It’s a no-brainer that you want to go kayaking or paddle boarding when you visit Morro Bay. But, like most of us, you may not be an expert. Here are some tips to help you get your feet wet:

Bring binoculars.

There is much to see when you’re out on the water. Aside from the picturesque views of Morro Rock and the harbor, there’s active marine life that live in and around the bay.

Our bay is home to harbor seals, sea otters and the occasional dolphin. You’ll likely notice many of our marine mammals on your adventure, especially if you paddle by our floating dock in the middle of the bay. Harbor seals enjoy gathering there and sunbathing throughout the day.

If you’re paddling toward Morro Rock, be sure to keep your eyes open as this is a common gathering spot for sea otters.

These animals are naturally peaceful and will keep their distance. A good rule of thumb is to stay far enough away that the animals don’t notice your presence. Bring your binoculars for a better view.

High tides make for easy paddling.

Although the bay is gorgeous at all hours, there are times that are easier than others to navigate the waters. Use the tides to your advantage, said Dennis Krueger, manager of Kayak Horizons. The higher the tide, the further you can paddle into the estuary.

Certain times of day also have better weather conditions. Mid-morning is the best time to go, said John Flaherty, tour guide and owner of Central Coast Outdoors. The wind tends to pick up come afternoon.

Our coastal sunshine comes around almost every day, however some winter breezes can be cold on the bay. Be sure to take a jacket with you just in case. 

Maximize your experience with a guide.

It’s possible to have a more-than successful solo trip, but taking a guide along will help you navigate through the bay. A guide can help you:

  1. Locate bird species, marine mammals and more. Guides know our local critters’ hang out spots. They can also help name species and give you more information about them.
  2. Find the best views and coolest spots. First time kayakers may not know their way around the bay. A guide will help you find the locations that you won’t want to miss.
  3. Avoid tricky situations. Lower tides are sometimes difficult to navigate. Our guides know the best way to pilot through tougher waters.