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San Diego Water sports

Our most recommended San Diego Water sports

La Jolla: Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

1. La Jolla: Sea Cave Kayaking Tour with Guide

Discover San Diego's Marine Protected Area, home to a variety of fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, sea-lions, and whales. With the help of an experienced guide, explore the famous Sea Caves of La Jolla and paddle inside Emerald Cave in a double kayak. Watch sea lions sunbathing on the rocks and swimming in the sanctuary. Marvel at the bright orange garibaldi as they stand out among the vibrant green sea grass and numerous other fish swimming around and delighting the eye. In the summer and fall months, tour groups will often see harmless leopard sharks, and you may also find grey whales in their migration during the winter. You might even see dolphins cruising alongside your kayak before you make your way back and prepare to surf your kayak back to shore.

La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

2. La Jolla Underwater Park: Kayak and Snorkel Tour

Kayak out into the reserve with your guides, who will lead the group to the best snorkeling spot on that day. One of your guides will drop anchor, secure your kayaks, and lead you snorkeling in the reserve, pointing out the marine life as you go.  Explore the area around the Seven Caves, set within a sea cliff, six of them only being accessible by kayak. Here, have the chance to swim with La Jolla’s best such as sea lions, garibaldi, bat rays, shovel nose guitar fish, and even dolphins and sea turtles, if you’re lucky.

La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

3. La Jolla: Kayak & Whale Watching Tour

Experience the gray whale migration from the seat of a kayak. Leaving the waters of the Arctic and heading south to the lagoons of Mexico, gray whales naturally migrate past La Jolla during the winter. This is a non-polluting, non-threatening, and intimate way to experience one of the most majestic mammals on the planet. Your guides will lead the group about two miles out from shore, where you’ll stop at the best spots to view gray whales. Along the way you’ll learn interesting facts and history about the whales, other marine life, and the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Keep in mind that gray whales are wild animals. While gray whales are abundant during the season, a sighting can't be guaranteed, although groups can often see dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, and other marine life as well.

La Jolla: Guided Snorkeling Tour

4. La Jolla: Guided Snorkeling Tour

Interact with marine animals at a safe distance and spend the day on this beautiful reserve with experienced snorkel experts to guide you. You will see marine life such as sharks, exotic fish, dolphins, seals, turtles and a multitude of sea life swimming amongst them. With four microhabitats to swim through, you will find a wide variety of underwater flora and fauna. With a small group, you’ll get a much more intimate experience of life underneath the water, with one of our guides and local lifeguards accompanying you while you swim. Guests must have a basic level of swimming to participate in this activity. As this is an introductory tour, families with younger children (age 5+) are also welcome, as well as people who feel more comfortable being guided in their snorkeling.

La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

5. La Jolla: 1.5-Hour Surfing Lesson

Has learning to surf been your dream? Your dream can become a reality on the calm waters of La Jolla Shores, the best spot to learn. Your experienced instructors are eager to share their passion for surfing with beginners and intermediates alike: no experience necessary, all equipment provided. Your instructors respect each student’s choice regarding his or her level of participation in the lesson, and comfort in the water. You’ll have fun learning how to surf in a safe environment. Your experienced instructor will teach you the fundamentals of surfing and ocean safety on land, before heading into the water to catch some waves with your group. Continually voted one of the best spots for beginner and intermediate surfers in San Diego, the calm waters of La Jolla Shores are an ideal place to learn how to surf in a fun, yet safe environment. Public and private options are available.

San Diego: Private Group Surf Lesson

6. San Diego: Private Group Surf Lesson

Hit the waves in Southern California with some of the best instructors in the industry on a group surf lesson in San Diego just for you. Learn about ocean conditions, surf etiquette, and proper technique. Hone your skills or pick up a new hobby after this fun experience out in the ocean. Learn the proper way to put on a wetsuit, work on footwork on the beach, and the best way to paddle before heading out into the water. Make the most of learning from a dedicated instructor just for your group. Feel safe knowing your instructor is never far away and before you know it, you'll be shredding the waves and hanging ten like the locals.

San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Sailing and Maritime Museum

7. San Diego: Californian Tall Ship Sailing and Maritime Museum

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind adventure at sea aboard the Californian, the Official Tall Ship of the State of California. See San Diego from the water on a replica of a gold rush era revenue cutter, then continue the fun at the Maritime Museum with included admission. Become part of her crew in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. During this unique experience back in time, you’ll be invited to haul a line, man the helm, and watch the crew as they scamper up and down the rigging to set and furl the sails. Listen as the Californian’s crew relates the history of sailing and exploration in San Diego. Hear tales of whaling and sea otter trade, local sea battles, the art of ship’s gunnery, and life at sea. You can use your entry ticket to the Maritime Museum of San Diego before or after your trip at sea.

San Diego: Private Surf Lesson

8. San Diego: Private Surf Lesson

Hit the waves in Southern California on a private surf lesson in San Diego. Make the most of your instructor's full attention and learn about ocean conditions, surf etiquette, and proper technique. Put your wetsuit on and head out into the water with your instructor by your side. Learn the proper way to put on a wetsuit, work on footwork on the beach, and the best way to paddle before gliding into the Pacific Ocean to catch some waves. Feel safe every moment of the way with your instructor near you at all times. Immerse yourself in local culture and stay active while in San Diego. Before you know it, you'll be shredding the waves and hanging ten like the locals.

La Jolla: Double Kayak Rental

9. La Jolla: Double Kayak Rental

Chart your own course through California's breathtaking La Jolla Ecological Reserve with this kayak rental service. Pick up your equipment at the beach, receive a quick safety briefing from your host, then set out to discover the impressive wildlife, including birds, fish, and dolphins. Begin your experience by checking in at the shop, then head to the beach for your safety briefing. Hop into your double kayak and get going. Get the chance to see a variety of marine life while kayaking around the ecological reserve. See different kinds of fish, birds, seals, sea lions, dolphins, and even whales, depending on the time of year. Take in impressive scenery as you go. Sail past the beautiful town of La Jolla from the water, and take in the amazing scenery.

La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

10. La Jolla: Stand Up Paddle Board Rental

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the water. The sport began as an ancient Hawaiian tradition that was reintroduced to the world in the mid-60s.  SUP boarding is one of the best ways to explore the Seven Sea Caves of La Jolla, a remarkable creation full of marine wildlife. These 7 unique sea caves are filled with local history and natural beauty. The La Jolla Ecological Reserve starts at the Seven Sea Caves and extends north to Scripps Pier. This remarkable stretch of water is home to an underwater park, part of La Jolla's submarine canyon, giant kelp forests and a rocky reef.  The preserve shelters numerous species, including leopard sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and migrating whales. Only 2% of the world's ocean water is protected by state and federal law, which also makes La Jolla's ecological reserve a rare place to see undisturbed wildlife in their natural habitat. The stand up paddle boards are inflatable, lightweight, and easy to transport from the shop to the beach and back.

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What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Having never been on a sea kayak, I was a bit nervous, but our guides were excellent and made it easy to launch. We used up every bit of the 90-minute tour, saw lots of sea life, including leopard sharks, Garibaldi, and sea lions. Even a human diver!

Cali was the absolute best!!!! We had so much fun! We are going to come back in August and do another snorkeling trip!

Excellent trip, guides were informative and helpful. Highly recommend it!

Excellent ! Fun and got very wet ! Caves were amazing and sealife !

Had a blast with Isabella and Cali and the setting was beautiful!