Can You Kayak in Ventura?

Ventura, located on the coast of Southern California, is a beautiful city with a lot to offer for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the most popular activities in Ventura is kayaking. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Santa Clara River to the east, there are plenty of places to kayak in and around Ventura.

Kayaking in Ventura Harbor

One of the best places to start your kayaking adventure in Ventura is at Ventura Harbor. Here, you can rent a kayak or bring your own and launch it from one of several locations around the harbor.

The harbor is relatively calm, making it an ideal spot for beginners. You can paddle around the harbor and enjoy views of boats, restaurants, and shops along the water’s edge.

Kayaking at Channel Islands National Park

If you’re looking for a more challenging kayaking experience, head to Channel Islands National Park. This park consists of five islands off the coast of Ventura that are only accessible by boat. You can take a ferry to one of the islands and then rent a kayak to explore on your own or take a guided tour.

Santa Cruz Island

One of the most popular islands for kayaking is Santa Cruz Island. The island has numerous sea caves that you can explore by kayak. The Potato Harbor Overlook is also a must-see spot with stunning views.

Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island is another great option for kayaking in Channel Islands National Park. The island has towering cliffs and sea arches that you can paddle through.

Kayaking on Santa Clara River Estuary

Another great spot for kayaking near Ventura is Santa Clara River Estuary. This river flows into the ocean just south of Ventura and offers plenty of opportunities for kayaking. You can rent a kayak from nearby outfitters or bring your own and launch it from one of several locations along the river.

Kayaking Safety Tips

No matter where you decide to kayak in Ventura, it’s important to follow some basic safety tips. Always wear a life jacket and dress appropriately for the weather.

Check the weather forecast before you go and avoid kayaking in rough seas or high winds. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and be aware of any hazards such as rocks or submerged objects in the water.


Kayaking is a great way to explore the beautiful coastline around Ventura. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, there are plenty of options to choose from.

From calm waters at Ventura Harbor to sea caves at Channel Islands National Park, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to stay safe and have fun!

Photo of author

Emma Gibson