Winter Paddle Destinations Could Escape Without A Passport

7 Winter Paddle Destinations You Can Escape To Without A Passport

Winter Paddle Destinations

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 6/23/2022

If you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing all year long, why limit yourself to the summer months?

If you want to extend your summer season by a few months, you don't need to prepare yourself for colder weather.

Instead, you can follow the sun and follow your passion for paddling wherever it leads. No passport is required.

Yes, that's correct. Paddling opportunities can be found in the United States and its territories. You can do many things here, from tranquil waters and scenic landscapes to rapids and wild rivers that give you a rush of adrenaline. Of course, you will have to travel. Is there no better way to enjoy our time on this Earth than by exploring the wondrous gifts of nature and doing what we love?

No passport is required. Here are our picks for seven of the world's most wicked and wonderful paddle destinations.

1) San Juan, Puerto Rico

There is something special about Puerto Rico. It is a beautiful island with a laid-back atmosphere and a distinctly Latin feel. Furthermore, it is a US territory, so that any American citizen can visit it without a passport.

There are plenty of opportunities for kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing on the island that many mainlanders may not be aware of. San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital, is probably where you'll land when you visit. If you're interested in exploring your paddling options, you won't have to travel far.

Condado Lagoon

Take a walk to the Condado Lagoon, which is near the airport. A beautiful area, one of the best in San Juan. It is vast but calm, protected from the ocean on the outside. This is the perfect location for SUPing or kayaking - especially for newbies.

Travel the coastline of Puerto Rico if you're feeling adventurous. See the 16th-century Spanish fort, El Morro, or catch a glimpse of old San Juan from the fort.

View of tropical blue waters from inside a tunnel built into the wall of an old fortress

El-Morro San Juan

Launch Point

Aqua Fitness Wellness Center is the perfect place to begin your Puerto Rico adventure. You will find all the equipment you need to rent there so you can fully enjoy your time at the lagoon.

Other Must-Do Things While In The Area

San Juan is rich in history with a mixture of old and new, and Puerto Rico's coastline is filled with seafood restaurants. Wherever you go, don't forget to try the Latin-infused meals. Entertainment and dining are plentiful in San Juan, and you can participate in various water sports here and elsewhere, and Paddling opportunities are not far from your point of arrival.

2) The US Virgin Islands

Because the Virgin Islands is another US territory, no documentation is required to travel to or from this tropical destination. Located in the Caribbean, these islands have a certain mystique and appeal. A paddle enthusiast will find plenty to enjoy, explore and adventure in this southern destination.

Launch Point

Visit the Henley Cay Adventure Tour company in St. John to begin your Virgin Islands adventure. You can rent all the equipment you need there. The paddle across Caneel Bay takes you to Henley Cay, a quiet, secluded, and uninhabited island within Virgin Islands National Park.

Henley Cay

Here's Something You Shouldn't Miss

You have probably marveled at the beautiful color of the waters around these islands whenever you have vacationed in the Caribbean. However, paddling here is a whole other experience, and Paddling here allows you to see the coast from an entirely different vantage point.

Kayaking and paddle boarding are not just about getting paddles in the water and moving. The beauty of nature can be enjoyed by being outside, breathing fresh air, and admiring the most beautiful view. We have an excellent opportunity to do all this in the US Virgin Islands - and more.

When you discover the impressive coral reefs and the bounty of fish there, you will be in awe. You will want to snorkel here. The sight is almost surreal, and it's as if you are swimming in a giant aquarium filled with an incredible variety of marine species that differ widely in size, shape, and color. Even if it weren't for the kayaking experience, the trip would have been worth it.

Snorkling

3) Walton County, Florida

The county of Walton is best known for its fishing and beaches. Freshwater and saltwater fish are both available to anglers, and there are also beautiful sandy beaches all around. Moreover, kayaking and paddle boarding are great activities in this part of Florida.

As opposed to the usual river paddling opportunities, you will check out one or more of the many coastal lakes along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline on this recommendation.

Walton County, Florida, offers paddling experiences unlike any other, and it's something you should try. There are a series of small coastal lakes surrounded by dunes, and you can choose your favorite lake and launch your watercraft. If you've never been to Florida, you'll want to take in all the beauty and serenity you don't usually hear about.

