The TOP 11 Places to Stand up Paddle Board in San Diego

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San Diego is known for its miles of public beaches and is becoming well established as a haven for stand up paddle boarding (aka SUP). And with warm weather year round and a diverse coastline it’s easy to understand why.

Stand up Paddle Boarding is a sport fit for anyone who is looking to get out on the water, but may be hesitant to try out surfing (like me!). With that in mind, I’ve put together a guide on the best places to SUP in San Diego.

Gear Needed:

Like any water based sport, there is gear needed for a fun & safe venture out on the water. Here is the gear needed for paddle boarding in San Diego:

  • SUP: you can either purchase your own if you live locally, or rent one. If you decide to purchase I would suggest an inflatable SUP, as it’s easier to travel with (especially if you have a small car like I do), however it’s a workout to pump up for every session.
  • Paddle
  • PFD, aka a personal flotation device
  • Leash
  • Sun blocking attire

Top 11 places to stand up paddle board in San Diego

FOR BEGINNGERS

1.) Ventura Cove at Bahia Hotel, Mission Bay

✔ Lots of free parking

✔ Calm waters, great for SUP yoga

✔ Paddle up to the Barefoot Bar & Grill for drink & appetizer mid-paddle session

2.) Shelter Island Bay

✔ Neighborhood parking

✔ Secluded small bay area with great views

3.) Fiesta Island

✔ Lots of places to park on the island or near Mission Bay Playground

✔ Calm waters

✔ Public restrooms near the Mission Bay Playground

4.) Mariners Basin/Bonita Cove, Mission Bay

✔ Lots of free parking

✔ Parking lot is walking distance to local restaurants & Belmont Park

✔ Calm waters

5.) Sail Bay, Mission Bay

✔ Large bay area with plenty of places to take off from

✔ Calm waters where you’ll see other paddlers

FOR EXPERIENCED & SEASONED PADDLERS

6.) La Jolla cove Marine Sanctuary

✔ Great for seeing marine wildlife

✔ Parking can be difficult depending on the day of the week & time of day

  7.) Del Mar Dog beach

✔ Huge perk being there are dogs on the beach, duh!

✔ Convenient parking

  8.) Tideland Parks, Coronado Island

✔ Great views of San Diego skyline

✔ Parking lot in the park

  9.) Harbor Island

✔ Great views of San Diego skyline & Point Loma area

✔ Option to have lunch or drinks at Coasterra afterwards

FOR ADVANCED PADDLERS

10.) Coronado Island, the Shores

✔ View of the famous Coronado Hotel

✔ Parking is farther away

  11.) Tourmaline, Pacific Beach

✔ Good for SUP surfing

✔ A local favorite, especially at sunset

✔ Rocky beach

✔ Parking lot fills up fast

Laura of Blue Eyed Compass, a Sustainable Travel Blog

Hi!  I’m Laura, a sustainable travel blogger, as well as freelancing web designer & photographer. I share real & honest information about traveling, how to do so sustainably, and ways to earn an income while working remote.

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