8 American Cities Embracing SUP

Stand up paddling is growing in popularity across the United States. But paddling is not just for the ocean. Creative businesses around the country find ways to embrace paddling from rivers to lakes. From coastal to landlocked cities, these are the top American cities that embrace paddling.

Chicago, Illinois
The friendly and windy Midwest city offers plenty of SUP opportunities. During the summer months, paddlers cruise Lake Michigan while fighting a strong head wind. The lake offers skyline views and various companies feature SUP fitness classes and parties on the lake. An ideal time to SUP the Chicago River is during events, such as the air show, to gain the best vantage point in town.

Seattle, Washington
Seattle is an urban oasis situated between three bodies of water including the Puget Sound, Lake Union and Lake Washington. Fitness enthusiasts can take SUP yoga and bootcamp classes in Elliot Bay nearby the Ballard neighborhood. Lake Union has the warmest water in town and there you’ll experience skyline city views and calm waters.

©istockphoto/Candice Cusack

Seattle, Washington | ©istockphoto/Candice Cusack

New York City, New York
New York City is the place to experience everything including stand up paddling. Paddling NYC offers a new perspective that is different from the traditional foot, tram or taxi transportation. Paddle along the Manhattan skyline or the Statue of Liberty for an epic urban experience. Be careful of boat and water taxi traffic, and other paddlers too.

Austin, Texas
Austin is Texas’s outlier city where the locals prefer stand up paddling instead of wrangling bulls. Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir and one of the most popular spots for SUP. This lake offers city and nature views and leads to the heart of Downtown Austin.

©istockphoto/Jodi Jacobson

Austin, Texas | ©istockphoto/Jodi Jacobson

Salt Lake City, Utah
When in Utah, S.U.P. the S.L.C. Utah is an outdoor playground that attracts the most adventurous dare devils. The Great Salt Lake features endless bays and inlets that are paddleboard accessible. Although landlocked, the Great Salt Lake rides waves of popularity on calm waters. Salt Lake City board companies offer rentals and tours on the surrounding waters.

Oahu, Hawaii
Hawaii, the birthplace of stand up paddling, is one of the best ways to explore Hawaii. The ocean and rivers are popular spots, but you must be able to navigate against currents. Do you want to avoid rough waters? If so, paddle the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon, or the man-made five-acre wading pool at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.


Oahu, Hawaii | ©istockphoto/RobertCravens

San Diego, California
Besides Los Angeles, San Diego is the fitness capital of the States. Stand up paddling and fitness on the board is a religion to these aquatic-loving locals. Paddle calmer waters at Mission Bay or paddle the ocean along the shores between Ocean Beach and La Jolla.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
During the summer months, locals and visitors paddle the Twin Cities at one of many lakes and rivers including the popular Lake Minnetonka, Lake Phalen and Bryant Lake Regional Park. The rising popularity of SUP has exploded over the last several years, where locals find more than rentals. SUP fitness classes and tours are available in the metropolitan waters.


Minneapolis, Minnesota | ©istockphoto/JMichl

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