One of the latest sports crazes to sweep the nation is the game resembling a whiffle ball, tennis and badminton hybrid. Recent estimates show that nearly 5 million people around the U.S. have taken up the game of pickleball, and the sport continues to attract new followers. The game itself isn’t new, as it originated in 1965. However, recently it has seen a resurgence in attention, with dedicated leagues, competitive tournaments and social demand for playing spaces. Due to its popularity, pickleball getaways have become the new way to vacation, especially as people look for clinics, courts or camps offered at their desired destination.
What To Pack for Pickleball Getaways
This unique game is played indoors or outside and either in singles or doubles. The game moves quickly, with solid paddles being used to move the hollow, hole-filled pickleball across the court. The court is the same size as the one required for doubles badminton, although it is striped similar to a tennis court and the net is 36 inches high.
Pickleball gear isn’t expensive, and it can improve your game to own your own equipment. When looking into pickleball getaways, the court will be provided and often there is rental equipment available. If you choose to purchase your own equipment, though, you’ll need these basic pieces.
There are several options for paddles, so pick one that fits your budget as well as one that is comfortable to use. Weight is an important consideration, with most paddles ranging from 6 to 14 ounces. This makes a difference in how you swing on the court. A heavier paddle is better for driving the ball, while a lighter paddle can increase ball control. Paddle materials go from inexpensive wood up to composite and expensive graphite.
There are different options when it comes to the ball for your game, but there are two general constructions. An injection-molded ball will be quieter and tends to play a bit slower than its counterpart, a roto-molded ball. You can also buy balls specific to indoor or outdoor use.
A wardrobe for pickleball getaways usually resembles what one would wear to play tennis. Many of the actions within the game follow the same athletic moves and speed of a tennis match, so lightweight, breathable and loose-fitting are the key concepts for clothing choices. You may also want a visor, wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses to shield your eyes and face from the sun if you plan to vacation where the courts are outdoors.
What To Look For in Pickleball Getaways
Now that you have what you need to play the game, you need to find a destination that has exactly what you want. Some resorts offer pickleball courts as an amenity, while others go a step further and host private classes, camps and competitions. Here are some of the top places to put on your list when planning a vacation that centers around pickleball.
The Boca Raton
Situated in the Sunshine State, The Boca Raton is a 356-acre resort that impresses guests with four pickleball courts, weekly clinics and private lessons. The courts can be rented through reservations and guests can rent or purchase equipment if they haven’t brought their own. This Florida resort has a professional certified pickleball instructor on site to make sure you are at the top of your game.
On the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico at Punta Mita are four newly installed pickleball courts. Vacationers and homeowners in the area can access these courts, as well as enroll for clinics and interclub opportunities. This Four Seasons resort also hosts an annual pickleball tournament and weekly mixers. The resort offers the use of balls, chilled towels and fresh ice water at no charge.
If you want a vacation where rugged beauty sets the backdrop for your pickleball game, consider Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona. With the Boynton Canyon providing the scenery, take entertainment into your own hands by utilizing one of the two guest courts. The resort also offers a weekend-long Nike Pickleball Camp, led by an IPTPA professional. The day camp is for players 18 years and up of any experience level, and it offers 10 hours of instruction and game play in addition to dinner and paired tastings to make the experience more enjoyable.
Another favorite among pickleball getaways is Montage Healdsburg. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Sonoma, the hotel offers on-property pickleball courts. This luxury resort caters to all ages, as there are children’s programs, yoga and a salon. The resort blends in with the natural landscape to elevate your pickleball game and create a one-of-a-kind experience under the Californian sun.
For a trip to the islands, the Hualālai Resort on the Kono-Kohala coast is ideal for pickleball enthusiasts. This Four Seasons resort has two pickleball courts for guests, and you can take part in social mixers, instructional clinics or private lessons for additional pickleball entertainment. Families can enjoy access to the courts for a small fee and should plan on bringing their own equipment.
Where To Find Professionally Organized Pickleball Getaways
Since the sport is so popular, there are several companies that organize or facilitate professional pickleball tournaments and getaways. These don’t just occur stateside but open doors for pickleball enthusiasts to join in the sport around the world. Getaways of this nature typically include professional pickleball instruction and organized play opportunities. Common locations hosting these extravagant vacations include:
- Mayan Riviera, Mexico
- Costa Rica
When it comes to international travel and the sport of pickleball, the options for a unique getaway are endless. As the sport continues to grow in popularity, you are sure to find more courts popping up at major travel destinations, resorts and hotels around the world.
Getting Prepared for Pickleball Getaways
You can start booking your pickleball getaways as soon as you are outfitted with the right equipment. At Pickleball Portal, we have the information and news you need to stay informed about the world of pickleball. Find out where you should book your ticket and what gear to pack for a one-of-a-kind vacation.