San Diego is known for its beautiful weather and year-round outdoor activities. This includes kayaking, surfing, hiking, and Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP! For some people, you may have never heard of this outdoor activity before or where to go to SUP. Fear not, this article will give you the 9 best places to paddleboard in San Diego.
But first! What is Stand up paddle boarding? Well, it is kind of like surfing, but on a much larger and wider board. This is a fun way for you to enjoy being out on a body of water.
Personally, I think Stand Up Paddleboarding is easier than surfing, so if you are like me then you may want to try this activity first. Plus, you get a great arm and back workout!
If you have never been Stand Up Paddleboarding before then check out this article on a beginner’s guide to learning how to SUP!
There are multiple places and bodies of water to SUP in San Diego, but let’s start with the best beachside places to paddleboard including Mission Bay, La Jolla Cove, and Del Mar Dog Beach.
1. MISSION BAY
Mission Bay has plenty of fun things to offer! YOu can start your day off with a morning ride on a rollercoaster at Belmont Park, then head to Fit gym to get a leg workout in, grab a burrito for lunch and finish your night with a sunset Stand UP Paddleboard ride in Mission Bay.
Mission Bay is a great place for beginners to learn. It usually has calm waters and there is plenty of space!
The calm waters tend to be in the morning and evening time. Jet skis and boats use this area in the afternoon.
Tip! The Bahia hotel gives access to the Bay with a free parking lot. Paddle up to the Barefoot Bar for some drinks and yummy food.
Where to rent a board from: Bliss Paddle Yoga or Mission Bay Aquatics.
2. LA JOLLA COVE
Another beautiful area in San Diego. La Jolla is a very wealthy neighborhood in San Diego. Paddleboarding in this area will offer some great views of multi-million dollar homes.
La Jolla Cove is the kind of place you would see on a postcard of San Diego. It is iconic and again La Jolla offers so many activities. La Jolla Cove is popular with many water sports and sea-animals.
You may have the chance to see sea turtles, seals, or even a shark (don’t worry the sharks in here are harmless). Enjoy your day hanging out on the waters and maybe even finding a secret cave or two!
Paddleboarding among the cliffs of La Jolla is prime! You can rent your board from Everyday California.
3. DEL MAR DOG BEACH
Lots of people in San Diego have a dog and what a better place than to be able to bring your dog along and go paddleboarding. Del Mar dog beach allows you to bring your furry friend. Maybe even take him/her for a spin on your board with you!
This is one of the only dog-friendly beaches in San Diego, so this may be the spot for you!
Del Mar dog beach offers the opportunity to flatwater SUP or even test the waters with a little SUP surfing aka surfing a wave with a SUP board.
SUP surfing is for the more experienced person, but if you have the courage to try it out then do it!
Where to rent? Check out Del Mar surf rentals
NORTH COUNTY SAN DIEGO
North County San Diego also has some amazing places to go Stand Up Paddleboarding! North County is located about 45 minutes north of the San Diego airport and can be a hidden gem sometimes. There are lots of places to SUP including: Lake San Marcos, Oceanside Harbor, and the Carlsbad Lagoon.
4. LAKE SAN MARCOS
San Marcos is a little city inland to the beach, so if the beaches are all fogged in then you can try to go inland to a place like Lake San Marcos to enjoy warmer weather.
You will be surrounded by rolling green hills and a flat body of calm waters. Unfortunately, there are not many places to rent a Stand-Up Paddleboard around here, so you either need to bring your own or grab one near the beach.
If you want to get even more exercise in after paddleboarding on Lake San Marcos then check out the hike called Double Peak.
5. OCEANSIDE HARBOR
The Oceanside Harbor is one of the furthest north beaches to San Diego county, but paddleboarding here can make for a great day! My mom and I have personally paddleboarded here a few times!
This is a great place for both beginners and experienced SUP. Stay within the harbor and weave through the boats for a more beginner experience or head out past the outer jetty for a more difficult experience.
If you are lucky you may get to experience some whale watching while out on your SUP board in the Oceanside Harbor. Seeing dolphins is also very common in the Oceanside Harbor.
Insider’s Tip: Check the tides and head to the hidden beach directly across from the harbor paddleboard launch port when the tide is low. Bring a sandwich from my favorite place, Board and Brew, and enjoy some time sunbathing on the mini private beach.
Looking for a place to rent a board near the Oceanside Harbor? Check out Oceanside Paddleboard.
6. CARLSBAD LAGOON (AGUA HEDIONDA LAGOON)
The Carlsbad Agua Hedionda Lagoon is just adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in North County San Diego. This is one of three lagoons in Carlsbad. This lagoon offers a great place to just hang out and relax. It is a great place to bring kids too as well.
If you are experienced and like to do Yoga then this is a great place to try out some SUP yoga.
PARKS TO STAND-UP PADDLE BOARD IN
You may not know it but there are also some parks in San Diego that have water nearby; therefore offering yet more opportunities to paddleboard! Some of these parks include: Tidelands Park in Coronado, Shelter Island Shoreline Park, and the Coronado Cays.
7. TIDELANDS PARK CORONADO
Coronado is a beautiful little island located in southern San Diego. It is known to be a very wealthy place. Here you will find the most beautiful houses and the coolest hotel called Hotel Del Coronado.
Tidelands Park on Coronado offers for you to be surrounded by miles of calm and flat waters. This place is one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets. When you go paddleboarding here you will have beautiful views of the San Diego skyline and the Coronado bridge.
Enjoy hanging out on the sandy beaches surrounding the park afterward. Grab your board rental from San Diego SUP rental.
8. SHELTER ISLAND SHORELINE PARK
Another hidden gem in San Diego! Gosh there are so many aren’t there?
This is located in a neighborhood in Point Loma-another wealthy town in San Diego. Shelter Island is the perfect place to watch a sunrise or sunset from your paddleboard. There are so many great places to paddleboard within a short distance from the airport.
Shelter Island being one of those places included.
Insider’s tip: If you have time afterward then you should grab some pizza from Pizza Nova-oh and definitely try their garlic balls too! Or if you are craving a burrito then you must grab one from Ortiz’s in Point Loma.
9. CORONADO CAYS
This is a place that does not always make the list when other bloggers write about the best places to paddleboard in San Diego. Why? Because most of the time you need to know someone who lives in the Cays to gain access.
There are a few launch spots for people that don’t live there, but if you know someone who lives in the Coronado Cays, then make sure to ask them if you can paddleboard around the area.
You can paddleboard through rows of houses and just admire the beauty of it all.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SUP?
-It does not take a lot of gear to get started! Check out my list below for San Diego summer weather attire that would work well and look cute for Stand Up Paddleboarding.
-You can get the hang of it pretty quickly!
-You can get a great arm and back workout by paddling OR if you are confident in your balance you can try out some SUP yoga!
-Get your tan on!
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM YOUR OUTDOOR LOVING SAN DIEGO GIRL
Stand up paddleboarding is much easier than surfing. There is no need to be nervous to try getting on a Stand Up Paddleboard. Even if it is too difficult for you to stand up, you can always sit on your knees or your bottom and paddle away.
Tell me in the comments below where your favorite place is to SUP-doesn’t have to be San Diego!