Baja California, Mexico: Learn to Fly
Los Barriles, an old fishing village on the Sea of Cortez, is a mecca for wind seekers. From November through April, a warm breeze blows at a consistent 18 to 22 knots, and the wide-open sandy beaches and the serene turquoise water of the Bay of Palms offer safe launching and landing areas that are ideal for beginner kiteboarders. Get eight hours of instruction from ExotiKite, with a Jet Ski assist and in-helmet radio guidance, for $625. You'll come away knowing how to edge, ride upwind, turn, and even execute basic jumps. You'll also be certified by the International Kiteboarding Organization, enabling you to rent gear and sign up for future trips. There's also great standup paddling here, along with scuba diving, kayaking, and the Sea of Cortez's legendary fishing. Cabo San Lucas is not far, but chances are you'll be seduced by Los Barriles' small-town charm.