Nestled along the southern California coast, Santa Barbara is a picturesque destination that offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including kayaking. With its calm waters, beautiful beaches, and diverse marine life, it’s no wonder that Santa Barbara is a top destination for kayakers of all skill levels. However, with so many rental and tour services available, it cannot be easy to know which one to choose.
That’s why we have compiled a review of the top five kayak tour and rental services in Santa Barbara to help you make an informed decision.
In this review, we will provide an overview of Santa Barbara as a popular destination for kayaking. Besides, we’ll also highlight reliable rental or tour services, and outline the purpose of our review.
So, whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, keep reading to find the best option for your next adventure on the water.
Top 5 Kayak Tours And Rental Services In Santa Barbara
With so many options for rental and tour services, it can take time to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. And this review is designed to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your next kayaking adventure in Santa Barbara.
So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, read on to discover the best options for exploring Santa Barbara’s beautiful coastline and marine life.
|Cal Coast Adventures||Sunrise/Sunset Tours||Reasonable||Convenient, near the harbor|
|Santa Barbara Adventure Company||Channel Islands Tours||Expensive||Downtown Santa Barbara|
|Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours||Channel Islands Tours||Expensive||Convenient, downtown Santa Barbara|
|Paddle Sports Center||Guided Tours||Reasonable||Convenient, near Stearns Wharf|
|Dive Santa Barbara||No Guided Tours||Reasonable||Convenient, near Montecito and Beach|
Paddle Sports Center
Paddle Sports Center is a popular kayak rental service located in Santa Barbara, California. The company offers a wide range of kayak rental options to cater to different preferences. Including single and tandem kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks, and even specialized fishing kayaks. In addition to rentals, Paddle Sports Center also provides guided tours and lessons for beginners. And this makes it an ideal choice for both experienced kayakers and those who are new to the sport.
One of the standout features of Paddle Sports Center is the variety of kayak options they provide. The inclusion of specialized fishing kayaks sets them apart from many other rental services, catering to a specific niche of kayakers.
They also offer a unique experience with their guided tours, including the sunset kayak tour. And they also provide customers with a breathtaking view of the sunset over the ocean while paddling. This is a unique and memorable experience that sets the company apart from other rental services.
In terms of pricing, Paddle Sports Center offers reasonable rates for their rentals and tours, making it an affordable option for those on a budget. Their pricing is also transparent, with no hidden fees or charges, allowing customers to plan and budget accordingly.
Another advantage of Paddle Sports Center is its convenient location near the harbor. This makes it easy for customers to access the water. And begin their expedition without any unnecessary hassle!
Santa Barbara Adventure Company
Santa Barbara Adventure Company is a reputable outdoor activity provider that offers kayak rentals, guided tours, and other outdoor adventures. Located at 121 E Mason St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, the company is situated in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. And this simply makes it an amazing option for tourists and locals alike.
One of the highlights of the company’s kayak rentals is the availability of both single and tandem kayaks. This allows customers to choose the type of kayak that best suits their needs and experience level. Additionally, stand-up paddleboards are also available for rent, providing another exciting option for those looking to explore the beautiful Santa Barbara coastline.
In terms of guided tours, Santa Barbara Adventure Company offers Channel Islands National Park tours, which are highly required for those looking for an unforgettable experience. The tours also provide an opportunity to see the stunning natural beauty of the Channel Islands. This typically includes unique wildlife and breathtaking views.
Overall, Santa Barbara Adventure Company is a reliable and reputable option for those looking for outdoor adventures in the area. With the availability of single and tandem kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and guided Channel Islands National Park tours. Besides, they offer a range of exciting options to choose from.
While the higher pricing and location may be drawbacks, the quality of service and experiences provided by Santa Barbara Adventure Company make it a top choice for many.
Cal Coast Adventures
Cal Coast Adventures is a popular kayak rental service located in Santa Barbara, California. The company offers a variety of rental options, including both single and tandem kayaks, as well as guided tours that allow customers to explore the beautiful coastline of Santa Barbara. One of the standout features of Cal Coast Adventures is its selection of sunrise and sunset kayak tours.
The company’s range of rental options is comprehensive, catering to both single and tandem kayakers. This allows customers to choose the option that best suits their preferences, whether they prefer to paddle alone or with a companion. Furthermore, the company provides well-maintained and high-quality equipment, ensuring that customers have a comfortable and safe kayaking experience.
Cal Coast Adventures also offers a range of guided tours, including sunrise and sunset kayak tours. These tours provide customers with an opportunity to experience the stunning coastline of Santa Barbara during the golden hours of the day, making for a unique and unforgettable experience. The guided tours are led by experienced and knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the area’s history and ecology, providing customers with valuable insights into the region’s natural beauty.
One potential drawback of Cal Coast Adventures is its location! The company is located a bit further from the harbor than some other rental services, which may be inconvenient for some customers. However, this is a minor issue that is outweighed by the many positive aspects of the company.
