Kayaking in La Jolla, CA

La Jolla California is known for crystal clear water, dramatic sea side cliffs, and its abundant wildlife. The best way to enjoy the gorgeous views and array of sea life is to go on a kayaking adventure.

If you do not own your own kayak don’t despair, there are many tourist companies in the area that you can either rent a kayak from or go on a kayaking tour with. Many of these companies offer kayaking tours through the famed sea caves as well as snorkeling adventures with leopard sharks!

Our Kayak

Brandon and I decided our next fun hobby would be kayaking and we thought that La Jolla would be the perfect place for our kayak’s maiden voyage. Our friend Jacob goes to La Jolla often and went with us to help us navigate kayaking for the first time. We have a 13 foot tandem Brooklyn Kayak. Make sure you have a certified PFD (personal Flotation Device) that is designed for Kayaking. Normal life vests go higher up on the sides and limit your arm movement. This makes it harder to paddle and can cause the undersides of your arms to be rubbed raw. Brandon and I both have Hobie kayaking PFDs.

Kayaking in La Jolla

Kayaking in la Jolla is Beautiful. The clean water is surrounded by sandy cliffs that house California Seal Lions. Next to the sea caves there is a beach cove where sunbathers love to hang out. This is also a great spot to set up if you are planning to snorkel along the cliffside. California Sea Lions often come out and swim with the snorkelers. Be aware that these are wild animals that are protected. Do not touch or feed them.

To launch your kayak you will need to go to La Jolla Shores Beach. There is a kayak and canoe launch area there. You will be launching directly into the ocean and you will need to paddle quickly to get past the waves. Brandon and I both got soaked! Several tourist companies launch from this area. Be careful to avoid them when launching. Some people will fall out of their kayaks when launching , be prepared for this! Make sure all electronics are in waterproof containers.

To Kayak to the cliffside you will need to kayak in an open ocean area. There is a swim lane that passes through the area for triathlon athletes. The area is marked by buoys. Make sure to avoid this area and to watch out for swimmers.

La Jolla Sea Life

You will get to see a lot of wildlife while kayaking in La Jolla. If you are a fan of sharks then you will want o go kayaking during leopard shark breeding season. During this time you are guaranteed to see some swimming underneath your kayak. La Jolla is also one of the best places to see the California Sea Lion.

California Sea Lion: Claifornia Sea Lines are huge marine mammals that call the clear water of La Jolla home. The females can reach 5.5 feet in length the males can reach up to 7.5 feet. Most of the California Seal Lions in La Jolla cove tend to congregate by the sea caves. As you kayak by the sea caves you will see they lounging on the rocky outcropping of the caves.

Leopard Sharks: La Jolla is also known as one of the best places to go snorkeling with Leopard Sharks! Now I know that this can sound intimidating but these beautiful creatures are a once in a lifetime sight to see. The Leopard sharks come to La Jolla in the summer and Fall to be in warmer water while they are gestating their young.

Garibaldi: These Bright orange fish are a staple of La Jolla Shores and are an easy fish to spot as your kayaking overhead.

I hope this inspires you all to go out and visit La Jolla. It is a great place to go see the wildlife and gorgeous sea shores that California has to offer. As always, stay safe and make sure to bring food, water, and your PFD. Happy Travels!


One thought on “Kayaking in La Jolla, CA”

  1. Meggie, this was so spot on. So many good tips! I have been to La Jolla Cove many times, but never kayaked. Now I want to give it a try. So fun!


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