Kayaking in San Francisco

Where to Kayak

Richmond Marina

Located in the East Bay not far from Berkely, Oakland, and Richmond, the Richmond Marina offers a range of kayaking experiences. Beginner kayakers enjoy the quiet waters of Marina Bay and paddling out to Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park. Kayakers with more experience venture further out to paddle around Brooks Island, further west towards Point Richmond, or east to Albany Mudflats Marine Park, the Albany Bulb and Golden Gate Fields to enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline in the distance.

Golden Gate Bridge/Sausalito

Sausalito is a small waterfront community on the edge of Richardson Bay and north of the Golden Gate Bridge. This quiet bay is a good place to enjoy kayaking on calm water close to downtown San Francisco. For advanced paddlers there are options to kayak to Angel Island State Park, further out into San Francisco Bay. Sausalito is close to the Golden Gate Bridge and makes it easy for more experienced kayakers to get views of the bridge from a close vantage point.

San Francisco

When people think about kayaking in San Francisco they are likely imagining kayaking at Fisherman’s Wharf, South Beach Harbor, and Presidio Park. These are all iconic San Francisco kayaking options right in town. Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf is a trailhead on the San Francisco Bay Water Trail. It’s important to consider the hazards you might encounter while kayaking in this area including motorized boat and ferry traffic, strong tides and currents. South Beach Harbor offers a calmer paddling environment right in town with several companies that offer kayak rentals and tours.

Point Reyes

Just over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin County is the Point Reyes National Seashore, known for it’s looming cliffs anchored by expansive sandy beaches. Moving inland, you’ll find the best scenic kayaking close to San Francisco at Drakes Estero. These calm waters are an important haven for sea life and from March to June each year, the area is closed to recreation for seal pupping season. Also nearby, and open year-round, is Tomales Bay. Here you’ll find six different boat launch sites and options for paddle camping.

Kayak Tours & Classes

REI offers a range of instructional and explorative kayaking programs in the San Francisco Bay area, with options in Richmond Marina, Point Reyes, Tomales Bay and more.

Featured Kayak Tours

Point Reyes Kayak Tour

From $179
San Francisco
Beginner
Half-Day

San Francisco Kayaking Tour

From $179
San Francisco
Beginner
Half-Day