California is a state of legendary beauty and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Have a kayak, or ready to rent one? Kayaking is one of the many types of outdoor activities you can enjoy while in California. Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore natural spaces. There is no other activity that can provide the same kind of experience and views of the wilderness. Keep on reading to learn about some of the best places to go kayaking in California.
Monterey Bay is especially great for kayak fishing. Do you think you’d like to try this the next time you go kayaking? If you’re already an experienced kayaker and you’re eager to try something different, this is definitely an activity to look into. On Monterey Bay, you can go kayaking on the open ocean.
If you’re less experienced and would rather stay closer to shore, there are many parts of the harbor that are free of motorized boats. These are peaceful spots where you can take your kayak. There are sailboats there, though, so be careful.
Lake Sonoma is in Sonoma County’s scenic foothills. Lake Sonoma is a popular spot for kayaking and canoeing. Some people also enjoy exploring the water on standup paddleboards, so you’ll definitely see some paddlers here. If you go kayaking on Lake Sonoma, you’ll be in good company.
Kayaking in this area is a true adventure, letting you experience the Pacific coastline. Also, kayak up the Russian River, a body of water that travels through Sonoma County. There’s no better way to explore a region. While you’re in this area for your kayaking, take part in some other outdoor activities too. Many visitors like to go hiking and explore the great outdoors.
If you’re a kayaker in the San Francisco area, you simply must go kayaking on the Petaluma River. This is a busy body of water, though, so you won’t have it to yourself. This is a wonderful place to relax and yet still feel in the thick of things.
The Petaluma River is a peaceful body of water, so it’s perfect if you want a tranquil afternoon. This isn’t the right place if you want excitement. If sightseeing and fresh air sound good, though, the Petaluma River is a great spot. If you love wildlife, spend some time bird watching in this river’s wetlands.
The Napa Valley features the Napa River, a great spot for kayaking. This river is among the most significant in the Central Coast Range. The Napa River stretches 50 miles, connecting Mt. St. Helena and San Pablo Bay. If you want to go kayaking on the Napa River, think about getting help from one of the companies providing tours and equipment rentals. Some of them provide guided tours. This is a great place for a day trip.
While you’re in the region kayaking on the Napa River, spend time exploring the other elements of nature in the Napa Valley. There are lots of hiking opportunities. In fact, there are trails running along the Napa River. If you like fishing in your kayak, you can do this on the Napa River while on your adventures. If you need to rent fishing equipment, there are plenty of companies in the area where this is available.
Have you gone kayaking in other locations and want a bit more of a challenge? Look into visiting Lake Tahoe and venturing on the water there. There are camping grounds in the area to make a camping trip out of the expedition. If you want a trip to remember, check out the kayak tour options in the area.
Lake Tahoe is the Sierra Nevada’s biggest freshwater lake. This area brings together California and neighboring Nevada. Be ready for some brisk water, as there tend to be powerful winds in this mountainous terrain.
Planning to be in the northeastern part of California, specifically in Plumas County? Lake Almanor is a man-made lake, but it’s definitely one you’ll want to go kayaking on. This is an impressively large lake, so be cautious. This is especially true if you’re an inexperienced kayaker. You don’t want to end up lost or stranded.
Lake Almanor has numerous boat launches, making it a convenient kayaking destination. You will find boat launches at places like Lake Haven Resort, North Shore Campground, Lake Cove Resort, Big Cove Resort, North Shore Campground, and more. You will find Lake Almanor in Lassen National Park. While you’re there, make sure to spend time admiring all the tremendous natural beauty in this region.
If you’re like many visitors and don’t have your own kayak, there are places where you can rent one near Lake Almanor. You will find a variety of different kinds of kayaks available. Be sure to pick one that will fit your experience and needs.
You can go whitewater kayaking at the North Fork of Yuba River. This is a more challenging kayaking spot that experienced kayakers know and love. It takes quite a bit of skill to kayak here, as there are many enormous boulders.
The Yuba River has a lot of historical significance. Have you ever heard of the 19th-century gold rush? The Yuba River was a major location in this event. In fact, this river was among the most gold-abundant mining rivers in the state. Today, it’s a whitewater kayaking spot instead of a gold-mining one, but it’s certainly a kayaking spot you’ve got to see.
June Lake is a relatively small lake about half a mile wide and a mile in length. It’s large enough to have a couple of marinas, at which visitors can rent fishing boats. Many paddlers and kayakers also enjoy being on the water at June Lake. If you’d also like to go swimming, you’ll find an appropriate area in the lake’s northeast area. If you want to visit June Lake, you just have to travel two miles from the juncture of California State Route 158 and U.S. Highway 395.
