Sea kayaking is a popular vacation theme in the United States and North America. Many people enjoy vacations where they not only have a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery, but also participate in fun and exhilarating activities, unlike anything they would find at home. Sea kayaking satisfies all of these desires, often offering the best way of exploring and enjoying some of the wildest and most beautiful places in North America.
Below are six of the best sea kayaking destinations to be found in North America. Discover the best of Alaska kayaking, Hawaii kayaking, and Rosarito Beach kayaking.
- Fox Island – Seward, Alaska. Located about 14 miles from Seward, Alaska, Fox Island may well be one of the best kayaking destinations in the world. Fox Island is known for its scenic views and unspoiled natural beauty. Kayakers are often graced with sightings of local wildlife, such as sea lions and sea otters, whales, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. The backdrop is nothing to sneeze at, either: Fox Island offers many miles of beautiful pebbled beaches, rainforests, cliffs, and coves, so don’t forget to bring a waterproof disposable camera!
- Prince William Sound – Alaska. Prince William Sound is located at the northernmost end of the Gulf of Alaska. Almost completely surrounded by rugged mountains, glaciers, and barrier islands, the cove offers breathtaking scenery combined with sheltered waters that makes kayaking easy for beginners.
Prince William Sound offers plenty of opportunity for exploration, both in the kayak and out. The cove boasts a white sand beach, the Seventeen-Mile Beach, which is a rare occurrence in Canada, while nearby Bull’s Head is home to a sea lion colony. Columbia Glacier – North America’s second-largest tidewater glacier – and the Chugach Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for wildlife such as bald eagles, kittiwakes, and brown bears.
- Down East Islands – Maine. If you prefer a kayaking destination with an adventurous feel, Maine’s Down East Islands may offer exactly what you are looking for. Maine’s 920 miles of coastline is reputedly some of the most rugged along North America’s East Coast. The 255 islands that make up Maine’s Down East Islands are ripe for exploration with their many hidden coves and cobble beaches.
- Pictured Rocks Lakeshore – Lake Superior, Michigan. Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is a national park that stretches along 43 miles of Lake Superior’s southern shore. With white sand beaches, waterfalls, and sandstone cliffs that range from 50 to 200 feet in height, this kayaking destination is just as picturesque as its name indicates. Explore the park’s caves and coves via kayak, and take the opportunity to camp and hike in the park.
- “The Emerald Island” – Kauai, Hawaii. Most of us are familiar with Kauai’s scenic Na Pali Coast as the lushly breathtaking backdrop for the JurassicPark movies. This same shoreline, which is reputedly the most beautiful in the world, is uninhabited and virtually inaccessible, making it best explored via kayak. However, the 17-mile journey is also known as one of the more difficult kayaking routes, which has earned it recognition as the “Mt. Everest” of kayaking.
If you want the experience of kayaking Hawaii’s beautiful island of Kauai, but don’t have the skill or the experience to feel comfortable kayaking the Na Pali Coast, the gentler waters of the island’s South Shore offer an experience more suited to beginning kayakers. Regardless of which route you choose, you will be surrounded by natural phenomena and wildlife, such as waterfalls, caves, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, and humpback whales.
- Rosarito Beach – Mexico. Mexico’s Rosarito Beach is a local favorite among Californians and college students, but as a kayaking destination it is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. Rosarito Beach offers perfect waters and picturesque scenery for a fun and relaxing kayaking vacation, while its close proximity to Baja, California makes it perfect for a weekend – or longer – getaway.
One of Rosarito Beach’s highlights is its population of grey whales. Kayakers are most likely to spot the whales during the morning hours. Sightings of sea lions, manatee, and tropical birds are also common. Those who choose to do so can fish around the Coronado Islands; other popular activities include surfing, water skiing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
The Best Sea Kayaking Destinations
There are, of course, many fine destinations for sea kayaking in North America and the rest of the world. The best destinations are often chosen for not only the quality of kayaking and the possibility of exploration, but also for the scenic backdrops that are unlike anything you can find anywhere else. All of these six sea kayaking destinations offer not only great kayaking and natural opportunities for exploration, but also the beautiful coastlines and wildlife sightings that will make your kayaking vacation a once in a lifetime opportunity.