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Kayak Tour of Santa Barbara with Experienced Guide

Badge of ExcellenceSanta Barbara, United States

From US$55.00

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English
  • Good for avoiding crowds


This private Santa Barbara kayaking tour lets you explore the marine life and landmarks of Santa Barbara Harbor and the spectacular coastline on the ‘American Riviera’ along one of four different routes. Take in views of rugged shoreline cliffs and the Santa Ynez Mountains, and be on the lookout for dolphins and seals. This 1.5- to 2.5-hour tour is led by an experienced kayak guide who points out natural features and customizes the speed of the ride according to your skill level.
  • Private tour of the Santa Barbara coastline by kayak
  • Choose from three different kayak rides with vistas of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Mountains
  • Spot seals and dolphins in the sapphire-blue waters
  • Suitable for beginners as well as more advanced kayakers
  • Private tour provides a more personalized experience

What's Included

  • Kayaks
  • Life jackets
  • Local guide
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Cal Coast Adventures at West Beach
    45-99 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

    You'll meet your guide on the sand of West Beach just north of the pier! You'll see our gear on the sand directly across from the Harbor View Inn Hotel. When looking at the ocean we are just to the right of Stearns Warf. Look for a white equipment shed and a blue tent. That's us!

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Go kayaking in Santa Barbara, beginning your kayak tour at Santa Barbara Harbor or Leadbetter Beach, depending on your selection at booking. Meet your private instructor for a safety briefing and receive kayaking instruction according to your skill level. 

Slip on the provided life jacket (and wetsuit if it’s chilly), then climb into your stable, top-of-the-line vessel and set off on your 1.5- to 2.5-hour private kayak tour of the Santa Barbara coastline. Choose from four different routes of varying duration and difficulty (see options in Itinerary below); your very own guide will tailor the speed of paddling to your preferences and customize commentary according to your interests.

You’ll appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Barbara from the water, including cliffside vistas and views of the Santa Ynez Mountains as your informative guide details Santa Barbara's history and attractions.

When your kayak tour is complete, each route loops back to its departure point.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • You will be meeting your guide at West Beach which is located on the beach directly across from the Harbor View Inn Hotel (28 W Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara). You will see our blue rental flags, white equipment shed, and stand up paddle boards and kayaks.
  • Children ages 5 to 11 years must be in a tandem kayak with an parent or guardian regardless of skill level
  • All persons must be able to swim
  • Please remember to bring your swimsuit and towel
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Kayak Tour of Santa Barbara with Experienced Guide?

A:The policy on social distancing is:
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

