September 20, 2017

Kayaking in Southern California

When asked what activities are great things to do in Southern California, one of our favorite recommendations to tourists and local families alike is kayaking! From the sandy shores of San Clemente, and Corona Del Mar, to Newport's Back Bay to the quaint harbors of Dana Point, and Long Beach, kayaking is available all over Southern California beach towns, and one of the most interactive and relaxed activities around. Kayaking also happens to be great fun in any season, whether you're visiting in midsummer, or the cool breezy days of winter - really, we can't recommend it enough!

Are you ready to try your hand at paddling a kayak? To assist you in planning we've put together a helpful list of the best places to kayak and some of the best local vendors for kayak rentals!

For the Beginners..

For the beginners, our favorite place to kayak is Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. With clear, still waters, and a stream that hits Naples, an adorable neighborhood filled with houses lining the canal, Alamitos Bay is both enjoyable and safe. It's even been called "the best kept secret between LA and Orange County" because the marina is so user friendly and easy to navigate. For kayakers, the bay is great, as there is usually not too much traffic from larger boats. You can even kayak to local restaurants and coffee spots! As you paddle, been on the look out for occasional moon jellies, and even other sea life like sea lions!

Where to rent:

Kayaks on the Water has a phenomenal reputation for both affordability and service. Kayaks on the Water is even dog friendly! Upon arriving, you will watch a short 3 minute video, and then be on your way to kayak in the canals armed with a laminated map so you can choose your own adventure. Rentals are $10 an hour, including life jackets and a map, and there are single and double options. There is a charge for every minute after the hour, so be sure to arrive at the dock in time! Customers love the ‘no frills’ experience of Kayaks on the Water and you will too!

For the Sunset Dreamer….

Sunset Beach is the perfect place for the sunset dreamers out there. With the perfect view of the sunset and exquisite homes lining the channel, Sunset Beach is one of the best places to just hang out, chill on a kayak, and relax for the day. If you plan to combine beach day with kayaking, Sunset Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Orange County area, complete with restrooms, outdoor showers, and a playground, making it the perfect place to have a picnic, then grab a kayak and explore the water!

Where to rent:

Sunset Kayak Rentals is the go-to for this family friendly beach. They offer up to three-person kayaks and rentals only cost $15 for two hours! Be sure to ask about group discounts as well, some customers were able to rent for $10 a person for three hours! Be sure to anticipate time for parking; it can be more difficult to find a parking space in a beachside neighborhood like this! Also remember to bring cash or check for Sunset Kayak Rentals!

For the Beachside Adventurer ...

For an adventurous ocean excursion, we recommend the rugged coast of San Diego's La Jolla where you can experience the thrill of exploring La Jolla's seven sea caves! The La Jolla area is full of amazing sea life, from dolphins and sea lions to colorful garibaldi and kelp forests to annual migrations of leopard sharks. No matter when you visit you're sure to see something amazing!

Where to rent:
For your La Jolla adventure, we recommend La Jolla Kayak , where you can not only rent kayaks, but also book kayak cave tours, weekend brunch kayak tours, and sunset kayak tours. They even offer combination kayak/snorkel tours so you can get even closer to our local marine life! Whether you're looking for a romantic sunset kayak trip, a thrilling snorkel adventure, or a leisurely paddle with brunch, La Jolla Kayak has a tour for you!

For the Nature Lover…

Last, but not least, Newport Beach is one of the most popular locations for any beachside adventure. Filled with endless things to do, like shopping, sampling gourmet gelato, exploring Balboa Island, or relaxing on the beach, Newport Beach is one of our favorite cities to pick up a bite to eat, then head out to the water for some great kayaking. We suggest looking for spots where the water is calmer, like the Newport Harbor or better yet the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve! This "Back Bay" is a beautiful salt marsh estuary that offers sanctuary to a variety of local creatures, birds especially, including some endangered species. It's a unique experience, and not your typical tourist excursion!

Where to rent:

The Newport Aquatic Center is located in the back bay of Newport Beach, where the waves are calmer (and beginner friendly) and service is very helpful! If it is your first time kayaking, the folks at Newport Aquatic Center will do their best to give you instructions on how to paddle a kayak efficiently! Unlike some other rental companies, Newport Aquatic Center charges by kayak, instead of by head. At $15 per hour for a single kayak and $20 an hour for a double kayak, Newport Aquatic Center makes an upscale neighborhood accessible, welcoming, and affordable! For the full experience, book one of their guided tours of the back bay ! You'll have a guide who can tell you more about the local wildlife as well as the history of the bay!

Looking for even more fun in Southern California?
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