While the LA county is wonderful for stand-up paddle boarding, SUP’ing can be done in just about any body of water in the whole world, and with each destination comes different experiences. You can paddle along coasts, on lazy rain forest rivers, or through cities via canals, taking in the scenes while enjoying the water. Here’s the top 10 on our travel activity bucket lists!
- Amsterdam, Netherlands : This SUP destination is actually the coolest thing. There are waterways all throughout the city (over 50 miles combined!) that take you past historical buildings, under arched bridges, and right through daily life in Europe. Check out the well-organized classes from M&M! Fun fact : People in the Netherlands do SUP yoga too!
- Turks and Caicos Islands: The Turks and Caicos Islands are a pair in the Caribbean with tranquil, beautiful waters. You can paddle board through mangrove forests and marvel at the intertwined trees and animals living in them, or stay in the inlets and spy some nurse sharks, white herons, or manatees!
- Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland : Going to Northern Ireland to paddle board sounds a little crazy, but this particular location is actually quite popular for surfing too! The waves are a little larger, but there are experienced shops that offer lessons. With some practice, you might be able to paddle all the way to Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Seattle, Washington : The city of Seattle is home to Starbucks and lots of good ice cream, but also surrounded by water and mountains, which makes it a prime location for SUP’ing! It’s really cool to see both the twinkling cityscape (including the Space Needle) and towering Cascade mountain range at the same time from the board.
- Myrtle Beach, Southern Carolina: The other side of the country has some pretty rad beaches, but also other nature scenes Socal doesn’t quite have! In Myrtle Beach, you can SUP through salt marsh groves like Murrells Inlet Marshwalk or the Waccamaw River National Wildlife Refuge to see twisted trees and little crabs.
- Oahu, Hawaii: Modern stand up paddle boarding originated in Hawaii – and rightly so, given the awesome beach-y vibes and sunny atmosphere. This also means that it’s a great spot to travel to SUP! Most people go to The Gathering Place, Oahu, although basically any other island is great for the sport too.
- Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia : Mossman River and the surrounding areas are full of leafy trees (Daintree National Park is nearby) and Aboriginal culture. Spending time paddling in these wet tropics is relaxing and contemplative! Additionally, there are crocodiles in Australia but nowhere near any SUP spots, so you’re free to float and enjoy.
- Bahamas: The Bahamas, which are a little off the coast of Florida, are a collection of tropical islands surrounded by coral reefs and idyllic vacation scenes. Paddle boarding is a popular activity at many of the islands, and suitably so because the waters are so clear and full of life!
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico : A beautiful tropical paradise, Puerto Vallarta is a pleasant beachside city along which you can paddle to your heart’s content. There’s sea turtles in the water, taco stands along the shore, and many other water sports to try as well!
- Cape Town, South Africa: The culture of South Africa is rich and diverse, as are the various things to do when visiting the town. On the waters, stand up paddle boarding is a popular activity because of the pleasant waters and pretty scenery.
* There’s a lot of wonderful places in California too! (e.g. Marina Del Rey, Malibu, San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Lake Tahoe)
Now that you’re inspired, be encouraged too! Luckily, SUP’ing doesn’t require much equipment and can be inexpensive to rent while you’re on a vacation! So there’s nothing holding you back from enjoying all these places and more 🙂