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Best Places in California to go Paddle boarding

Best Places in California to go Paddle boarding

Explore California's top paddleboarding spots, from serene lakes to coastal gems and explore the beautiful blue waters from a new look. Team


2 min read

October 24, 2023

With its expansive coastline, tranquil lakes, and pristine rivers, California is an idyllic location for paddleboarding enthusiasts. From beginners to experienced boarders, everyone can find a slice of paradise to float on. Here are some of the best spots in California to embark on a paddleboarding adventure:

Lake Tahoe

On the border between California and Nevada lies one of the most magnificent freshwater lakes in the U.S. – Lake Tahoe. Its clear blue waters, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, make it a picturesque spot for paddleboarding. Zephyr Cove and Sand Harbor are among the favorite spots to launch, and they offer rentals for those without their equipment.

Santa Barbara Harbor

The serene waters of Santa Barbara Harbor make it perfect for paddleboarding. As you paddle, you'll enjoy views of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Stearns Wharf, and the Riviera. You might also encounter friendly sea lions or dolphins swimming alongside. Several rental shops dot the shoreline, offering both boards and lessons.

Monterey Bay

Another gem on the California coast, Monterey Bay, is home to a rich diversity of marine life. As you glide on its waters, you might be greeted by sea otters, seals, and even whales. Lovers Point in Pacific Grove provides calm waters, especially suitable for beginners.

Malibu's Matador Beach

Hidden sea caves, rocky formations, and panoramic views of the Pacific define this spot. Paddleboarding at Matador Beach allows you to explore its secret nooks, and if you're lucky, you'll witness a Californian sunset that paints the sky in hues of oranges, pinks, and purples.

Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing

Nestled in the middle of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz, this saltwater marsh is a haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. While paddleboarding, you can spot over 340 bird species, sea otters, and seals. Its calm waters and rich biodiversity make it a must-visit.

Lake Shasta

Located in Northern California, Lake Shasta is a reservoir that offers more than 365 miles of shoreline. With numerous arms and inlets, it's a wonderful location to explore via paddleboard. The lake's size ensures that there's plenty of space for everyone, and you can find secluded spots to relax and soak in the beauty.

Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area

For those looking for a river paddleboarding experience, the Eel River winding through the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area is perfect. This spot offers calm waters, especially during summer, and is surrounded by towering redwoods, making it a serene paddleboarding location.

San Diego's Mission Bay

With calm waters and a sprawling 4,235 acres, Mission Bay in San Diego is perfect for paddleboarding. Whether you're looking to paddle at leisure, practice yoga on the board, or even engage in some SUP (stand-up paddleboard) racing, this spot has got you covered. The bay also offers various rentals and paddleboarding classes.

Russian River, Sonoma County

Flowing through wine country, the Russian River offers a unique paddleboarding experience. You can paddle past vineyards, forests, and even spot some wildlife. Summer months see the river at its calmest, making it ideal for a relaxing SUP experience.

Dana Point Harbor

A hotspot for SUP enthusiasts, Dana Point Harbor offers calm waters and a chance to paddle alongside marine life like dolphins, seals, and even whales during their migration season.

In conclusion, whether you're seeking ocean waves, tranquil lakes, or flowing rivers, California boasts a plethora of spots perfect for paddleboarding. With the state's diverse landscapes and marine biodiversity, every paddleboarding session promises a unique and unforgettable experience. So grab your board and explore the Golden State like never before.

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