These Pickleball Vacation Destinations Will Help Improve Your Game

According to the Wall Street Journal, pickleball fanatics are so crazy about their game that they're changing the way they travel. Dubbed pickleball tourism, players have replaced prior vacation requirements like luxe hotels, sandy beaches, and interesting attractions with a destination's proximity to good courts and certified instructors. Georgia Johns, COO of Pickleball Getaways, gave us tips on choosing the best pickleball vacation destination for your next trip. 

Topping her list of requirements is court access. Next, she recommends considering the location's weather and the people you'd like to play with. Larger groups mean you'll have someone of the same skill level to challenge. Finally, she says, "I can't overstate how important it is for guests to have high-quality instructors for pickleball vacations. The destination itself is important, yes, but instructors should be the priority." Her company offers picklers guided and planned international pickleball vacations, which often include accommodation, prebooked courts, and even private lessons in destinations across the globe. 

If you'd rather book your own trip, there are plenty of fab places to choose from, and now that you know what to look for, it'll be a cinch. Whether you're hoping to practice your backspin in California, lob a shot in Hawaii, or drive the ball in Costa Rica, these pickleball vacation destinations will help improve your game. Rest assured that we chose these spots with the help of experts, reviews, and research into each destination's offerings. 

Boulders Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona

Few places are more attuned to a pickler's needs than the Boulders Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. This plush and gorgeous Sonoran Desert property boasts 12 brand-new courts, daily clinics, a deep-tissue sports massage designed for players, and a pickleball conditioning class focusing on flexibility, strength, and dexterity. They've even created menu items like chicken tenders with beer-battered pickle chips and a pickle-tini. If there was ever a place to help improve your game, this is it.

The landscape here is so impressive that you may dink a few shots due to distraction — giant granite boulders, colorful desert wildflowers, and wildlife like roadrunners have been known to pass by. Regripping services and rental equipment are also on offer. Hoping to score a deal? Book the Stay & Play pickleball package. It includes accommodations in a private casita, a $25 food and beverage credit per person per night, and unlimited play, plus sunscreen and lip balm.

When you aren't playing, take a dip in one of the four pools, grab a bite in one of five restaurants, take a hot air balloon ride, or head out on a desert hike or horseback ride — just don't mess with the cacti. Be sure to book a game at sunset to witness the landscape's stunning transformation into a golden-hued wonderland.

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Arizona

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is a must-visit resort for pickleball aficionados. It is located 21 miles north of Phoenix, a place known for incredible scenic views, so prepare to be mesmerized on your ride from the airport. The resort's Pickleball Center boasts 17 lighted courts, private and group lessons with certified coaches, open play daily, and Open Play Glow pickleball on some holiday evenings.  Tournaments and round-robins are also regular events.

If you blamed a recent loss on an old racket, upgrade your equipment at the full-service pro shop. Be warned — that means you'll have no excuse if you're pickled in your next game. According to resort staff, many guests reserve their court time 30 days in advance, so if you're organized enough, call ahead to ensure a prime-time booking. 

When you come down from your player's high, visit the Revive Spa for a relaxing rub down followed by a cooling shower and a trip to the bar. Bringing the kids? Great idea. They'll love playing in the Aqua Ridge Water Park, where they can float in a lazy river, whiz down a three-story water slide, or splash around in one of the many pools. There's also a fitness center, golf course, and an adults-only pool.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado

It's easy to see why The Broadmoor has won so many accolades over its long history. A breathtaking resort set on the shores of Lake Cheyenne in Colorado Springs, its mountainous landscape is as impressive as its lavish grounds. Making the most of its locale, The Broadmoor boasts one of the highest pickleball courts in the world (it sits 9,200 feet off the ground) at Cloud Camp, an all-inclusive wilderness property open from May through October. It hovers 3,000 feet above the main resort. 

Back on lower ground is The Broadmoor Tennis & Pickleball Club, which offers three courts, round robins, and lessons from certified instructors. On Fridays, guests can play a round-robin called "Play with the Pro." The courts also host camps and tournaments, but these must be reserved in advance. Summer court times book up quickly, so you'll want to arrange these ahead of time, too. Can't visit at that time? Classes and games are held in a bubble during winter, so you can practice your technique year-round. You can save luggage space by renting a racket and balls for $8 a day. Other things to do include destressing in the spa, swimming in the pools, playing golf, shopping, and eating fab food in one of the many onsite restaurants.

