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 Click here for a list of Kayak Rentals and Shops

A Day on the Bay

Kayaking is a special way to experience the Monterey Bay and its environs. Floating on the water in a single or two-person kayak, you can get "up close and personal" with the sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions and other inhabitants of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. And whether you're an expert or are interested in taking your first kayak lesson, Monterey offers an unparalleled experience for all levels.

Several local outfitters offer safety instruction and interpretive tours of the Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough led by marine biologists, which provide an insider's appreciation for the fragile ecosystems. They usually offer group or individual lessons, kayaking accessories, a place to change, and, often, a place to take a hot shower.

Among the companies to try, consider Adventures by the Sea, or A B Seas Kayaks, both on Cannery Row, or Monterey Bay Kayaks, located on Del Monte Beach adjacent to the Wharf. To explore the northern reaches of Monterey Bay, you might check out Kayak Connection in Santa Cruz.

Don't forget to wear your sunscreen, and pack a waterproof camera to show your friends and family what an incredible experience you had playing on the bay.

Did You Know?
You can get a damaging sunburn in a short time?even if it's foggy out. The sun's rays can penetrate the fog with ease, and combined with the glare of the water, it's a recipe for rosy cheeks. Make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen?no matter what your activities?even in the fog.

Monterey Bay—A Sanctuary for Animals

In 1992, Monterey Bay was named the largest of the 12 National Marine Sanctuaries nationwide. Spanning over 5,300 square miles, the MBNMS stretches along the Central California Coast from Marin County to Cambria, in San Luis Obispo County. The marine mammals, plants and invertebrate life that call the Monterey Bay home are protected in the Sanctuary. Boaters (including kayakers), scuba divers and swimmers are required to keep a safe distance from wildlife, and refrain from harassing marine life or "taking" (collecting) invertebrates without a permit. Violation is punishable by a fine.

Kayak Rentals & Shops  

A B Seas Kayaks
32 Cannery Row, Ste 5, Monterey

Adventures by the Sea
299 Cannery Row, Monterey
201 Alvarado Mall, Monterey
Lover's Point Beach, Pacific Grove

Kayak Connection
440 6th Avenue, Santa Cruz

Monterey Bay Kayaks
693 Del Monte Ave, Monterey

Calm Waters Ahead
You don't have to be an expert to be able to kayak in the Monterey Bay. Unless there is a small craft advisory, you can count on the inland bay waters to be relatively calm, which is perfect for paddling around and getting used to your kayak before venturing outside the surf zone. Rental shops offer expert instruction and even guided tours for kayakers of all experience levels, which can help boost confidence. If the open ocean is still too intimidating, head north on Highway One to Elkhorn Slough, typically a calmer body of water, which is also teeming with sea birds and marine mammals.