Five Water Sports to Enjoy on California’s Coastline
Swaying palm trees, picturesque views and warm temperatures define California’s beaches. But there are plenty of ways to stay active on the cool Pacific water too.
When it comes to family travel, it’s imperative to find activities that everyone can enjoy—but most kids love water. Splashing in the waves and building castles on the sand has its own appeal. But don’t limit yourselves.
Consider these five water activities next time your family hits the beach in California. You won’t be disappointed.
One popular way to pass the time on California oceans is to go kayaking. Lightweight and easy to transport—all you need are Vault Cargo’s locking roof rack crossbars—it’s great fun for families. Places like Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, the Newport Back Bay and a variety of harbors and coves from Los Angeles to San Diego make for great kayaking adventures. Try to seek out calm water for younger or less experienced children and find places that have interesting sights or wildlife. Also consider how long your kids can paddle before determining how far you’ll go.
Few experiences are as rewarding as snorkeling—and it’s something families can take part in together. Slip on some fins and a mask, stick the snorkel in your mouth and take to the water. Simply sticking your face below the surface will result in views of colorful fish and other sea life. Visit coastal coves with your own gear to see crabs and starfish or take a snorkeling tour to spot marine life further out. These tours often provide kids with life vests and floaties to keep them protected while they look. Some perfect spots include the marine-protected coves of Laguna Beach, La Jolla and popular off-the-coast island Catalina.
Pages of Travel has some more great things to do while you are at Laguna Beach here
Many different surf companies in the region offer surfing lessons for children and families. If you’ve never surfed before, consider trying your hand. It is a tough sport to master, but with pros showing you the ropes, it’s a fun bonding experience. You’ll want to make sure your children are strong swimmers before setting out. But, if they are, it’s worth a shot. Some of the best spots for beginners are El Porto Beach in El Segundo, Malibu Surfrider Beach and San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente.
Take to the skies with this exciting water sport that is truly unlike any other. Parasailing is definitely child-friendly, offering a safe and fun experience that gives you the feeling that you’re flying. As you soar through the air, you’ll have unparalleled views of the coast. When it comes time to land, don’t land in the boat. Make it a true water sport and land with your toes in the Pacific. While this is another popular activity at Catalina Island, parasailing also takes place in Newport Beach and Marina del Rey.
Give your children that extra shot of adrenaline with a day of jet skiing. With high speeds and endless chances to be thrown off—after all, there aren’t seatbelts—it can be risky. As such, make sure a parent rides with each child to ensure his or her safety. But don’t let the risk deter you from sharing such a thrilling experience with your brood. Throw on some life jackets and head to Oxnard for a day on the sea. Or, alternatively, visit one of Southern California’s lakes—Elsinore, Big Bear, Perris or Castaic—for a calmer ride.
Check out our Beach Packing List before your vacation!
And if Carlsbad is on your list, here is how we get our kids into Legoland for Free
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