There are various experiences to be had when stand-up paddleboarding, with many exciting adventures set against stunning shores. For some, however, paddleboarding isn’t about seeking to overcome waves and perfect one’s balance against the elements. Instead, some seek the tranquility and relaxation that calm bodies of water offer, immersing themselves in nature.
For such people, the United States offers a great selection of destinations, from hidden bays to serene lakes. Today, we’re sharing seven of the best and most relaxing places to SUP.
If you can handle the heat, Lake Mohave offers a particularly beautiful and placid space to paddle, with extensive beaches and plenty of private spots, ideal for beginners and groups that are just starting to find their feet on the water. For those more confident paddlers, there are a number of hidden coves and secluded beaches to find up river too.
A sought-after location by many watersport enthusiasts, Florida’s Juniper Run is a quiet and mostly covered river surrounded by dense foliage, one that can be enjoyed year-round. The winter may get slightly cold, so be sure to wrap up, while the summers are susceptible to storms, meaning that safety and planning remain important.
Virginia’s Lake Anne is a stunning and quiet place to SUP. Aside from the remarkable landscape, there is no boat traffic to navigate, making the water suitable for beginners, and a number of facilities, including cafes and restaurants nearby.
The small and idyllic town of South Haven, Michigan, is known for a few great qualities, from its lighthouse to the seasonal blueberry festival. However, it is also an off-the-radar destination for paddleboarders who want to enjoy the lake’s clear and vast waters too. While there are likely to be a few small boats near the city center, its sandy beaches extend for miles, offering plenty of room for those wanting to find their own quiet spot.
Columbia River Gorge
Oregon is often celebrated for its mountains but it is the Columbia River Gorge that is perhaps the most appealing location for paddleboarders, being an area that is vast and accommodating for those wanting to get out onto the water.
Only a short drive from Portland, you will soon find yourself surrounded by verdant landscapes and steep inclines. Just be sure to check the weather forecast as the river can often be prone to strong winds.
For those venturing out to paddleboard along Idaho’s Snake River, the backdrop will not only include towering and dusty steeps but also the likely appearance of base jumpers too. Stretches of the river are celebrated by both water and air enthusiasts, so be sure to look up as well as ahead.
Vermont is a state known for many of its rural retreats. One such location that is certain to grow more popular as paddleboarders become aware of the fantastic waters is Lake Willoughby. This glacial lake is tucked within the heart of a state forest and is consistently ranked among Vermont’s most brilliant locations. Just be sure to bring your wetsuit if you plan on swimming!