Kayak in Long Beach [11 Best Places for Kayaking in Long Beach]

Sandy shorelines and crystal clear blue waters are some of the attractions you can experience when kayaking in Long Beach, California. Long Beach is famous for kayaking – there is no shortage of destinations to choose from. Where are the best places to Kayak in Long Beach?

The best 11 places to kayak in Long Beach are as follows:

  1. China Cove
  2. Newport Back Bay
  3. Alamitos Bay
  4. Alamitos Bay Beach
  5. Alamitos Park Beach
  6. Mother’s Beach
  7. Catalina Island
  8. Belmont Pier
  9. Huntington Harbor
  10. Colorado Lagoon Park
  11. Long Beach City Beach

Read on to learn more about the best spots to kayak in Long Beach, CA, and what makes these destinations so popular among kayakers.

Kayak in Long Beach [11 Best Places]

There are many kayaking spots in Long Beach, California, that will surely captivate your heart, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced kayaker.

They all have scenic spots where you will not only enjoy paddling on the water but will also experience their wildlife, including the wide variety of birds and sealife.

Below are the 10 best places to kayak in Long Beach:

1. China Cove

Long Beach kayaking

China Cove is a small beach located in Cove Street at the end of Fernleaf Avenue in Newport Beach, CA. It is ideal for beginners kayakers but is also perfect for advanced kayakers. This beach is near the William G. Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory and is surrounded by beautiful houses.

You will have a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the stunning scenery. If you travel along the coast and head south, you will see magnificent houses and beautiful yachts located in the Newport Area.

You will also see the Pirate’s Cove, popularized by the TV show “Gilligan’s Island.”

You can reach China Cove by parking on Ocean Boulevard near Fernleaf Ave. Then climb the stairs of Gibson Beach, located at the north edge point of Point Lobos Reserve.

Then you have to negotiate the rocks, and you will be greeted with a private beach that not many people know how to reach.

China Cove is actually a hidden spot. It is actually a part of Gibson Beach – the beach which is located at Point Lobos Reserve. This place is where the old China House stood. It was in the 1980s when this house was demolished.

Two other beaches are nearby, the Corona Del Mar State Beach and the Pirate’s Cove.

2. Newport Back Bay

kayaking long beach

Newport Back Bay is the biggest estuary in Southern California. It is situated in the heart of Orange County and is one of the most popular destinations for anyone wanting to kayak Long Beach.

Back Bay is actually a salt marsh that is host to many birds and some endangered species. Every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year, there is a guided kayak tour, which takes about two hours to complete.

A naturalist will guide you through the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve.

Newport’s coastline will give you amazing views of the many million-dollar homes and the small islands close to the Balboa peninsula. If you paddle further ahead, you will see the Corona del Mar scenic rock cliffs.

There is a rock bridge formed naturally and arising out of the water in this place. You can paddle under and through this natural bridge. Exploring the rock cliffs and caves is also a must if you really want to maximize your stay in this place.

If you head slightly down the Long Beach coast to Newport Beach, you will find the Newport Aquatic Center. This is the where you can kayak Long Beach with guided tours. These tours will give you an educational background on some of the other tourist attractions in the area.

3. Alamitos Bay

Next on our list of the best places to kayak in Long Beach is Alamitos Bay. Alamitos Bay is a family-oriented protected harbor. It has still waters, which makes it very ideal for beginner kayakers.

While out kayaking, you can enjoy viewing the luxury homes that dot the shoreline. You can also find peace in nature while paddling on the still waters.

In the northern part of the bay, you will find The Los Cerritos Wetlands. It is home to many bird species and other wildlife. Some businesses along the bay offer kayak rentals at around $12 per hour, including instructions if this is your first time.

4. Alamitos Bay Beach

Alamitos Bay Beach is a narrow sandy beach located on the protected waters of Alamitos Bay. Its specific location is on the west side of the bay along Bay Shore, between Ocean Boulevard and East 2nd Street. All summer long, Bay Shore Avenue is closed to provide safety to skaters, bikers, and walkers.

Street parking on side streets parallel to Bay Shore Avenue and Ocean Boulevard near Bayshore Park are available. Kayaks for rent are also available in this place. The best kayaking Long Beach experience is what awaits you in this place.

5. Alamitos Park Beach

Another excellent Long Beach kayaking destination is Alamitos Park Beach. This is a small park in Long Beach that is run by the city government. Next to the channel entrance to Alamitos Bay and located at the far south end of the peninsula.

There are also some picnic tables in a small grassy area under several palm trees in this place.

On the bayside is the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, along with the Peninsula Bayside Beach. The Alamitos Park Beach, a wide sandy beach located at the south end of the Peninsula Neighborhood, is located on the ocean side.

There are jetties at the entrance of the bay that protects the beach. Some jetties are also positioned along the Long Beach Breakwater on the eastern side. As such, the place is very conducive to swimming and kayaking but not surfing.

On the northern portion is Peninsula Beach. To access Alamitos Park Beach, you need to drive south on East Ocean Boulevard to the end at 72nd Place, where the public parking lot is located. If you want to go kayaking in Long Beach, I highly recommend Alamitos Park Beach for its beautiful scenery.

