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Top 3 Places to Paddle Board in San Diego, California

May 13, 2015 Greg Gagnon

Isle Surf and SUP was born and bred in our home town of San Diego. So of course they would be a great resource for favorite places to paddle board in Americas Finest City.
Now that its spring and summer is around the corner there are a lot of opportunities to paddle and soak up the beauty of it all. 

Huge thanks to Isle Surf and Sup for putting together some great info we know our Cali Paddlers are sure to make good use of.

If you paddle, you get it!
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SUP Location #1: La Jolla – La Jolla Cove Marine Sanctuary

Water Crowd Factor: Prepare to see a lot of kayaks from the kayak tours

Parking: Weekdays fine but on sunny weekends parking is tough

Sea Life: On its day some of the best anywhere, better than Sea World

Coastal Scenery: Amazing cliffs, mansions, beaches

Bonus: You can pull up and drop your board off on the beach at the boat launch

La Jolla Cove – The Jewel of the California Coast

La Jolla Cove is one of the true Jewels of the California coastline. It’s a marine sanctuary and if you catch it on a special day you will be amazed at what lies beneath you. We have encountered bat rays, leopard sharks, jellyfish, sea turtles and even real sharks while paddle boarding! It’s the mother load of sea life right here in San Diego. In addition, you get the majestic cliffs and caves along the shoreline to compliment the sea life. Even when conditions are not epic it’s still one of the most beautiful spots to paddle in San Diego or the world for that matter. You can’t miss this paddle!

SUP Location #2: Coronado Island – Tidelands Park

Water Crowd Factor: Weekends are nuts, dead during the week, watch for passing ferry’s

Parking: Adequate parking steps to the water – weekends beware

Sea Life: A few stingrays, golf balls and halibut if you’re lucky

Coastal Scenery: Amazing bridge, SD skyline and Military Ships

Bonus: After the paddle hit the Coronado Boat House for Happy Hour

San Diego Skyline Paddle headed toward the Bay Bridge

This quaint little island situated just off the coast is just 5 minutes over the bay bridge from down town San Diego Central. It’s also another one of San Diego’s best kept secrets.  Filled with amazing bays and connected to the mainland by a 250ft high majestic bridge. You can launch your sup straight into the bay and paddle around the enormous bridge while taking in the million dollar view of San Diego’s high rise skyline and Baseball Stadium. You can continue under the bridge towards the Coronado Yacht Club and catch a glimpse of the Hotel Del. It’s the largest wooden hotel in the world constructed in 1888. You can also soak in the 50’ yachts docked along the shoreline. It’s a must paddle if you plan to be in the area.


SUP Location #3: Mission Bay – Bahia Hotel Santa Barbara Cove

Water Crowd Factor: Hit and miss but usually slow during the week, look out for the Bahia Belle!

Parking: Weekdays fine but on sunny weekends Good Luck

Sea Life: Just some sea grass

Coastal Scenery: Boardwalk traffic, Roller Coaster, Sailboats

Bonus: Head over to Wavehouse after and check out the Standing Wave

SUP Santa Barbara Cove with Roller Coaster Views

They call it one of the world’s largest man made water parks. Mission bay is an amazing sup location of manmade bays and parks located just minutes from the San Diego Airport. One of my favorite coves is the Santa Barbara cove not just because it’s easy to access with parking right across the road. The Cove is protected on 3 sides so it’s usually very calm even on windy days especially near the shoreline. And it’s just across from the famous Wavehouse (artificial standing wave) along with its amusement parks and roller coaster. You can check out all the action on the boardwalk as well and the million dollar houses along the shoreline. This spot can’t be missed.


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