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Kayaking in the Wintertime in Southern California


There are many reasons to try winter kayaking. For one, coastal Southern California enjoys more calm, beautiful sunny days during the so-called cold season than the area Kayakingmission Beachexperiences during its “June gloom” period in early summer. Kayaking in Southern California is a great paddling getaway from the harsh winters in other states.

Photo Credit GI Brannock

The diversity in topography makes Southern California one of the most inviting winter kayaking spots in the United States. From sandy beaches to comfortable air temperatures, and an abundance of scenic harbors and bays to explore, winter kayaking in Southern California has a lot more to offer than you might imagine. It is a paddling paradise, and has long been a favorite retreat for paddlers who love warm winters.

There are ample kayaking destinations in Southern California to explore in the winter. Harbors and bays in Southern California such as Alamitos Bay, Dana Point, Marina Del Rey, Oceanside, San Diego, and Newport Harbors are excellent places to dip your paddle in the cool inviting water during the winter months. The air and water temperatures rarely drop below the comfortable mid60s. That’s the essence of the Southern California lifestyle – year-round kayaking under the sparkling sun

You can also take a dip with your paddle and make a splash at Mission Bay, the United States’ largest aquatic park. Mission Bay is an outstanding location for winter kayaking, where you can glide through the many inlets and isles with minimal noise from jet skis and powerboats. Experience first-hand the beautiful bay views, seals basking in the sun, and hordes of birds flying overhead. A warm, sunny winter day on the water is one of the best ways to fully experience San Diego!

San Diego Harbor provides enjoyment with pleasant temperatures year-round. Explore the beautiful sea cliffs and witness the abundant wildlife including sea lions, dolphins, and leopard sharks! Kayaking on San Diego Harbor is the perfect location for kayakers who take pleasure in year-round paddling.

Another gratifying way to spend the day in the winter is to explore Huntington, Dana Point, Oceanside and Marina del Rey Harbors from a kayak. It’s a pleasurable way to get up-close to California’s diverse sea life. The harbors are delightful destinations for the paddling enthusiast.

You can also kayak along the gentle and quiet beach and experience breathtaking views of the ocean dotted with the silhouettes of wind surfers, or frolic in gentle ocean surf at Cabrillo Beach, in San Pedro California. Cabrillo Beach is actually two beaches: one outside the breakwater with ocean surf, and the other within the harbor, and quite perfect for a family outing. You can hand launch from the beach and enjoy a relaxing paddle with a look back at the scenic coast or you can feast your eyes on the massive container-laden cargo ships along Ports-of-Call Village.

The change of seasons is just another chance to enjoy the pleasure of paddling. Santa Barbara Harbor is another superb spot for winter kayaking. While the summer is packed with beach-goers, in the winter it is often deserted, making the entire experience very peaceful. Fewer people mean you can get up close to more wildlife.

The Ultimate Paddlers Guide to 264 Extraordinary Flat Water Destinations in California. BUY HERE

Kayaking California's Flat Waters is the most beautiful and informative resource available for California paddling enthusiasts.


Southern California is a paddler’s winter wonderland. Come out this winter and paddle California's spectacular coastlines, harbors and bays. If you love kayaking, why hang it up just because winter has arrived? While it is true, winter can bring its own set of challenges, it doesn't mean it's time to put away your kayak until spring. With the proper attire you can safely enjoy winter kayaking in Southern California.



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