Best Spots to Paddle Board on the West Coast

 

Though summer is over, you can still pack up your paddle board and hit the road in search of blue water and beautiful views. 

Here are three unique and unforgettable paddle boarding destinations around the West Coast for explorers and nature lovers. And because no list of the best places to paddle board would be complete without Florida, we’ve included a bonus destination that’s one of a kind.

Island paddle boarding in Washington

Ready for an adventure? The San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington (pictured above) should be on your SUP bucket list for their beauty and marine wildlife.

An archipelago comprised of hundreds of islands, the San Juans have four main islands you can visit—San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, or Shaw Island. To get there, take a seaplane or charter boat or hop a ferry from Seattle. 

Once there, you can cruise one of the San Juans’ many placid bays, explore rocky coastline, and hope to catch a glimpse of sea lions, porpoises, and even orca whales. 

For a versatile and durable paddle board that cuts smoothly through chop and provides a stable ride, we recommend the Versa 10'6.

See the Versa 10’6 – All-around SUP 

Picturesque paddle boarding in California

Interested in towering cliffs and rich marine life? La Jolla Cove in San Diego is the place to go.

As part of an ecological reserve, La Jolla is popular with divers and snorkelers because of the stunning marine life that can be found there. But it’s also a great place to paddle board, with calm, clear water and beautiful sandstone cliffs and caves.

Wildlife lovers should keep an eye out for seals sunning themselves on the rocks, in addition to bat rays, leopard sharks, and sea turtles in the water.

If you’re headed to California, you want a travel-friendly, all-around SUP like the Shubu Kraken 10’—the perfect choice when you need a “do everything” board.

See the SHUBU Kraken 10' - Inflatable All-around SUP

Paddle boarding in Bend, Oregon 

Bend is where you should paddle board in Oregon because of two geographical features: a wealth of high alpine lakes and the wild and scenic Deschutes River, which threads from the Cascade Mountains and ends 252 miles north in the Columbia River.
If you prefer flatwater to a river, hop on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, a historic highway with beautiful views and 14 different alpine lakes along the way. If you’d rather cruise the current, you can’t go wrong with the Deschutes. Floating the Deschutes River in Bend is a popular pastime, in addition to rafting, fishing, and of course, stand up paddle boarding.
For lakes and river cruises, we recommend the SHUBU Lūnr 10'4 - Inflatable Paddleboard. It’s easy to inflate, easy to carry, and comes with a dry bag to keep your cell phone and other valuables safe while you explore the water. 

Bonus! Unique paddle board spot in Florida

In a state full of sandy beaches, Blowing Rocks Preserve stands out due to its unique shoreline of craggy Anastasia limestone. This 73-acre environmental preserve is located on Jupiter Island in the Hobe Sound.

Hike, explore the rocks along the beach, and paddle board around the preserve. You’ll be able to take in Jupiter Island from many angles and can even see erosion holes where waves have worn away the limestone.

Bring snorkeling gear if you have it—this is a great spot to spend a little time underwater. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a rare loggerhead, leatherback, or green sea turtle.

For more can’t-miss SUP destinations, check out our blog post on the best paddle boarding in the US.