10 Best Places to Paddle: Kayak Travel Adventures

  • Kayaking on the Hardangerfjord

    Fjords of Norway

    Norway offers some of the best sea kayaking on the planet, particularly in its fjords and around the Lofoten Islands. If you're new to the sport, test your paddling skills at the beginner-friendly Nærøyfjord near Bergen. With such an abundance of natural beauty, it's easy to combine kayaking with other outdoor adventures, like hiking.

    Photo courtesy of CH -

  • Avila Beach, California

    Few experiences in life are as exhilirating as having a humpback whale breach the surface of the water directly in front of you and your kayak, and that's just the type of experience you can have kayaking off the coast of Avila Beach, California. The area is also known for its sea lions, dolphins and interesting cave formations.

    Photo courtesy of Mike Baird

  • Nova Scotia, Canada

    Whether you're paddling through the Bay of Fundy or exploring the shores of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia is rich in natural beauty and rural charm. Novices and experts alike will find places to explore among the area's rivers, lakes and secluded inlets. Truly intrepid paddlers can take on the waters off the coast of Cape Breton, known for having some of the best scenery in the world.

    Photo courtesy of Ryk Van Toronto

  • Phuket, Thailand

    Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the stunning Thai Islands surrounding Phuket. Sparkling blue waters, white sandy beaches, aquatic caves and towering limestone formations add to the allure. Make sure to paddle to Phang Nga Bay where you'll find the iconic James Bond island.

    Photo courtesy of Benjamin Vander Steen

  • Milford Sound, New Zealand

    With thousands of miles of coastline, New Zealand is a kayaker's wonderland, and the sheltered waters of Milford Sound provide a perfect place to relax and take in the scenery from your boat. If sea kayaking is more to your liking, you might get lucky and have a few dolphins join you off the coast of Auckland.

    Photo courtesy of eyeintim

  • Baja Peninsula, Mexico

    For year-round warm-weather sea kayaking, head south of the border to Baja, Mexico. In January, you can sometimes spot grey whales as they complete their 5,000-mile journey south for the winter, but you're guaranteed beautiful beaches, romantic sunsets, plentiful seafood and cold margaritas no matter when you go.

    Photo courtesy of TKnoxB

  • British Columbia, Canada

    British Columbia is famous for its outdoor adventure opportunities, and kayaking is no exception. Hit the waters of Johnstone Strait for the best opportunity in the world to paddle alongside orcas. You might also spot seals, dolphins, eagles and occasionally a bear watching you from shore.

    Photo courtesy of McKay Savage

  • Na Pali Coast, Kauai

    As Hawaii's oldest island, Kauai has some of the most dramatic scenery in the archipelago, scenery you can enjoy from the azure waters just off the Na Pali coast. Paddle through sea caves, relax on sandy beaches or hop out of your kayak for a little impromptu snorkeling while you're there.

    Photo courtesy of Kikuko Nakayama

  • Glacier Bay, Alaska

    Paddling through Alaska's Glacier Bay is a humbling experience, particularly when faced with towering walls of ice. The national park, located near Juneau, contains a total of 16 glaciers you can paddle up to in your sea kayak. Visitors to Glacier Bay regularly spot moose, bears, orca, humpback whales, seals and sea otters.

    Photo courtesy of Threat to Democracy

  • Florida Keys

    Paddling through the backwaters of the Florida Keys puts you face to face with the islands' richly diverse ecosystem, where you can navigate mangrove islands in search of spoonbills, bald eagles, great white herons and an abundance of undersea life.

    Photo courtesy of bdj238