The Tryall Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica

There's nothing like rounding out a busy day of pickleball on a soft sandy beach. At Montego Bay's The Tryall Club, you can do just that and so much more. A villa-only retreat, guests are catered to by staff who will take care of all food, housekeeping, and laundry needs. You'll have to buy groceries, but a chef will prepare a delicious meal to help fuel your next game. Speaking of games, this resort has four pickleball courts, and they're generally easy to book unless you visit in peak season. The courts can fill up quickly at this time, so each villa can only reserve two courts for one hour during prime time (8 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.). Also, courts must be booked a day in advance. Friendly matches and more competitive tournaments are on offer, and equipment can be rented for a fee ($15 per hour). 

Take a break at one of the many pools, dig your toes into the sand at the Beach Resort Club, or head out golfing, snorkeling, or wakeboarding. There's also a  kids' club to occupy the littles while you play. Tip: plan your visit during the most budget-friendly time of the year (November to early December). Then, you can use the money you saved to buy extra treats, like lobster or a new racket.

Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

It didn't take long for the Plaza Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas to catch on to the rise of pickleball. They installed their courts in 2016 and held their first Pickleball Mixer in December of 2017. Today, the hotel boasts 12 permanent courts on its fifth-floor deck (right near the pool) and one championship court that can transform into four tournament courts — they have the most courts of any Las Vegas resort. Opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in winter, later in peak season. The resort also hosts monthly round-robin tournaments as well as bigger competitions throughout the year.

To help picklers improve their game, the resort offers free group clinics on Fridays and Saturdays with a certified instructor who is also a national champion. Also, rental equipment is available on the fifth floor, and the use of the court is included with your stay. Off the court, tourists can try their luck at the casino, swim in the pool, play Bingo, or catch a show. There are plenty of food options to placate every tastebud — from pizza to Mexican dishes to Hawaiian fare to steak, you won't go hungry. Rooms are spacious (about 325 square feet), colorful, modern, and comfortable.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

It sure is pretty at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. A lovely waterfront retreat set 25 miles northwest of Charleston, this delightful pickleball vacation destination is lush, immaculately manicured, and fronted by a beach. It's also a haven for picklers of all abilities. In addition to three courts, the resort offers private, semi-private, and group clinics taught by a certified instructor. For those who aren't in the mood for a lesson, there's a daily social open-play for all levels — the two-hour clinics are a great way to help improve your game. Organized in a small group environment, players focus on bettering skills such as serving, footwork, and paddle control. Intensive retreats like the Women's Pickleball Weekends are also on offer, boasting nine hours of instruction, point play with coaches, and round robins. 

Everyone needs a break, so when it's time to lay down your racket, you'll be spoiled for activities. These include kayaking, biking, and heading out on a dolphin encounter. The resort is also home to five golf courses, one of which is dubbed the most gorgeous course in the world. Guests have a choice of five-star oceanfront accommodations in the Sanctuary Hotel, a rental villa, or a private vacation home. Plus, staying onsite means you get priority court reservations.

Omni Amelia Island Resort, Fernandina Beach, Florida

It is easy to improve your pickleball game — not to mention your fitness level — while staying at the Omni Amelia Island Resort. This oceanfront beauty is located on one of Florida's best family-friendly beaches, and it's primed for players of all ages. Play can take place on one of seven pickleball courts, which should be booked in advance, especially if you're hoping to beat the heat with a morning match — these time slots go quickly!

Lessons and clinics are offered daily and taught by the resort's well-qualified racquet professionals. Time your visit right, and you may be able to participate in one of their pickleball tournaments, which happen once or twice every three months. Keep active when you're not playing by taking advantage of the resort's prime location — swim, kayak, or paddleboard into the nearby preserved marshlands. Back on land, you'll find two championship golf courses and a short course, a fitness center, 23 tennis courts, and the largest pool area in northeast Florida. Oh, there's also a spa; you might never want to leave. The 402 oceanfront rooms are pretty impressive, and we aren't only talking about the sparkling vistas. They come with furnished balconies, 55-inch TVs, and a sound machine (if the real-life ocean sounds aren't enough to send you to la la land).

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii

There's not much to dislike about a Four Seasons resort, and when that resort is in Maui, you're pretty much guaranteed an ace. The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea boasts luxe rooms featuring customizable mattresses, deep soaking tubs, and ocean views. When you're ready to emerge from your plush lair, you can enjoy first-rate restaurants, three pools, and the exquisite Wailea Beach. Book a surfing lesson or hunker down in the spa; when it comes to keeping picklers happy, this resort doesn't disappoint. 

