds of fish, crab, shrimp, oysters, snappers and more. The branches of the mangroves serve as nesting grounds for many diverse species of birds. Float through mangrove tunnels where the natural canopies are cool and quiet, and if you’re lucky you just may see barracudas, rays, octopus, and manatees. We recommend a guided tour if it’s your first time - check out the links below for a few outfitters that can lead you on a tour of the magnificent mangroves: SUP Key West and South Florida Paddle.


Paddle Board Hawaii

A famous tropical Island mecca for surfers, is it any surprise that the modern paddle boarding (SUP) was born here too? Almost any island will offer great places to SUP, but Oahu stands out when it comes to paddling. Here’s a list of must-see SUP spots in Hawaii:

Ala Moana, Oahu

Just outside of Waikiki and protected by an outer reef, the water here is beautifully flat and perfect for paddling. Parking is easy and across the street from Ala Moana shopping mall. Catch some sun on the soft, white sand beach or take a break in the shade. Don’t miss the sunset here, either!

Waikiki, Oahu

You may dismiss this popular spot on your Oahu trip, but the waves are flat and calm and the water warm throughout the whole year. You can find beginner and advance SUP lessons here as well, which may be harder to find at the more remote SUP spots on Oahu

Lanikai Beach, Oahu

Paddle Board Lanikai Beach, Oahu - The Moks

One of my all time favorite spots on Oahu. If you’re feeling adventurous you can paddle out to the Mokulua Islands (also know as the Moks or Mokes). The Mokuluas are small, twin islands offshore of Lanikai Beach; both islands are seabird sanctuaries protected by the state government. Lanikai beach is the beautiful white sand beach you’ll start from. The islands are about an hour paddle (1.6 km/1 mile from the beach) on Calm days. When the surf is up getting to the islands can be difficult, so check the conditions before you venture out. One of the islands has a small sandy beach, and if you venture around back you can climb some lava formations and even jump into a large pool in the back. The lava formations are quite rocky and dangerous, so be careful if you decide to do some hiking. You’ll likely see sea turtles, rock crabs, and if you’re lucky spinner dolphins and humpback whales in Hawaii’s winter whale season. There are no life guards present - make sure you can swim well and bring a life jacket. It’s not uncommon for kayaks and paddle boards to flip here (ours did!), so expect to get wet.

Sunset Beach, Oahu

Known for its big wave surfing, during the summer months this North Shore beach is actually very calm. If you’re up for it you can actually paddle the entire 4 mile journey from Waimea Bay to Sunset beach. You may want to bring some snorkeling gear to check out the underwater coral formations here.

Kealakekua Bay, Kona

If you’re on Hawaii’s big island, don’t miss the Captain Cook Monument which is only accessible by water - there are no roads to the monument. Plan your paddle boarding for the morning hours for smooth, calm water. At Kealakekua Bay, Kona’s only underwater state park, you’re likey to see green sea turtles, spinner dolphins, manta rays and more. On most days you can see past 100 ft down, so don’t forget your snorkel gear!

Kapalua Bay, Maui

A great spot to kick back and relax - it always feels uncrowded here. Located on the North West side of Maui, the beach is made up of white sand and is protected by two reefs forming a c-shaped cove. Don’t forget your snorkel gear as there’s a ton of diverse sea life and fish in the shallow reefs near the edges. You can rent your board from Kapalua Beach Crew.

San Diego, California

Paddle Board San Diego

With literally the perfect weather year-round, San Diego has to be on this list. Check out the La Jolla Cove, a local marine sanctuary, where you can see rays, leopard sharks, jelly fish, turtles and more. Other popular spots are: Coronado Island with its great shore breaks, Mission Bay great for SUP Yoga and SUP fishing, Del Mar for its flat water (bring your dog!), and Tidelands Park on Coronado Island. For more, check out paddle boarding in San Diego.

Grand Teton, Jackson Hole Wyoming

Paddle Board Jackson Hole Wyoming

If the rocky mountains, wildlife, and still water excite you, Grand Teton is your paddle board mecca. Explore the placid glacial lakes or you want a little more excitement head down the Snake River. In Jackson Hole you can spot moose, bald eagles, bears, pronghorns, and coyotes. At night head on in to the local brew pub for some tasty local beer. Where else can you see wildlife this on a SUP Adventure? Check out Jackson Hole Kayak for SUP Rentals.

Caddo Lake, Uncertain, Texas

Paddle Board Caddo Lake, Uncertain, TexasOn the border of Lousiana and Texas lies Caddo Lake, but locals call it Caddo Bayou or Uncertain Swamp. If eery, serene swamps are your thing and you have your own SUP gear, drive on out to Uncertain, Texas to explore a maze of swamp land and bayous. Home to many species of fish, you’ll also find birds, turtles, frogs, alligators, beavers, raccoons, snakes, and even the locals have an “Ozark” feel to them (if you’ve seen the mini series).. While you can easily find canoes and kayaks to rent in Uncertain, we have yet to find a reliable paddle board rental company. If you go, drop us a line if you find a reputable shop renting SUPs!

Where is your favorite place to Paddle Board? Tell us in the comments!

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.

1 Response

Chad Sellmer
Chad Sellmer

November 24, 2020

Very nice article! We enjoy the calm waters of Lake Mead and (sometimes) Lake Mohave near Las Vegas. In fact, we’re going there tomorrow. Lake Mohave has some fairly swift currents at times, and Lake Mead can have wake depending on where you go and how close you are to jetskiers/boaters, but the water is nice almost year-round and the scenery is stunning. Thanks for the informative blog and have a great day.

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