There are hundreds of amazing kayak trips across the US where you can spend a relaxing day and can enjoy yourself the way you want. Kayaking offers one of the easiest way to get into the water. It provides you with an opportunity to see famous destinations from a different perspective. A variety of destinations are awaiting you from flat waters to river rapids. Flat waters are generally ideal for beginners whereas a class IV rapid suits advanced kayakers and those paddlers who like to kayak in challenging conditions. We organized a list of the top kayaking destinations across the US. Hopefully it will be a great help to plan a water trip.
The Best Kayak Vacations in the USA
Glacier Bay National Park
This park is located in Alaska and is one of the top spots for kayaking. Here, you won’t be see rapids or white water shores. But you will come across glaciers, puffins, sea lions, orca, and humpback whales.
This great river flows across many states such as Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and California. You can float the entire way if you possess excellent paddling skills and a proper plan. As a kayaker, you will come across the red rock canyon walls and beautiful blue skies which will obviously make your trip worth it.
This is an ideal place for a beginner to practice and polish kayaking skills. Located in California, it provides you with a relaxing atmosphere and calmer water. The water might be rapid in the region of Oregon, but it mellows down in California. You will come across swimming holes, cliff jumping spots, waterfalls, and some class II and class III rapids along the way.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Located on the east coast in northern Maine, this is a top spot for kayaking. This flows through an expansive underdeveloped part of the state and boasts moose, berries, and bears along the way. Float on until you reach Allagash village, a section that has class II rapids, lakes, and a short but mandatory portage around the Allagash Falls.
San Juan Islands
This spot is home to orca whale pods all thru the year. It is located on the U.S.-Canada border and is a wonderful place if you are willing to kayak in the sea. It is also known for regular sightings of sea lions, seals, dolphins, and other sea creatures. The small islands of Lopez Islands are worth seeing. Just paddle through the protected waters around Orcas Island, and try your luck at spotting a resident orca pod off of San Juan Island.
Chattooga River, Georgia
It has some class V rapids. But most of the people prefer a more family friendly trip that traverses section two and three of the river. You can enjoy a calmer deeper section of the river. After a journey of seven miles, on the way, you can stop or continue on the more difficult section that reaches up to class IV rapids.
Middle Fork of the Salman, Idaho
If you are intrigued towards challenging waters, than this spot must be on your hit list. The river has some serious class III and IV rapids and is also known for its superior fly fishing. Make sure to cast a line when the water calms. A permit is generally required for kayaking at this spot.
Desert Lake in Arizona
Lake Powell in northern Arizona is also one of the top tourist spots for kayaking. You can explore deep slot canyons, including flooded portions of the famous Antelope Canyon. Marvel at towering sandstone cliffs and camp under the stars on an overnight kayaking trip.
Spring-Fed River in Florida
Located in Rainbow Springs State Park, it is a famous destination for kayaking. Start on the Rainbow River, which is fed by a first magnitude spring. The scenery around is also quite fascinating. Towering cypress trees, sunning turtles, and showy shorebirds adds up to its beauty. The water is so clear that you will find yourself suspended in midair.
Pacific Coastline In California
Kayak in Monterey Bay to enjoy views of Cannery Row in the south of San Francisco. The coastline also provides you with views of abundant wildlife, sea life, seals, and otters that entertains. Humpback whales and other creatures of fish may swim past offshore.
Urban River In Washington, D.C.
See the nation’s capital from the water - kayak down the Potomac River around Theodore Roosevelt Island and past the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. See the Georgetown waterfront, and the skyline & cityscape of Arlington, Virginia.
Bays in Puerto Rico
Paddle under a new moon through seemingly magical bioluminescence in Laguna Grande in Fajardo, near the east end of the island. The calm water glows when microorganisms are stirred up by kayaks or paddles. You can also kayak on two other bioluminescent bays in Puerto Rico, including Mosquito Bay on the nearby island of Vieques, and La Parguera in Lajas on the island’s southwest coast.
Harbor Islands in Massachusetts
Go sea kayaking among the history-filled Harbor Islands, which are near the city but feel remote. In the inner harbor, find more historical sites and calmer waters; the outer islands offer privacy and untouched landscapes. Tour lighthouses and ruins of forts and spend the night in a yurt.
Tropical Bay in Hawaii
Paddle in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, a sheltered bay and one of states calmer places to kayak. Spot parrotfish and mahi-mahi on the two barrier reefs, wander the sandbar that’s exposed at low tide and pull the kayak up on the white-sand beach with views of Pyramid Rock.
Northwest Islands In Washington
Go sea kayaking around rocky outcroppings in the San Juan Islands and into open water in search of orcas. Sightings of the largest member of the dolphin family peak in July and August. Take the family kayaking in protected waters to check out the tide pools and watch for bald eagles and harbor seals.
There are plenty of hotspots for kayaking in the U.S. The above mentioned places are just a few of them. Make sure to obtain a permit for kayaking from local authorities in case you need it. A well planned trip can serve the purpose of recreation as well as exploring different parts of the United States.