Dive Santa Barbara
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, Dive Santa Barbara is an excellent choice for anyone looking to explore the beautiful waters of Santa Barbara. Located in the Montecito area, near Butterfly Beach and the Four Seasons Resort, this dive shop offers both single and tandem kayaks for rent, as well as paddleboards.
One of the biggest advantages of Dive Santa Barbara is the variety of options for water activities. Visitors can not only rent kayaks and paddleboards but can also enjoy diving in the area. The rental prices are also quite reasonable, making it an affordable option for those on a budget.
Additionally, Dive Santa Barbara’s location is another advantage. It’s situated in a convenient location, allowing visitors to access the water quickly and easily. Whether you want to explore the nearby beaches or venture out further into the ocean, the location makes it easy to do so.
However, one potential drawback of Dive Santa Barbara is that they are limited in terms of guided tours. For visitors who prefer a more structured experience, this may be a negative point. However, for those who want to explore on their own, the freedom and flexibility offered by Dive Santa Barbara will be a welcome feature.
Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours, LLC
Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours, LLC is a top-rated tour company that provides a range of activities for tourists visiting Santa Barbara. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, their services include kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, as well as guided tours to the Channel Islands National Park.
Captain Jack’s offers both single and tandem kayaks, as well as stand-up paddleboards for rent. This provides tourists with a range of options for water activities, including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. Additionally, their guided tours include the Channel Islands National Park tours, as well as harbor and sunset kayak tours. This is an excellent choice for those who want to explore the outdoors with the help of a knowledgeable guide.
However, the rental and tour prices at Captain Jack’s are higher compared to other rental services in the area. This may be a drawback for those on a budget. Nonetheless, the cost is reasonable when considering the quality of their services and the experience they offer.
One of the main advantages of Captain Jack’s is its location. Being situated in the heart of Santa Barbara makes it a convenient option for tourists who want to experience the city’s attractions. Additionally, the central location provides easy access to water activities, and the tours start and end from their place, which is very convenient.
Other Things To Do In Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is an excellent destination for those looking for a fun and exciting vacation experience. With its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in this charming coastal town. While kayak tours are a popular option, there are many other things to do in Santa Barbara that are worth considering.
Visit the beach
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Santa Barbara is by visiting its beaches. There are several beaches to choose from, including East Beach, Leadbetter Beach, and Butterfly Beach. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and even surfing in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Go on a whale-watching tour
Another great activity to do in Santa Barbara is to go on a whale-watching tour. Santa Barbara is home to a variety of marine life, including whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Visitors can take a tour and get up close with these majestic creatures while learning more about the region’s natural environment. It’s a great way to experience the thrill of being out at sea and witnessing the beauty of these animals in their natural habitat.
Explore the Channel Islands
For those looking for a more adventurous experience, exploring the Channel Islands is a must-do activity. Santa Barbara is the gateway to the Channel Islands National Park, a stunning archipelago of islands that is home to a diverse array of wildlife and plant species. Visitors can hike, kayak, or take a boat tour to explore the islands and experience the beauty of this unique ecosystem.
Visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is another must-visit attraction. This garden showcases a variety of plants that are native to the region, including cacti, succulents, and wildflowers. Visitors can explore on their own, learning about the history and significance of the various plants.
Other popular activities in Santa Barbara include hiking, visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo, taking a bike tour, and much more. Overall, there is something for everyone in Santa Barbara, and visitors are sure to have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Santa Barbara is the perfect destination for your next vacation.
Additional Tips and Considerations
Kayaking in Santa Barbara can be an unforgettable experience. But it is essential to prepare well and consider some crucial factors to ensure your safety and enjoyment. The following tips and considerations can help you have a successful kayaking adventure in Santa Barbara:
Check the weather forecast
Weather conditions can change quickly in Santa Barbara, and it is crucial to check the weather forecast before heading out. Wind and waves can impact your kayaking experience, so plan accordingly and choose a day with favorable weather conditions.
Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen
Protecting yourself from the sun and potential cold water is essential. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing, a hat, and sunglasses, and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Additionally, consider wearing a wetsuit or a dry suit, depending on the water temperature.
Consider your physical abilities
Choose a rental service that suits your level of experience and physical abilities. Santa Barbara offers a range of kayaking options, including calm harbor kayaking or more challenging open-water kayaking to the Channel Islands. Be honest with yourself about your physical abilities and choose an option that is safe and enjoyable for you.
Respect the natural environment
Santa Barbara is home to a diverse marine ecosystem, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, and numerous bird species. It is essential to follow all guidelines for protecting marine life and preserving the environment. However, avoid disturbing wildlife, keep a safe distance, and do not feed them.
Wear a life jacket and be aware of your surroundings
Always wear a properly fitting life jacket. Additionally, be mindful of your surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience. Pay attention to other boats and vessels, and follow all safety rules and regulations.
Based on our evaluation, Dive Santa Barbara is our top recommendation for kayak tours and rental services in Santa Barbara. They offer a range of options for water activities, reasonable pricing, and a convenient location near Butterfly Beach and the Four Seasons Resort. Although they do not provide guided tours, their freedom and flexibility make them an excellent choice for visitors who want to explore at their own pace.