Hang around the pickleball community long enough and you’ll probably hear the term “snowbird” pop up as the winter chill sets in. This endearing phrase refers to picklers who pack their bags to stay in warmer climates during the frosty seasons.
Now that spring is nearly here most snowbirds are making return trips home, but if you’re curious about the most temperate and active pickleball hotspots, we’ve compiled a list so you’ll know the best locations to escape to.
Without a doubt, FL is the world’s number one activity hub for pickleball, and it just so happens to boast beautiful beaches and sunshine throughout the year. The most famous place for pickleball is The Villages, a retirement community in Sumter County. The Villages host over 150 courts, free drill clinics held by 5.0 players, opportunities to be coached by the best (such as Coach Mo, Deb Harrison and Lydia Willis) and of course, tons of opportunities to play pickleball at every skill level.
Other popular pickleball destinations in FL are Naples (home of the US Open and its corresponding Pickleball Academy run by Simone Jardim), Vero Beach and Delray Beach.
Is dry heat more your style than the humid haze of FL? Arizona is known as the pickleball RV capital and provides plenty of warmth with its desert beauty. The Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande has over 30 dedicated courts, free clinics, traveling pros and hosts the USAPA National Championships.
California may be called the land of milk and honey, but did you know it’s also a solid choice for pickleball? In Encinitas the Bobby Riggs Tennis Center has made way for pickleball with various leagues and active drop-in play. Many of the players at this location went home with medals from the US Open.
International Pickleball Destinations
In addition to these sunny retreats in the U.S. there are also several international locations that have become popular for pickleball.
Check out the Pickleball Spain page to find several courts, partiuclarly in Madrid. The Spanish Open/Bainbridge Cup will be taking place in September for those looking to get in on some extra competition.
Thailand has grown in its pickleball passion of late, with the first Bangkok Open occurring in May last year. The next competition will be happening soon in April, although you can play with locals anytime at the Santisuk English School.
Baja is home to a much-loved pickleball resort called Tres Palapas. While it may not be financially feasible to stay there for an extended period of time, it makes for a great hideaway when you’re craving some more Vitamin D.
They host basic and advanced workshops in addition to specialized training with champion Matthew Blom (coming up this April).
Do you have a favorite warm weather pickleball destination? Share it with us in the comments!