Wondering where to take your SUP tour in California? Well, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the top golden spots for SUP tours in CA. We’ll help you discover where to go for memorable stand-up paddleboarding in California and other fun things to do in those particular destinations.
It’s no secret that CA is one of the best stand-up paddleboarding spots in the US. California offers something unforgettable for paddlers of all types and skill levels, from beaches where you can do long beach whale watching, to stunning lakes surrounded by breathtaking sceneries. If you’re planning a SUP tour in the state of CA, check out the following spots and add them to your bucket list:
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Lake Tahoe, Northern CA
You probably have heard of the famous Lake Tahoe. It’s one of the most visited destinations in Northern California. Lake Tahoe sits on the Nevada border, and it’s perhaps the most transparent water you’ll find. It rivals the Caribbean for water clarity. This fantastic lake is surrounded by evergreen trees, giant boulders, and stunning tall mountains that make the view extra magnificent.
Lake Tahoe is the best spot for your SUP tour, especially if you’re looking for glassy water, to view the fascinating boulders below. The excellent time to visit Lake Tahoe is from April and May or September to November. Some of the best places for SUP tour in Lake Tahoe include:
- Tahoe City
- Emerald Bay
- Crystal Bay
- L Bliss State Park
- Timber Cove Park
- Sugar Pine Point State Park
Catalina Island, Southern CA
Catalina Island, also known as Santa Catalina, is located at the Southwest of LA, just off Southern California’s coast. This Island is a part of the 22-mile (35.4km) stretch of the archipelago and boasts one of the amazing spots for exploring coves.
With the many harbors and coves in Catalina Island, you’ll be able to paddle calmly as you enjoy viewing the incredible marine life. You’ll also get an opportunity to check the Island’s history during your tour—,which is vibrant and exciting.
April to May and July to October are the best times to visit Catalina Island. Additionally, you can’t drive to this Island but can take a ferry ride from Long Beach or Dana Point, CA. Some of the excellent spots for SUP tours in Catalina Island are:
- Avalon Bay-Two Harbors (12 miles/19.3km)
- Avalon Bay-Willow Cove/Toyon Bay (3 miles/4.8km)
- Avalon Bay-Frog Rock (1.5 miles/2.4km)
- Avalon Bay-White Rock (1 mile/1.6km)
Golden Gate Bridge, Northern CA
There’s nothing so fascinating as viewing the great Golden Gate Bridge while paddling. Here you’ll get to view the striking mountainous region at the North and the stunning backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. The coastline along the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the best spots in California to take SUP tours and exploration.
The best time to paddle under the Golden Gate Bridge is typically from July to October. There’s one prominent spot for SUPing at Horseshoe Cove right close to Fort Baker. There’s a ramp for a modest launch. If you’re feeling more adventurous, paddling north from the bay towards Marin Mainlands will be great. You’ll find lots of secluded beaches where you can stop and enjoy food as well as the views.
Note: Beware of the winds and currents, as paddling under the bridge can be dangerous on some days. Also, be cautious of other boaters, kayaks, kite surfers, etc. Golden Gate Bridge can get pretty busy, especially on beautiful sunny days.
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Monterey, Central CA
Monterey is considered the Central Californian gem for SUP tours and camping. This destination is close to many of the most amazing spots to experience the beauty of the central region. It has a lot of coves to explore. We recommend that you bring your camping gear and stay a few nights to experience all the goodness Monterey has to offer.
Between May and October is the best time to visit Monterey for your SUP tour. Some of the excellent spots to SUP in this destination include:
- Monterey Wharf
- Carmel Beach
- Santa Cruz
- Big Sur
La Jolla Cove, Southern CA
While San Diego is arguably a home for many Californian best paddle boarding spots, La Jolla Cove stands at the top for being the very best. This spot boasts a complete package of breathtaking scenery, cool weather, and safety. The best time to visit La Jolla Cave is around July to November. Summers are typically packed with SUP tours, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
With excellent water clarity (over 30 feet deep), you’ll get frequent sightings of different marine life while SUPing. You can view leopard sharks, Garibaldi (the Californian state fish), yellowtail, stingrays, sea lions, and seals, among other incredible marine life.
Summertime might be coming to a close, but there are plenty of sunny days left to hit the water with your paddleboard. This article outlines the five excellent SUP tour destinations you should try in California. For more the best SUPs you can buy now, check here. You can’t afford to miss the tremendous fun in these spots!