Your Guide to Kayaking in Pismo Beach

Enjoy the beauty of Pismo Beach from the seat of a kayak! When you visit our little beach town, you gain access to a plethora of kayaking adventures right at our doorstep. Here’s your checklist for kayaking in and around Pismo.

1. Find out when to go: check the tides.

Before heading straight out to the water, be sure to plan ahead to ensure it is high tide. You want to avoid kayaking when the tide is low, as rocks are often exposed during those times. Tides will vary day by day, so refer to this table for daily updates.

2. Choose a rental company and the kayaking experience you’re after.

Whether you want to rent a single or tandem kayak, or perhaps are hoping to book a kayak tour to get the full experience, you have your choice of kayak rental companies located right in Pismo Beach. Fancy a kayak fishing expedition? We have that, too.

Check out Central Coast Kayaks and Pismo Beach Surf Shop for local kayak rentals.

3. Pick your destination.

In and around Pismo Beach, there are plenty of options for kayaking. The four most popular launch points are:

Pismo Beach

Adventure seekers can head straight out from Pismo for bigger waves and more swell. Although more challenging, the views out of Pismo Beach are stunning and well worth it.

Shell Beach

The surf by Shell Beach tends to be small, making it an ideal adventure for beginners or those looking for a more leisurely kayaking option. You will need to bring your kayak down a set of stairs, but the launch is easy at the beach itself.

Close to Shell Beach is a collection of caves and arches known as the Dinosaur Caves. These can be found near the access stairs at the end of Pier Avenue. You can often paddle underneath the caves, provided it’s the right tide and surf size.

Avila Beach

Set out from Avila Beach for a beautiful kayaking experience. There are many options to tailor your adventure to your level. These include a tour of the Avila Lighthouse (a suitable option for beginners) as well as Paddler’s Expedition, a longer, more challenging tour with occasional whale sightings!

Port San Luis

This historic port is situated directly next to Avila Beach. Head out for your own adventure or book a tour to explore the routes of famed pirates and explorers of the 16th century.

4. Pack the essentials.

Stay prepared by thinking ahead about what you’ll need for your kayaking adventure. Some tips:

  • Bag the essentials, like keys, wallet, and cell phone (especially if they’re not waterproof!). Dry bags or boxes are best, as these are most effective at locking out water.
  • Bring food. Kayaking can work up an appetite! Bring along some snacks to stay energized while you’re out on the water. Whole fruit and granola bars are great to bring as they’re waterproof and easy to pack in a backpack.
  • Drink water. Hydrate as you’re working up a sweat. Bring along a few bottles of water to drink while you kayak.
  • Pack a waterproof map. If your kayak rental company offers it, bring along a waterproof map. This is a simple but effective way to find places to explore and stay on route. Plus, it means you can keep your phone locked away and away from the water!
  • Wear a life vest. These are so important for making sure you’re safe while out there enjoying the beautiful scenery. Be sure to keep on your life vest for your full adventure.

While out on the water, keep a close eye out for local wildlife! If you’re lucky, you’ll get to some of the sea otters, seals, and marine birds that make Pismo Beach so magical.

Perhaps the best part about kayaking in Pismo Beach? Coming “home” to the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel. Book your Pismo Beach kayaking vacation today.

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