Most of the water in these small lakes comes from streams and rain. However, during hurricane season, these lakes naturally expand and connect directly to the Gulf of Mexico, creating both a fascinating and peaceful setting.

Walton County FL

Launch Point

Travel along scenic highway 30A along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Kayaks and canoes can be used to access most lakes, and local rental shops offer these products. When you drive to Florida, you should probably take your equipment.

4) La Jolla, California

Visit the La Jolla Cove whenever you are in California. Exceptional weather, scenic views, crystalline waters, and an abundance of marine life that rivals the best you can find anywhere - it's all here for you. There are plenty of opportunities statewide, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better (at least from my perspective) than what's offered at La Jolla Cove. However, it always comes down to personal preference.

La Jolla Cove

Launch Point

The Cove is the perfect place to start your journey. Kayak and bike tours are available at bikeandkayaktours.com. We rent kayaks, snorkeling gear, bikes, and more. Take advantage of the true mainland paradise by spending at least a few days here.

There are plenty of attractions, entertainment options, and dining options in La Jolla, part of San Diego. Many reasons draw visitors to La Jolla every year, including the climate, the coast, and the chance to enjoy being on the water.

5) Lake Tahoe California

It's good that paddlers are not constrained to California's southern tip and the San Diego area in particular. Lake Tahoe is also a great place to indulge in paddle sports. There is a large lake along the state border between California and Nevada. The trip it might take to get to Lake Tahoe is well worth it to see a tiny part of it from the water.

A shallow shore at Lake Tahoe, California, is dotted with large, smooth rocks with snowy mountaintops in the distance.

Lake Tahoe

Launch Point

While there are many places where you can access the lake for what should be a reasonably easy launch, one spot you might want to consider is Lakeview Commons on Highway 50. You can either bring your equipment or rent one from a company like South Tahoe Stand Up Paddle Boards.

You can also take a guided tour. The Tahoe Adventure Company offers Lake Tahoe kayak tours and instruction and in-depth knowledge of the recommended areas for kayaking. Regardless of what you choose, one thing is sure: Lake Tahoe will impress you with its spectacular scenery.

6) Lake Powell, Arizona

Who among us would have chosen Arizona as a paddler's paradise? Arizona wasn't on my original list, and a trip to Lake Powell changed that. This natural beauty has me in awe.

lake powel

Enjoying the local scenery is a big part of the paddling experience. Wherever you go, it's different, sometimes dramatically different. Lake Powell scenery, however, is unique in a way that has to be experienced first-hand. You might want to add this to your list of future destinations if it's not already there. Lake Powell is an impressive sight to see with its naturally carved, layered sandstone formations. I dare you to experience it by kayak, and I believe you'll also be moved by what you're about to see. Stunning.

Launch Point

Paddleboards and kayaks are available at Lake Powell Paddle Boards and Kayaks. As paddlers themselves, the owners provide expert assistance and all the equipment you may need. If you're hauling all your gear, it's well worth stopping here.

lake powell2

7) Rio Chama, New Mexico

Firstly, I would like to point out that this choice is inappropriate for novice kayakers. True nature lovers and enthusiasts alike should aspire to this trip, and I can't think of a better opportunity here on the US mainland.

Rio Chama River is a tributary to the mighty Rio Grande, and the impressive views you'll see throughout your run will leave you in awe of the beauty of nature and the power that shaped it.

Rio Chama

You will travel to places where few others have ventured before, so it will be an adventure. This is a full two to three-day trip, which means you'll also be camping, hiking, and seeing wildlife and nature in a way few places on Earth can. It won't be challenging to discover uninhabited lands here, and you can also do some fishing.

Launch Point

El Vado Ranch is the starting point of your journey. NM112 connects US 84 and Tierra Amarilla, near Tierra Amarilla. It is only possible for groups of 16 people to travel with permits.

No doubt about it, you'll need to prepare for such a trip. Yet this Once In A Lifetime experience is worth it and will leave you with memories you won't soon forget. Be sure to add this to your bucket list. There is more to kayaking than meets the eye, and you will emerge from this 2- or 3-day journey with a new sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around you.

To Sum It Up

There's no better way to take a solo ski holiday this year than to go on a grand paddle adventure.

The United States of America has something for every paddler - novice or experienced - and there is so much more to see and explore in this expansive nation. Consider paddling on your mind before venturing out. Don't bring your passport along.

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