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Santa Barbara, California Canoe & kayak tours

Our most recommended Santa Barbara, California Canoe & kayak tours

Santa Barbara: Guided Sea Lion Kayaking Tour

1. Santa Barbara: Guided Sea Lion Kayaking Tour

Explore the Santa Barbara harbor on this guided kayaking bay. Follow your guide out to look for California Sea Lions who like to visit the green navigation buoys at the entrance of the harbor. Discover iconic Santa Barbara sights like Stearns Wharf along the way.  Meet your guide and get set up with a high-quality paddle, kayak, and life jacket. Set off into the harbor on this family-friendly adventure. Expereince the joy of spotting local wildlife like playful California Sea Lions, sea gulls, and sliver fish.  Keep your things stored in the included lockers and feel free to make use of the onsite changing rooms. After your tour is over, you can stay in the harbor complex area and get some quick food, or sit down for a fish dinner at the famous Brophy Brothers.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

2. Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Discover the beautiful landscapes of Santa Barbara on a relaxing sunset kayak tour. You will watch a basic paddling demonstration and hear the safety talk before setting out on the water. Spend 2-hours on the water exploring the Santa Barbara harbor and the shoreline. Watch the sun as it settles over the sea, creating a gorgeous backdrop of the city and the Santa Ynez Mountain range. Enjoy paddling along the coastline and soak in the stunning surrounding views of the sea. Immerse yourself into a dream-like nature experience for all sea kayaking skill levels, including beginners to advanced.

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

3. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Meet your guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will continue through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach.  Keep a look out for wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and seagulls.  Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. Enjoy a relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of Santa Barbara from the water.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

4. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

5. Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

Join us on an exploration of the Gaviota Coast, home to more than 1,500 species of plant and animal life. This is our most popular coastal trip and offers a perfect day of kayaking, swimming and fun in nature. We will meet at Haskell’s Beach, a secluded icon in the Santa Barbara beach scene. Your guide will outfit the members of your group and offer a thorough kayaking lesson onshore. Once on the water, we will tour a total of 3 miles, stopping in pristine kelp beds to learn about marine ecology and the Santa Barbara Channel (and hopefully kayak with dolphins and sea lions!). If you want to pack a sack lunch, we can stop mid-way through for a beach picnic for an hour or so or you’re welcome to picnic at the conclusion of your tour. As the trip progresses, your guide may offer a fun series of kayak challenges and games. This unforgettable trip will provide great opportunities to swim, play or just float. It’s perfect for all ages of adventure seekers!

Frequently asked questions about Santa Barbara, California

What top attractions are a must-see in Santa Barbara, California?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara, California?

The best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara, California are:

Solvang

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara, California

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What people are saying about Santa Barbara, California

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

This was a really great adventure- especially for those with out much experience. My group and I had kayaked a lot before but our guides we so helpful in making the excursion memorable and unique to us all. We talked a lot about the harbor in Santa Barbara and when we went out into the open ocean for a little bit we saw sea lions!! It was a really awesome trip and would recommend to people of any ability :)

We found the tour very good. Tray, our guide, was great!! :) Unfortunately, the time went very quickly. Were only on the road with three other boats, a total of 5 participants, great :) Sea lions, saw great boats, it's worth it!! :)

Super organized, safe and fun!!! Beth was a great guide and we look forward to coming back for another kayaking tour!

This is a great tour for beginners as the guides were knowledgeable and very helpful.