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16 Best Places

to Paddleboard in San Diego, CA

Published September 29, 2022

San Diego has some of the best conditions for paddleboarding in the world. The ocean can get rough and choppy, but there are plenty of protected bays and waters to enjoy this sport. So, here is the list of the 16 best places to paddleboard in San Diego, CA.

Let’s get started.

Best Places to Paddleboard in San Diego, CA: Summary

1. Tourmaline Surf Park

Tourmaline Surf Park

Tourmaline Surf Park is one of the best places to paddle board in San Diego, CA. It is a great place to go if you’re looking for a fun paddleboarding activity different from other activities. You can rent equipment and then go out into the ocean.

The park is located on Mission Bay in San Diego and has a lot of different types of waves, including small and big waves. There are also some areas where you can walk around on land because it’s not all about surfing. There are also areas where people can swim or play volleyball.

2. Tidelands Park Coronado

Tidelands Park Coronado

Since the park opened, Tidelands Park has been a favorite spot for kayakers and paddleboarders. The park is nestled between two islands, giving it a gorgeous view of San Diego bay. There are also plenty of spots to get out and stretch your legs, so you can enjoy a picnic lunch or take a lap around the park.

If you’re looking for something more active, try paddling upwind from the beach to one of the larger islands. You’ll be able to get off your board at each island and relax on its sandy shores while enjoying incredible views of San Diego Bay.

3. Shelter Island

Shelter Island

If you’re looking for an activity that will take your mind off the stresses of daily life, a paddleboard excursion at Shelter Island is just what you need. On Shelter Island, California, you can find miles of coastline and more than 16 miles of beach. This area is not only beautiful but also one of the best places in the country to paddleboard!

Shelter Island is located on San Diego Bay, so it’s easy to get there from downtown San Diego. If you’re looking for someplace new and exciting to explore, this is the place! You’ll find activities like hiking and kayaking, surfing, boating, fishing, and much more.

If you’re interested in exploring this area, consider renting a paddleboard or buying one from one of the many shops that rent them out on Shelter Island.

4. Oceanside Harbor

Oceanside Harbor

Oceanside Harbor has become a popular spot for paddleboarders of all ages. The harbor is home to several types of watercraft, including kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and stand-up paddleboards.

It’s a small, local harbor that’s home to several boats and yachts, as well as an impressive view of the skyline. The water is calm, and plenty of places to dock your board to enjoy the breeze while you’re out on the water.

Even if you’re not a fan of the water or the idea of being on a board while standing up, there are plenty of places in Oceanside Harbor where you can relax on your own time with your friends or family members. It’s also a great place to practice your skills with other paddlers before going out on an actual tour!

5. Northern Baja

Northern Baja

If you’re looking for a paddleboarding experience that’s as close to a real-life vacation as you can get while still being in a car, look no further than Northern Baja.

The area is famous for its amazing snorkeling and diving sites, so if you’re looking to explore seriously, this is the place for you. You can also find great places to eat or drink along the way—and if you’re feeling super adventurous, head to La Paz and hike up El Cajón Mountain; the views are incredible!

There are many places to rent equipment and gear, but it’s also easy to find places where you can buy the equipment, take it out and start paddling!

6. North Country San Diego

North Country San Diego

The North Country San Diego is one of the best places to paddleboard in San Diego. While it’s not as crowded as other areas of San Diego, it has plenty of options for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. The area has calm waters for those looking for a more relaxed day on the water and some of the best surfing in all of California!

You can find this area by heading north on Highway 78 until you reach Rancho Santa Fe Road. From there, follow the signs along the road until it ends at a parking lot at the end of a long dirt road.

7. Mission Bay

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is one of the best places to paddleboard in San Diego, CA. Here you’ll find a wide range of water activities, including kayaking and surfing. You can rent them from different shops if you don’t have your own boards.

Mission Bay is also home to several events that offer great entertainment for people who love water sports. Besides, You can also take a walk along the beach if you have time before or after your golf game. There are plenty of other things for people who enjoy walking around Mission Bay, but it’s always nice to get out and walk around for a while.

8. Liberty Station

_Liberty Station

Liberty Station is the place to go if you’re looking for a place to paddleboard. Liberty Station has plenty of things to do and see in San Diego, CA. Several restaurants and shops within walking distance offer great food and shopping experiences. If you’re looking for something more active, there are plenty of places around the area where you can participate in activities like kayaking or surfing.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day with friends or family or want to get out on the water and explore some amazing natural spaces nearby, Liberty Station will provide the perfect setting for your next adventure!

