The Best Summer Getaways: Stand-Up Paddleboarding

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Near Malibu

Near Malibu     Photo: Jeff Lipsky

Stand-up paddleboarding has exploded in the past several years, and for good reason: while the sport looks a little goofy, it’s both a great workout and really, really fun. Here, our favorite spots for summer S.U.P.’ing.

Malibu, California
Malibu is crawling with surfers, but just past the most popular breaks you can find uncrowded water (average temperature: 65 degrees). Malibu Surf Shack runs two-hour guided stand-up-paddleboard trips ($70) up the coast, past cliffs and kelp beds teeming with seals and sea lions. Or rent a board for a day ($75) and paddle up to Point Dume, a collection of wild coves and beaches. At sunset, hit the Malibu Beach Inn for dinner, then splurge on a room at the Malibu Beach Inn (doubles from $425).

Lake Powell, Arizona
The best part about paddleboarding in Glen Canyon: you can access tight corners and slim slots that the lake’s behemoth houseboats can’t reach. From the town of Page, head to Kayak Powell. Opt for the three-day guided trip ($999 for two people) to the outer tentacles of the lake, like Labyrinth and Face canyons. By night, camp on sandy beaches far from the nearest houseboat party.

Lake Michigan, Michigan
Just a 90-minute drive east of Chicago in the lakefront town of New Buffalo, Third Coast Surf Shop rents boards ($40 per day), and you can take an introductory lesson ($140 for two) or go solo. It’s easy to learn on flatwater like the Galien River, a lush, winding waterway populated by herons and beavers. Then graduate to the city beach, where proficient paddlers can catch waves before pitching camp at nearby Warren Dunes State Park.

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