It's our first time here in Santa Barbara and the kayak tour is highly recommended.
253 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 253 reviews
Wonderful Kayak Adventure
Dave_S, Jul 2022
We always enjoy kayaking, but it was a special treat to kayak through the marina and then out to the open waters! Collin was an amazing guide, very knowledgeable about the marine life, Santa Barbara, and the best restaurants to check out. We had a fabulous time!
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Sounds great! Glad you had such a good time on your kayak tour with Colin! Thank you for leaving us a review!
Patrick was a great guide. Tour was a lot of fun. Kids had a blast especially kayaking out to the harbor seals
Jeffrey_D, Jul 2022
Kayaking out in the ocean to see the harbor seals was awesome. Tour was smoothly run. Patrick was a great guide and very laid back.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Thanks Jeffrey! Excited to hear that the kids were entertained by the seals and that Pat's guidance was appreciated. Love to hear it! Thanks for writing us a review :)
First timers kayaking.
Maribel_S, Jul 2022
Had an amazing day. Our guide made it easy for us to learn and was patient. Thank you. I will definitely do this again.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Thanks Maribel! We are happy to hear that you had a good time. Thanks for booking a kayak tour with us and we hope to see you again in the future!
JillynneJ_U, Jul 2022
This was an amazing experience. Our guides were the best, very knowledgeable, safe and fun. We did the morning tour and it was perfect. We are experienced kayakers, but really anyone with even a little experience could enjoy this tour. So glad we did it….Totally worth it!!
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Stoked you all had an great time on the water kayaking with our awesome team! Thanks for the review!
Great time! Saw new parts of Santa Barbara.
Marla_W, Jul 2022
Great Kayak trip with Taylor with my boys 19 and 16. Great trip around the harbor. Taylor being a local great stories to tell. Wonderful adventure.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
So good to hear that your kayaking tour was so wonderful thanks to Taylor. Glad you enjoyed!
A must try!!
Deborah_H, Jul 2022
Lindsey was a great guide! It was our first time. It was fun!! Highly recommended !!!! Santa Barbara is beautiful!
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Thanks for taking a kayak tour with us!
Kayaking is Santa Barbara
Mike_H, Jul 2022
Our guide O’Ryan Was knowledgeable, helpful and patient. Took us out in the open water of Santa Barbara to see the sea lions. Then back and under the pier. Family had a great time
This is best experience. ...
Kevin_C, Jul 2022
This is best experience. Paige is the best tour guide. Very enjoy the time with her she explained everything
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Great to hear you enjoyed your Kayak Tour of Santa Barbara! Thank you for leaving us a review!
Trey was an excellent...
Vishwas_K, Jul 2022
Trey was an excellent guide and coach. I was kayaking for the first time and he made it look very easy and refreshing.
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Stoked your kayak experience was so fun! Trey is a great kayak guide, glad he was able to help and happy to hear you enjoyed your time!
Kayaking is fun in Santa Barbara with Carson and sophia
Mary_M, May 2022
Carson and Sophia were great guides and so chill! We are in our 70s and don’t exercise or kayak and it’s so easy and fun and safe. Calmly zen being that close to the water. The paddling is like doing Tai chi in the Santa Barbara bay. A must do!!
Response from Host, May 2022
Glad you enjoyed your kayak tour with Carson and Sofia! Sounds like you had a great relaxing experience on the water!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Cole was an excellent...
Lena_R, May 2022
Cole was an excellent tour guide. We appreciated his knowledge and friendliness throughout the tour.
Response from Host, May 2022
Hi Lena! Thanks for your positive review about your Kayak Tour with Cole. We are glad that you appreciated his experience as a guide and that you had a good time on the water!
Fun activity
Bona_H, Feb 2022
It was only my family with my parents and fiancé. My dad and I in the same Kayak struggled little bit but the instructor was patient and knowledgeable. We didn’t have swim suits and got wet here and there, but it was still fine. I’m glad I booked this activity at the end of the trip. Highly recommend!
Response from Host, Feb 2022
Thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed the kayak tour with Cai!
so great!
Lisa_W, Oct 2021
the tour guides knowledge of the area.. he was awesome! We kayaked places we would not have been able to or have known about because of his expertise.
Response from Host, Oct 2021
Thanks for the awesome review! We are stoked to hear you had a great time kayaking around the Santa Barbara Harbor! Hope to see you again out on the water!
Best Features
Tevyn_S, Oct 2021
The sea lions were awesome to see with them yelling at each other fighting for space. The seal was really cool too! Same with going under the pier and the boat!!! Would 10/10 recommend
Response from Host, Oct 2021
Glad you had a good time on our Kayak tour! hope to see you again.
Relaxing Kayaking Tour
Patrice_M, Aug 2021
Our guide was great! She was patient with us teaching us how to steer our kayaks. But despite the learning curve in the first few minutes, the excursion was very relaxing. We enjoyed the scenery, seeing sea monkeys up close, chatting with our guide learned some Santa Barbara history, and got a little workout. I would definitely recommend this tour!
Response from Host, Aug 2021
Thanks so much for the review, Patrice! Happy to hear that you had such a wonderful kayak excursion here with us in Santa Barbara. See you next time!
Beth_S, Aug 2021
Loved the trip around the harbor. Enjoyable experience. Would definitely do this again. Nice to see Santa Barbara from a different view.
Response from Host, Aug 2021
Thanks for taking our Santa Barbara kayak tour!
Loved our tour with Nate
Lara_A, Jul 2021
Nate was a great guide! Thank you for taking us to see the sea lions, giving us info about the boats and birds, and doing the special extras that we requested like looking for starfish at the pier (even if we didn’t find any). Loved our tour!
Response from Host, Jul 2021
Thanks for taking our kayak tour and pumped you had a great time with Nate!
Great kayak trip!
Deirdre_L, Jul 2021
Great guide! She knew lots about the harbor, the town, and the wildlife. Easy arrival and parking. Would do this again for sure!
Response from Host, Jul 2021
Thanks for taking our kayak tour!
priya_r, Jul 2021
The swim at the tiny island n the sea lion sighting. The guide was very friendly and informative. Would recommend
Response from Host, Jul 2021
Hi there, it sounds like you had a great kayak tour! Let us know if there was anything we could of done differently to earn a 5 star from you. We're always trying to improve our tour. Thanks
Fun in the Sun
DucThanh_N, Jul 2021
We had a really fun time at the kayak tour — first timers. Everyone was accommodating and nice. Our guide Molly was sweet and super knowledgeable re: the history of Santa Barbara. Our other guide Jason, is just a ball of energy! Fun. Would go back for sure.


Product code: 5753KAYAK