6. Mother’s Beach

Located on an island in the middle of Alaminos Bay and Naples’s Long Beach area is Mother’s Beach. This beach is part of what is called Marine Park. It is popular with the locals because of its sand toys, picnic facilities, grass lawns, big kids’ playground, and protected swimming area. It is a perfect spot for kayaking Long Beach.

kayak long beach

From Mother’s Beach, you can also travel the scenic canals through Naples. This city boasts of picturesque Italian-inspired houses and a neighborhood. Paddling in these waters is calm and secure because the bay is protected and prevents huge waves from coming in.

This beach is facing northeast and is broad and flat. There is an entrance to the parking lot at Mother’s Beach at the East Appian Way at Attica Drive. Get there early because, on a nice day, it can be easily filled up with cars.

7. Catalina Island

You can reach Catalina Island via a quick ferry across Long Beach. Southern California’s best kayaking spots are located on this island. From the South Bay of the island, you can take one of the guided tours along its craggy coastline.

Taking these Long Beach kayaking tours will provide you with a unique and interesting look at the island’s natural history, including a close-up look at the place’s resident flora and fauna. The place also offers clear waters and coves that you can use to spot wildlife while kayaking.

You can come across some golden orange garibaldis, the state’s official marine fish, if you are lucky. You can also see other marine life, such as dolphins, leopard sharks, and others.

Explore Catalina Island alone or with a guided tour. Kayak rentals are available and can be rented by the hour. You do have total control of how many hours you want to spend kayaking and exploring the island.

Catalina Island’s shorelines are accessible to all levels, although you may need some planning to get there. This place makes it an ideal get-away for beginners and advanced kayakers.

8. Belmont Pier

long beach kayak

Another popular spot to kayak in Long Beach is Belmont Pier. This is where you can view several scenic sights offered by the city. You can rent kayaks from Alfredo’s Beach Club and paddle along the length of Belmont Shore until you reach the historic Belmont Memorial Pier.

This beach at Belmont spans the Belmont Shore waterfront neighborhood. It is located between 55th Place and Belmont Pier. The Peninsula Beach and the Peninsula Neighborhood is south of 55th Place.

While you may be out in the open ocean, you will not be faced with challenging surf. Numerous restaurants are lining the beach, so you won’t have any problem with “fueling up” when you think you need to.

North of Belmont Pier is Long City Beach. There are several sand volleyball courts at the pier, and running the beach’s whole length is a wide and paved bike lane. This lane continues all the way to the north and ends at the City Beach.

The waves are controlled at this pier because of the long breakwaters of Long Beach. This makes it good for kayaking and swimming but not for surfing. There is a large parking area at Belmont Shore Beach located at Bennett Avenue, and also street parking is available along Ocean Boulevard.

9. Huntington Harbor

Next on our list of the best places for kayaking in Long Beach, CA is Huntington Harbor. Huntington Harbor is just one and a half-hour drive from Long Beach. It is small but attractive and offers many canals and waterways that you can explore with your kayak.

There are five artificial islands in this harbor. And Trinidad Island is the best among them in terms of launching your kayaking trip.

A serene atmosphere makes a trip to this harbor worthwhile. There are plenty of magnificent houses that line the canals. While you are on the water, you will be tempted to fish. The ocean waters in this place are home to halibut and saltwater bass.

10. Colorado Lagoon Park

Colorado Lagoon Park is an inland lake that is surrounded by golf courses and several parks. It offers sandy beaches along both sides of the Colorado Lagoon shoreline. The lagoon is originally connected to Alamitos Bay.

It is located a short distance from Marian Vista Park. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the lagoon and connects it to the two beaches on each side.

When water conditions are poor, swimming is prohibited. But you can still do some challenging kayaking. You can park your car along Nieto Avenue in 6th street and also on the Appian Way.

11. Long Beach City Beach

Last on our list of the best places for kayaking Long Beach, CA is Long Beach City Beach. This is the main beach in Long Beach, California. It is a long and south-facing beach which is located along Ocean Boulevard. It traverses the length of Belmont Pier up to Alamitos Beach at the west end.

Locals call this beach “Junipero Beach” after Junipero Avenue, the center’s primary parking lot. Bluff Park, which is a grass park, is also located in this place. It has a pedestrian walk path above the beach that starts from Junipero Avenue and ends at the Belmont Pier.

kayaking in long beach

There is also a meandering pathway on the beach that goes in both directions. It starts from the parking lot and is wide enough to accommodate skaters and bikers. There are also extensive breakwaters far out, so surfing is not possible, but kayaking is well and good.

Before these breakwaters were built in the 1940s, this place is a longboard surfing mecca. Now it is mostly populated by swimmers, kayakers, and other more gentle water sports enthusiasts.

There is street parking available at Ocean Boulevard. Several stairs descend the bluff every few feet or so.

Conclusion: Kayak in Long Beach – Best 11 Places for Kayaking in Long Beach  

If you plan on kayaking in Long Beach, California, 11 of the best kayaking destinations are as follows:

  1. China Cove
  2. Newport Back Bay
  3. Alamitos Bay
  4. Alamitos Bay Beach
  5. Alamitos Park Beach
  6. Mother’s Beach
  7. Catalina Island
  8. Belmont Pier
  9. Huntington Harbor
  10. Colorado Lagoon Park
  11. Long Beach City Beach

The temperature in Long Beach, California, over the course of the year, ranges from 48°F to 82°F. It rarely goes down below 42°F or above 91°F. For the best weather, schedule your visit to Long Beach between early June to mid-October.

Long Beach, California, is famous for its sandy beaches and sunny shorelines. Any of the 11 places on our list will be perfect for kayaking and creating memorable experiences.