If you thought there was only one way to kayak, you’ve never been to San Juan Island!
Get your sea legs going with a quick paddle around Lakedale’s calm lakes and then work your way up to a multi-day tour, a sunrise or sunset paddle, a trip through glowing bioluminescent organisms, or a jaunt to watch whales breaching right next to you.
How’s that for a memorable vacation?
The San Juan Islands are famous for kayaking opportunities- kayaking here has made top vacation lists in National Geographic and The Guardian! These are a few of our favorite kayaking experiences!
Whale Watching Kayak Trips
Book with San Juan Island Outfitters
Let’s start with the gorilla (or should we say “orca”?) in the room! Kayak whale watching tours are the most popular kayaking adventure in the San Juan Islands from May through September when pods of orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, and the largest animal on earth, the blue whale, cruise through on their migratory journeys.
With small group sizes and experienced guides (on tours of 3 hours to 6 days), you’ll never forget the thrill of watching a breaching whale from the safe seat of your top-of-the-line sea kayak!
Book with Sea Quest Expeditions
Are you curious about kayaking but also kind of nervous? Or do you want to learn how to kayak so you can take solo trips in safety? Taking kayak lessons may be the answer!
From a private lesson to a 3-day kayaking course, Sea Quest will give you the techniques to self-rescue, rescue others, and use different paddling and bracing techniques. You’ll also learn how to navigate in the open ocean, handle inclement weather, and read tide tables and ocean charts. Starting in a calm lake, moving to a protected bay, and then finally taking to the open ocean…you’ll be a confident kayaker after these lessons!
Five-Day Kayaking Expedition
Book with Anacortes Kayak Tours
For true kayaking fans! Besides our well-known whales, there is a wealth of other wildlife to encounter in the Salish Sea, and luckily, plenty of multi-day kayaking tours to help you experience it. Get ready for hours of sunshine, breathtaking views, and delicious meals. All you need to bring is your sleeping bag!
You’ll paddle your way through our islands, camping at locations that are accessible only by boat, and if you choose a one-way expedition that departs from San Juan Island, you’ll never see the same area twice.
Women-Only Kayaking Trips
Book with Outdoor Odysseys
Hey, ladies…this one is for you! Grab your besties and book a WOW (Women on the Water) vacation!
Designed for adventurous women, these tours accommodate complete novices as well as experienced paddlers and feature everything you’ll need (including gourmet meals and wine!) to create an unforgettable memory.
All trips are led by female guides/naturalists who love sharing the beauty of the San Juan Archipelago with other like-minded ladies!
Bioluminescent Night Kayaking
Book with Discovery Sea Kayaks
Kayaking at night is its own incredible experience, but San Juan Island offers a very special twist: bioluminescent kayaking!
The waters around San Juan are full of life, including an unusual microorganism that emits a ghostly green-blue, glow-in-the-dark light! Launching just before sunset, you’ll journey through quiet bays and leave sparkling green trails with the motion of your paddle. Looks like magic, but it’s an amazing natural light show.
These tours are incredibly popular, so book early!
There are so many great outfitters on San Juan Island in addition to our suggestions, and most are willing to help you plan custom kayaking excursions along with other adventures.
Come join the ranks of some of the world’s most enthusiastic kayakers!
And when your kayaking day is done, we’ll welcome you back to your cushy Lakedale bed (whether in the Lodge, log cabin or glamping cabin) where you’ll have sweet dreams about your next aquatic adventure!