Kayaking the Monterey Bay Estuaries provides endless fun. Kayakers are almost guaranteed to see playful sea otters, harbor seals, and sea lions. Impressive arrays of birdlife include loons, pelicans, sandpipers, and grebes. Lucky paddlers might even glimpse a bat ray or a leopard shark.
Kayakers wanting an urban vibe can paddle in Monterey Bay past Cannery Row, the waterside street made famous by John Steinbeck's novel of the same name.
Elkhorn Slough in the Monterey estuary is one of the most renowned wildlife viewing destinations in the U.S.
Great Ways to Enjoy Kayaking in Monterey
Following a few tips and reminders will help you get the most out of your adventure. First, remember to stay at least 100 feet from all marine mammals. If you have a waterproof camera, bring it and take lots of photos to commemorate this fantastic experience. It's a good idea to wear sunscreen; the sun's reflection on the water can intensify the sun's rays. In addition to sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a good idea.
Wear appropriate, quick-drying clothing. Jeans quickly get uncomfortable. Bring a towel for each paddler.
Kayak Connection is your one-stop-shop for all your paddling needs. You can rent a kayak and go at your own pace, or you can join a guided tour. On a guided tour, guides can point out different creatures you may not notice or your own. Instead of worrying about creating the perfect route, you can follow the guide. Guides also give fascinating information about the history and natural history of the area.
Kayak Connection specializes in helping paddlers enjoy Elkhorn Slough. Elkhorn Slough is also a wonderful retreat for the endangered California Southern Sea Otter. Hundreds of sea otters reside in the slough, and you might see them resting, hunting, eating clams, or taking care of their pups. Elkhorn Slough is California's largest tidal salt marsh outside of San Francisco Bay. This incredible habitat is an attractive spot for migratory birds who rest in this unique destination.
Adventures by the Sea
Adventures by the Sea offers five different locations, so you can visit them all or choose one area that matches your mood. Then, either grab rental kayaks and explore by yourself or join a guided tour.
You can join a Cannery Row kayak tour and paddle past the famous street. A raft of otters hangs out right in front of Adventures by the Sea's shop, so you'll start the trip off with exceptional wildlife viewing. Kayakers can experience the Cannery Row kelp forest and see seals and sea lions.
Breakwater Cove features a harbor entry and exit and another excellent opportunity to view harbor seals and sea lions.
From the Lover's Point location, you can enjoy beachside paddling. Also, watch for harbor seals relaxing on rocks and otters playing in the water.
From the Stillwater Cove location, kayakers can experience Pebble Beach. The water is beautiful, and the views are spectacular.
Monterey Bay Kayaks
Monterey Bay Kayaks offers two locations to enjoy. Rent a kayak or join a tour at their Moss Landing location, which provides access to the unparalleled Elkhorn Slough. This is the prime location for wildlife and shorebird viewing. The calm, protected waters are a paddler's delight.
Or, visit Monterey's waterfront and enjoy the Monterey Bay estuary. This protected area offers wildlife viewing opportunities and exceptional scenery.
Relax and Enjoy Monterey Bay
The Monterey Bay area is teeming with relaxation and wildlife viewing opportunities. Before heading out on your kayaking adventure, check out our list of the best breakfast spots in Monterey, CA.