Experience Washington's coastal wildlife and scenery from a spectacular sea-level perspective—world-class kayaking in the San Juan Islands.
The only sounds are those from nature and the occasional splash of a paddle as you search for water-dwelling creatures—orca whales, sea lions, seals, porpoises, otters, starfish, anemones, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and even octopus (for orcas, May through September is your best bet).
Paddle your own kayak or set out with one of the many knowledgeable kayaking outfitters on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Island for three-hour to three-day (or longer) tours. No kayaking experience? No problem. The outfitters give you a quick lesson in kayaking and safety before you settle into your vessel. The outfitters also provide all the gear you need. Make sure to bring along sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, water and wear layered clothing.
Kayak outfitters welcome everyone in good health, and most accommodate children six and older. Their double kayaks let you team up with a family member or friend. Each island offers a slightly different kayaking experience—more protected or more open water, different views and varied types of wildlife.
Gourmet Kayaking Adventures
The view from the dining room can't be beat! Here are a few special trips that feature local, gourmet food, beer and wine experiences along with a range of half-day to 5-day paddling tours.
• Crystal Seas Kayaking offers multi-day and multi-sport kayaking trips in the San Juan Islands. Gourmet meals and wine are prepared with locally sourced organic ingredients whenever possible and all meals are prepared fresh and customized to our guests dietary needs.
• Discovery Sea Kayaks' Island Explorer Deluxe Kayak Tours offer a first rate culinary experience. On these 3- to 5-day kayak tours, guides prepare all meals with fresh organic foods sourced from the islands. They also work with each guest to design a menu that will comply with all your dietary needs. Each guide on staff takes pride in every fresh meal prepared.
• Outdoor Odysseys’ 3-day Beer Tasting & Kayaking Trip, includes guided kayaking and tasting of micro-brews from Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham. The 3-day Wine Tasting & Kayaking Trip features award-winning Pacific Northwest wines served by the winemakers themselves.
• San Juan Outfitters’ Gourmet Kayak Cruise features locally harvested veggies, fruit, and seafood and world-class paddling.
• San Juan Kayak Expeditions offers a new overnight trip to an exclusively reserved island.
• Sea Quest Kayak Tours creates delicious meals from scratch using the freshest sources, often organic and locally grown. Their guides are inspired outdoor cooks who double as biologists and environmental scientists – they may even gather ingredients from the land or sea during the tour!