Kayak in the Pillar Point Harbor
San Francisco › Pillar Point Harbor
Added by Nicholas Adam
Enjoy a calm paddle within the safe and beautiful Pillar Point harbor.
Pillar Point Harbor is located in El Granada, about 5 miles north of Half Moon Bay and 20 miles south of San Francisco. Access to the harbor is easy via Highway 1, and there is adequate parking for even the busiest weekends.
If you have your own kayak, you can park and drop it in the water along the eastern side of the harbor. There is a small beach area where you can launch your kayak from. If you don't have a kayak, there is a company which rents them for about $25. They are hard to miss when you enter the parking lot. They have quite a few models of kayaks, and a lot of them, but on a busy day you may need to wait for other kayakers to return their gear before you can head out. They'll give you life jackets and a short training lesson in case this is your first time kayaking.
Once you're in your kayak, you can pretty much go anywhere in the harbor. Look out for all kinds of sea birds, and if you're lucky, you may see some harbor seals. Law requires you to stay away from those guys, but if they come up to you, don't worry. Just act natural and keep paddling. When you leave the boat area, you are asked to stay within the boundaries of the sea wall (jetty) for your safety. There's plenty to explore. There's a cool old wooden pier that you can paddle through, plenty of pelicans that will watch as you paddle by them, and you can dock your kayak on the beach at the far side of the harbor, where you can look at the waves and rest before heading back.
If you are feeling up to it, you can go out past the jetty and do some more exploring. If you decide to do that, be conscious of swell hight, tides, winds, and currents. Outside the jetty is the Pacific Ocean, and it can get treacherous pretty fast, and with fast currents and wind, you may have a hard time paddling back to the safety of the harbor walls.
A tour of the perimeter of the harbor will take you about 1 hour. When you're done kayaking, head over to one of the few restaurants in the harbor for a tasty reward for your calorie burning adventure. Overall, a kayak adventure on a sunny day in the harbor is hard to disappoint.
- Waterproof Camera
- Swim Suit
- Sun Glasses
- Life Jacket
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