9. Lake San Marcos

_Lake San Marcos

Located in the foothills of San Diego, this lake is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s also known as “the lake in the mountains,” but don’t let that fool you: it has plenty of flat areas for paddling, too!

Lake San Marcos is a beautiful place to paddleboard, surrounded by tall trees and plenty of shade. It has a shallow beach that’s great for kids and beginners, and the water is warm enough for most people to enjoy. The lake is also home to tons of wildlife, so if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, this is an ideal spot.

10. Lake Miramar

Lake Miramar

Lake Miramar is one of San Diego’s hidden gems. It’s a gorgeous, serene setting with various lakes and coves to explore. If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing activity, paddleboarding is the way to go!

You can get out on the water and enjoy some time in nature. Besides, you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, or stand-up paddleboarding here.

Paddleboard rentals are available at Lake Miramar, as well as kayaks and canoes. The main lake has plenty of space for everyone who wants to enjoy the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, Lake Miramar has something for everyone.

11. Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges is a gorgeous lake and one of the best places in San Diego to paddleboard. It’s located just south of Balboa Park and is surrounded by lush green hills and forests.

Although Lake Hodges is small, there are still plenty of opportunities for exploration with this activity. You can find wildlife like ducks and geese and fish like carp and bass. They’ll taste delicious if you’re lucky enough to catch those fish on your board! They’re also good for you—they’re high in protein!

There are also plenty of spots where you can get out into deeper water and practice your skills in a larger body of water.

12. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

Whether a beginner or a pro, La Jolla Cove has everything you need to enjoy your time on the water. The cove is located in La Jolla Shores, just north of La Jolla Village. It’s one of the most popular spots for paddleboarding in San Diego, and for a good reason—it’s got plenty of great beaches and easy access for beginners to the more experienced paddlers.

There are also several dog-friendly beaches here, so if you’re bringing your furry friend along with you on your paddleboard adventure, this is one of the best places in San Diego to take them.

13. Del Mar Dog Beach

Del Mar Dog Beach

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day, you can’t go wrong with Del Mar Dog Beach. This beach is located in the southern part of San Diego and offers swimmers and paddlers a great place to relax. There are plenty of restaurants nearby where you can grab some food while enjoying your time on the water.

The beach is also home to two lakes, making it easy for people to bring their dogs with them when they come out for fun in the sun!

Boasting a sandy beach and clear water, it’s a great spot for families and dogs. It’s got everything you need for an enjoyable day: sand, water, and a big group of canines who love to swim!

14. Coronado Island

Tidelands Park Coronado

Coronado Island is one of the most popular places to paddleboard in San Diego, CA. The island is home to some of the best beaches in the area and features several hotels, restaurants, and other exciting attractions.

Coronado Island offers plenty of options when you’re looking for a fun activity with your friends or family members. You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard at one of the many vendors on the island and explore the area by yourself or with others.

Paddleboarding is a great way to have fun on the water and enjoy time with friends or family. You can choose from various boards, which are available at many different stores throughout Coronado. If you don’t feel like renting one, there are plenty of public beaches where you can rent them for the day.

15. Carlsbad Lagoon

Carlsbad Lagoon

The Carlsbad Lagoon is one of the best places to paddleboard in San Diego, California. It’s a beautiful lagoon with many trees, cliffs, and sandbars. There are plenty of spots for beginners to practice their skills, but if you’re looking for a more challenging environment, head out further from the shore. You’ll find some great spots to see dolphins or even whales!

The water is calm and shallow, so it’s great for people of all ages and skill levels. The lagoon is also very clean, which makes it safe for anyone who wants to get into the water.

16. Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Agua Hedionda Lagoon

This one’s a bit of a secret, but we’re not going to keep it that way.

The Aguadilla Lagoon is an amazing place for paddleboarding, and it’s also one of the best places in San Diego. The lagoon is gorgeous, but what makes it even better is that it’s protected from the ocean by a small barrier reef that ensures you’ll have plenty of space to enjoy yourself without worry.

This lagoon is great for beginners who are just getting started with the sport, but it can also be enjoyed by more advanced paddlers who want a bit more challenge—it’s got some good waves!

Besides, it’s known for its clean waters and wildlife, which include ducks and geese. You can rent paddleboards here too! The lagoon is just a short walk away from the city center.


So these are the 16 best places to paddleboard in San Diego, CA. All these places are great for beginners and experienced paddlers alike. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll have no problem finding a place perfect for your level of experience—and if you’re more advanced, there are plenty of spots to challenge yourself too!

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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