Popular One Day Kayaking Trips in the U.S.

Some of my most fantastic experiences have been while out paddling with experienced kayak guides… especially when I am in unknown waters… i.e. on a beautiful vacation.

There are some absolutely wonderful kayak guides that are extremely knowledgeable about not only kayaking but about the water they paddle in. If you plan on doing any traveling I would highly recommend booking a kayak trip with an experienced outfitter. The experience and the memories will be unforgettable.

Below are five popular day kayaking trips in the U.S. that can be done by kayakers of all levels. I have not tried many of these kayak adventures myself but have heard they are excellent.

Popular Kayaking Day Trips
  • Misty Fjords National Monument (Alaska)

    This is a twelve hour full day kayaking trip that is great for beginner to advanced paddlers. It is run in May, June, July and August and shows some of the most stunning landscape of Alaska.

    The trip begins with a quick boat cruise to the Misty Fjords.The kayaks are launched inside Rudyerd Fjord which is beneath 3,000 foot granite cliff walls. From there you will explore the Misty Fjords National Monument through calm water. Attractions that you can expect to possibly see: beautiful waterfalls, brown bears with their young, lots of wildlife, beautiful rainforest, stunning scenery. Lunch is included.

    For more information on this kayaking trip please visit: http://www.kayakketchikan.com
  • Everglades Six Hour Sea Kayak Tour (Florida)

    This is a six hour beautiful sea kayak tour that operates all year round. The price for this tour is very reasonable and the amount of sea animals that are possible to see make this trip well worth your time and money.

    The kayaking trip takes place in the Everglades National Park which is known for its unique and diverse ecosystems. Their guides are formally trained naturalists who will share their passion and knowledge of the Park’s fascinating environment, local history and wonderful hidden-away places. Here you will paddle among the largest mangrove forest in this hemisphere and likely encounter manatees, dolphins, herons, egrets, osprey, bald eagles, rosette spoonbills and sea turtles.

    For more information on this kayaking trip please visit: http://www.evergladesareatours.com
  • San Juan Islands Day Tour (Washington)

    This is a beautiful 3 hour kayak tour that is offered either during the day or at sunset. The San Juan Islands are known for fantastic kayaking. They are nestled between snowcapped Olympic Mountains, Canada’s Vancouver Island and the Cascade Mountains. The scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife is abundant.

    The day tour will take you along the west side of San Juan Island and there is a very good possibility of seeing Orcas (killer whales), bald eagles, cormorants, black oystercatchers, harbor seals, dall’s porpoises, great blue herons and lots more. The three hour tour includes stopping along a pebbled beach to eat lunch and free transportation to and from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor (WA) is available.

    For more information on this kayaking trip please visit: http://www.crystalseas.com
  • Expeditions Catalina Island (California)

    I have been to Catalina Island a fair amount but have never done this kayaking day trip. I will next time I am there as it looks fantastic. The 7 hour kayaking trip is available from May until the end of October.

    This is a beautiful area and experiencing the stunning shoreline by kayak would be amazing.The day trip begins with a 6 – 8 mile coastal cruise on their 25’ Radon boat. They then leave you with your guide as well as snorkel gear and a picnic. There is lots of history, marine life and geology to be discovered as well as a fantastic Red Cave (that you can kayak into).
  • Bannerman’s Castle Hardhat Tour (New York)

    This one may not have the popularity of the others listed here but I found it to be really neat. Hudson Valley Outfitters offer a few different guided kayaking tours but the one that caught my eye was a 3 mile paddle to Pollepel Island to see the ruins of Bannerman’s Castle.

    With hard hat on you get to take a tour of this arsenal built in the early 1900’s. This sounds like a really fun way to combine the fun of kayaking with a little history and exploration. A portion of the cost of this kayaking tour goes to the Bannerman’s Castle Trust.

There are so many more great kayaking day trips that are worth exploring… perhaps another day in another post.

If you have heard of or experienced a kayaking trip that you would like to share with our readers please leave a comment below.

If you are not looking for a specific tour but just some beautiful kayaking destinations then you may be interested in checking out our post on Top Sea Kayaking Destinations.


  1. One kayak trip I haven’t experienced yet is paddling down the Colorado River from the base of Hoover Dam and ending at Willow Beach, AZ. There are hot springs, an Emerald Cave you can paddle into and beautiful canyon scenery with sightings of Bighorn Sheep and other wildlife.

    Check it out at http://www.kayaklasvegas.com/index.html.

    There are other kayak vendors in the area you can Google.

    BTW: I do a lot of kayak fishing around Lake Mojave-Willow Beach area. I’ve seen the group kayakers landing at the beach and they look like they had alot of fun. Years ago, I’ve hiked to the hot springs and plan to kayak with some friends this summer to the Emerald Caves. Its a gorgeous and striking area to see and experience. Also great striper and rainbow trout fishing in this area.

Speak Your Mind