The Best Kayaking in San Francisco

Looking for the best kayaking in San Francisco? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around San Francisco. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top kayaking spots in and near San Francisco

  • San Francisco, California

    Baker Beach

    4.8
    If you're looking for a beach that's a little more protected and scenic than Ocean Beach, then Baker Beach is it. Bring a cooler and some burritos out and kick it with your friends. On a sunny weekend day in SF, there's usually a sizable crowd here, so if you need parking, be sure to get here ear...
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  • Alameda, California

    Swim at Crown Memorial State Beach

    3.0
    This beach has some of the warmest ocean water in the bay area. The swimming area is also fairly shallow, making it a safer, more protected swimming area. Be sure to check the link below for updated water conditions, especially if it has rained recently. There is a bathhouse with changing rooms o...
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  • Richmond, California

    Picnic at Point Molate Beach Park

    The beach park is very small but has sand along the shore for water access. Along the small cliffs of the beach there are picnic tables and grills for a nice cookout and family picnic. This beach would also be a great place for kayaking or standup paddle boarding as it is fairly secluded and away...
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  • Foster City, California

    Paddle the Foster City Lagoon

    The Foster City Lagoon is one of the most calm waters to paddle on.  This is a great spot for beginners to learn how to paddleboard for the first time. The lagoon gets very still and makes it the perfect spot for reflection photos.  On sunny days, there are many kayakers, SUP, small boats, and ev...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Kayak in the Pillar Point Harbor

    5.0
    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 t...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Paddle Half Moon Bay Jetty

    The Half Moon Bay Jetty is a calm place to paddle as it is covered on all sides. There is an opening into the ocean on the far side, but is mostly calm with plenty of beach area to launch. Keep in mind, there are boats in the harbor so keep an eye out. There is also a scenic hike nearby the West ...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Stroll along the Southern Beaches at San Gregorio State Beach

    4.0
    2.9 mi / 413 ft gain
    Not a trail per se, but approximately 3 miles (down and back) of beautiful beach to walk down. Lots of interesting caves, wild animals, and rock formations to discover. This is a popular location for sea kayakers. San Gregorio State Beach was originally founded to protect the estuary at the back ...
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  • 3160 North Shoreline Boulevard, California

    SUP Shoreline Lake

    3.0
    Shoreline Lake features a big lake, many hiking and biking trails, and lot of picnic areas in Mountain View, CA. Kayaks, SUP, and various boats can be rented from the boat house. This is a great place to enjoy the water no matter what season it is. There are large grassy areas for kids to run and...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Hike the Sky Trail in Point Reyes

    5.0
    11 mi / 1250 ft gain
    Sky Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is a dramatic, mostly single-track trail that runs along the main spine of the Inverness Ridge and across highest mountains in Point Reyes, looming above the Olema Valley and Highway 1 which mark the San Andreas Fault rift zone and the dividing line betw...
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  • Los Altos, California

    Park Day at Foothills Park

    1.7
    Disclaimer: Foothills Park requires proof of residence in Palo Alto or being accompanied by a resident of the city. Learn more here.Foothills Park is 2.7 miles west of 280 after exiting Page Mill. After exiting you take a short scenic drive up the hill and come to the park entrance on your right...
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  • Inverness, California

    Kayak Camping in Point Reyes

    4.9
    Like camping in remote locations? Love oysters? This is it! Tomales Bay offers boat-in only campgrounds along the east side of the peninsula. We departed from Chicken Ranch Beach, which is on the west side of Tomales Bay. We jumped in our kayaks and headed north in the bay for a quick breather at...
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  • San Jose, California

    Catch a Sunset at Alviso Marina County Park

    3.0
    9 mi / 72 ft gain
    This tranquil 20.6 acre park is open year round from 8am to sunset. It’s the gateway to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It is filled with boardwalks, trails, and all kinds of wildlife. I went here with the sole intent of catching a pretty sunset after a long week.  I g...
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  • Napa, California

    Kayak the Napa River

    4.0
    The Napa River is one of the largest California Central Coast Range rivers, draining approximately 426 sq. miles on its 50 mile journey beginning just south of the summit of Mt. St. Helena to the San Pablo Bay, passing through many of the landmark towns of Napa Valley including an incredible 6 mi...
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  • Marshall, California

    Kayak Tomales Bay

    5.0
    Kayak Beautiful Tomales bay and experience the bioluminescence ecology of the bay. Timed during the lowest crescent of the moon, and starting around sunset, you will paddle into the sunset and wait until it is completely dark, continuing on around the bay to experience the bio-luminescence natur...
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  • Livermore, California

    Paddle Lake Del Valle

    4.0
    Lake Del Valle is a reservoir located in Livermore, California. The lake has boat motor boats, pedal boats, patio boats, canoes, and row boats available for rent. There is a dock and rental  house in the marina.The lake is also a popular destination for picnics, barbecues, and camping. Parking fi...
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