Top Pickleball-Friendly Vacation Destinations in the US
by Kelly Campbell
Whether you’re a beginner or a pickleball pro, choosing a vacation destination with ample pickleball resources is sure to enhance the experience. Vibrant pickleball communities thrive all over the country––especially in warm, dry places––making a pickleball trip the perfect escape in winter months. As the fastest-growing sport in the US, pickleball is a great way to connect with new communities and enjoy fun, low-impact physical activity with your travel companions. But unlike other popular leisure and vacation sports like golf, pickleball is easy to learn and won’t break the bank.
As pickleball grows in popularity throughout the country, tourist destinations have begun to capitalize on the opportunity to use pickleball to attract visitors––building pickleball courts at resorts and hosting pickleball events and tournaments. That means there are lots of options out there for pickleball lovers––whether you’re planning a pickleball-centered trip or just want to make sure you can practice your drop shot while you travel.
Trackithub pulled a list of some of the best pickleball-friendly vacation destinations by comparing yearly climates, pickleball resources, tourist attractions, views, and lodging options of well-known US cities. These locations are popular on their own, but when you add pickleball into the mix they’re even better.
Read on to discover the perfect spot for you to begin planning a pickleball vacation that’s sure to be a slam dink.
- Charleston, South Carolina
Sunny Charleston is a perfect pickleball escape with picturesque harbor and city views and a warm climate year-round. Aside from its palm tree-lined cobblestone streets, miles of beautiful beaches, historical sites, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife, Charleston has a thriving pickleball community. There are over 20 pickleball locations in and around the city and Charleston Pickleball has organized its own ladder league. As one of the top tourist destinations in the US, there is plenty to do in Charleston no matter what time of year you go, and there are plenty of beautiful places to stay to make your visit especially memorable both on and off the court.
2. San Diego, California
San Diego, one of The Golden State’s most well-known cities, boasts beautiful Pacific coast views, miles of beaches, various parks and museums, and is home to the San Diego Zoo––ranked the #1 best zoo in the world. The sunny, warm, dry climate makes it a perfect destination for pickleball lovers any month of the year. There are multiple pickleball facilities (both indoor and outdoor) throughout the city including one-of-a-kind Midnite Match––a glow-in-the-dark sporting events center open to the public.
3. Phoenix, Arizona
Not only is Phoenix a popular vacation destination for its mountain views and dry, sunny weather year-round, it’s also one of the largest pickleball hubs in the country. The Arizona city is home to stunning desert landscapes, tourist attractions Camelback Mountain and The Phoenix Zoo, and has ample access to pickleball courts and resources. The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa itself features 17 pickleball courts as well as paddles, balls, and pickleball instructors, making it ideal for shootouts of all skill levels.
4. Bigfork, Montana
A town at the base of Flathead Lake tucked within the Rocky Mountains, Bigfork has abundant outdoor activities and incredible views all year long. With warm, clear summers and cold snowy winters, Bigfork is the perfect place to hike, ski, camp, go boating, and, of course, play pickleball. Bigfork is home to the Jewel Basin Center–– a facility with ten public indoor and outdoor pickleball courts. Two Rivers Pickleball Club, based in the Jewel Basin Center, also hosts pickleball events year-round including special events for USA Pickleball members. The Bigfork area has plenty of options for tourists to stay at––resorts and hotels, cabin rentals, or even RV rentals.
5. Vero Beach, Florida
Located in the heart of the Treasure Coast Region, Vero Beach residents and visitors can enjoy warm temperatures and sun year-round. An oasis for beach-goers and pickleball players, Vero Beach is one of the most popular pickleball hubs in the state and there are three public parks with multiple courts within the city. Often ranked as one of the cities with the best weather in the country, Vero Beach is also home to Pickleball U–– a club that offers memberships and low-cost fees for non-members as well as lessons and clinics for all skill levels.
6. Maui, Hawaii
Maui is not only a perfect tropical getaway on its own, it’s also a great place for a pickleball lover’s escape. Often referred to as “pukaball” on the island, Maui is home to many public outdoor pickleball courts and Pickleball Maui, a pickleball club with courts available for rent as well as lessons that come with paddles and balls. When taking a break from pickleball, visitors can explore the island’s mountains and volcanoes, beaches, or scenic natural pools and waterfalls.
7. Denver, Colorado
Although the weather can be unpredictable, Denver’s Rocky Mountain views, walkable downtown streets, and historical landmarks and museums can’t be beaten and make it a great place to choose for your next getaway. Pickleball lovers can find plenty of indoor and outdoor courts as pickleball continues to explode in the city. The sport took off in the area as an outdoor, socially distant social activity during the COVID19 pandemic and has only continued to grow. When you’re not dinking in your opponent’s kitchen, you can enjoy restaurants in one of the top foodie cities in the country, skiing, hiking, ziplining, white water rafting, and more.
8. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is close to all of the beaches and nightlife Florida is known to offer and more. As home to theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, there is plenty to do in Orlando for an action-packed vacation. The tropical paradise is only a car ride away from Naples, FL, where the US Pickleball Championship is held and there are numerous pickleball courts in and around the city. Between Florida’s lively pickleball community, tourist appeals, and warm weather,
Orlando is an outdoor pickleball paradise.