There are three other lakes in the area: Grand Lake, Silver Lake, and Gull Lake. This makes this region an especially great spot for kayaking and other kinds of watersports, including sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, jet-skiing, and swimming.
Channel Island National Park
Channel Island National Park is another prime kayaking spot in California. If you truly love adventure and you’re never afraid of a challenge, visiting Channel Island National park might just be the place for you.
Make sure you’re an experienced survivalist and know how to make your way in places without help and amenities. A visit to Channel Island National Park needs to planned well in advance, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Luckily, however, it’s pretty easy to rent kayaking gear for enjoying the water at Channel Island National Park. Not only that, but you can also rent other kinds of watersports equipment, such as snorkeling gear. If you want to visit Channel Island National Park for kayaking, you’ve got to do your research and do everything necessary to prepare. The park provides detailed information on its site, including lists of appropriate gear and clothing. Always remember, keep safety top of mind.
San Francisco Bay
Want to kayak somewhere that combines the beauty of nature with the excitement of a cosmopolitan city? San Francisco Bay is one of the most popular kayaking locations in northern California. You can even kayak beneath the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. As with any other location, though, remember to check the currents and tides before you set off on your expedition. The winds and weather are also key information. Never try to exceed your own skill as a kayaker.
Also, in northern California, Mendocino County is another prime kayaking location. Kayakers love making their way along the beautiful Mendocino Coast. In fact, there are some areas of this coast that you can experience only by kayak. Spend time in the coastline area of Fort Bragg and Noyo Bay.
There are plenty of kayaking tour guides in Mendocino County who will show you all the ins and outs of the Mendocino Coast. There are mysterious sea caves that you see with the right guidance. As long as you have the right help, beginner kayakers can explore many areas of the Mendocino Coast. Advanced kayakers can do even more. Looking for whitewater kayaking opportunities? You’ll find them here.
The La Jolla neighborhood in San Diego is a well-known kayaking spot. Go on one of the fantastic kayaking tours available in the area. LaJolla calls itself a seaside village, and that’s exactly the atmosphere you will find when you visit this iconic California location.
There’s plenty of other activities you can enjoy in La Jolla, too, including all the tourist attractions you could possibly hope for in such a delightful village. Luxury is a watchword here, yet the feeling is wonderfully relaxed. If you’re visiting San Diego, La Jolla is conveniently easy to reach. In fact, it’ll only take you minutes to get there from downtown San Diego.
Los Angeles River
When we think of Los Angeles, we usually think of an enormous and bustling city. We know there are plenty of beaches and natural areas too, but did you know that you can go kayaking there, too? The Los Angeles River is a popular local spot for local and visiting kayakers.
There are plenty of guided expeditions available that you can participate in on the Los Angeles River. If urban kayaking sounds like something you’d like to try, head to the Los Angeles River the next time you are in the area.
Tomales Bay has bioluminescent waters, and it’s a great place to kayak. If combining learning about a unique natural environment with an exciting kayaking adventure sounds like a treat, plan some time on the water in Tomales Bay.
Tamales Bay is located in Inverness, California. It’s on the shores of Tomales Bay. This is a peaceful and upscale location that is ideal for bay kayaking. There are kayak rental facilities available.
The Channel Islands
If you’re going to be in the Santa Barbara area and you love to kayak, the Channel Islands are a must-see location. Santa Barbara’s Channel Island National Park is a kayaking hot spot in California. There is a wide array of fascinating sea creatures in the area, such as sea lions, dolphins, and even migrating humpback and gray whales. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Santa Barbara Harbor
While in the Santa Barbara area, you simply must kayak in Santa Barbara Harbor. This is an ideal spot if you love ocean kayaking in tranquil waters. You’ll find peaceful surroundings in the waters around Stearns Wharf, as well as along the local beaches of the area.
There’s a good reason why Santa Barbara is called the American Riviera. This is a sophisticated and inviting location with plenty to see and do, including kayaking in beautiful blue waters. There’s a great deal of natural beauty in Santa Barbara, its harbor, and its beaches. Santa Barbara is full of memorable landmarks that you will want to spend time exploring and admiring.
Have a Kayaking Adventure in California
As we’ve seen here, there are a plethora of places to kayak in the beautiful state of California. Whatever kind of kayaking you prefer, there is a wide range of places for you to see and explore. Whether you are in northern or southern California, you will find plenty of kayaking opportunities.
Photo Credit: Jim Sheaffer via Flickr CC2.0