While there are only two courts, staff members say you shouldn't have a problem finding playing time if you book in advance — guests are limited to one hour of court time per day. That said, if the staff agrees, guests can sometimes extend their playing time, but that's decided on a per-case basis. Court time will cost $30 a day and includes a racket and balls. Hoping to learn how to drop spin? Sign up for a private or semi-private lesson. Be warned, Hawaii can get hot, making playing at your best a bit more of a challenge. Luckily, the resort will light the pickleball courts (if asked) to allow guests to play later into the evening when the temperature is more agreeable. 

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, San Diego, California

Another luxe resort makes it onto our list of pickleball vacation destinations that will help improve your game. This time, it's a Relais & Chateaux gem called Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in San Diego. Guests of this five-star resort stay in hacienda-style casitas (a.k.a. suites) made even more luxurious with a private patio and fireplace. Farm fresh food is served in the Pony Room, which is also known for its many varieties of tequila and clever cocktails.

When it comes time to master your flat face, head to the four pickleball courts. Weekly beginner pickleball clinics are held each Friday at 10:30 a.m. and cost $45 each. Private, semi-private, and group lessons are also available, and open play pickleball takes place every Saturday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Guests can also swim, visit the spa, tour the olive groves, and take a yoga, Pilates, or other fitness class.

Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay, Texas

While pickleball might not be the first sport you think of when dreaming of Texas, the Lonestar State has also caught onto the trend. In fact, Texas has over 700 pickleball courts, making it home to the third most courts in the country, according to Pickleball Heads. Eight of these are held at Horseshoe Bay Resort. The place to be if you're looking for a pickleball vacation destination to help improve your game, this fun resort provides everything you need to get better. Not only can you take private, semi-private, and group lessons from certified professionals to improve your skills, but guest picklers can attend an ultimate pickleball weekend camp, take part in clinics, and even participate in tournaments. The Baseline Pro Shop sells rackets, paddles, and clothing.

Accommodations are plentiful at this upscale resort, with options of a remodeled room in the Tower Hotel, large villas, lakeside condos, or full private homes. Set on the pretty shores of Lake LBJ, you won't be at a loss for great views. Plus, there are plenty of activities to enjoy when you aren't trying to stay out of "the kitchen." Play a round of golf, rent a jet ski or pontoon boat,  or enjoy a spa treatment. 

Pura Vida House, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Grab your pickleball besties and hop on a plane to Costa Rica. Trust us, you'll be glad that you did. Pura Vida House is a unique (not to mention gorgeous) home set on the sandy shore of the Pacific Ocean. Part of the expansive, five-star Hacienda Pinilla Resort, guests are granted access to a slew of incredible amenities. That means you'll have three silky white sand beaches to explore, 4,500 acres to roam, and 25 miles of mountain bike trails to enjoy when you aren't practicing your approach shot. Another bonus is that the courts are shaded by palm trees and lighted at night, so you can enjoy a cooler environment while you chase that ace. Opa! 

This six-bedroom house is a perfect place to gather your favorite pickleball friends — eight to 12 people can stay here comfortably. Their all-inclusive pickleball vacation includes seven nights of accommodation, three cultural experiences, airport transfers, mountain bike rentals, and two-hour lessons daily from a professional. They also offer hours of open play on its two courts as well as drills and socials with the pros each day. You're pretty much guaranteed to improve your game by the time you head home. If that wasn't enough to entice you to visit, the house has its own pool, and guests are granted a private chef for the week. Where do we sign up?

Castle Hot Springs Resort, Morristown, Arizona

An Elysian retreat nestled in the Sonoran Desert and hugged by the Bradshaw Mountains, Castle Hot Springs is an award-winning resort listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its views are captivating, and its facilities are primed for pampering guests. Two pickleball courts take center stage on the grand lawn, and picklers can improve their skills with a lesson (or three) from the rooms director, who, though not a certified pro, is an exceptional player. While there aren't any formal tournaments on the current agenda, picklers can team up with other resort guests for a friendly match.

Deep soaking tubs, luxurious linens, and a delectable farm-to-table restaurant make relaxing easy after spending a few hours on the court. Feeling pickleball elbow creep in? Head to the hot spring for a therapeutic soak or book a massage at the impressive spa. Guided mindfulness classes, yoga sessions, tai chi, and Qigong are all available to help strengthen your body and mind. Afterward, boost your circulation and breathing with a trip to the HaloIR Sauna in the Wellness Loft. Its combination of dry salt and infrared light can do wonders for your overall health and, therefore, your game. The best part? Everything, with the exception of alcoholic drinks, spa services, and some excursions, is included in your stay.