Kayaking in La Mesa

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Disguised in wetsuits, flippers, and diving masks, humans almost seem indistinguishable from the scores of aquatic life that thrive among the San Diego coastline. In the water, curious sea lions tug playfully at divers' fins, and thick stalks of kelp wave like Queen Elizabeth telling the gathered crowd to go home already. With access to five separate sites in which to see such wonders, the guides at San Diego Excellent Adventures tailor their adventures?whether snorkeling, diving, or paddling?around the experience level of each tour group, ensuring an easy assimilation to undersea life.

During guided dives along La Jolla Shores, swimmers peer in on frolicking creatures such as lobsters, octopuses, and leopard sharks, and standup paddleboards grant access to Mission Bay's shoreline views previously seen only by terribly lost Venetian gondoliers. Currently the largest manmade bay in the country, Mission is known for its calm waters suited to beginners just learning to explore the ocean.

2950 Garnet Avenue
San Diego,
CA
US

From two outposts on the shores of Mission Bay, Adventure Water Sports launches vessels and seafaring classes to introduce customers to the joy of cutting through veils of spray and sunshine. Both launching points are near the bay's full-speed zone, so captains hoping to tote skiers behindpowerboats or do donuts on a scuba diver?s lawn in waverunners don't waste valuable time idling through the no-wake zone. Kayaks, pedal boats, and paddleboards cut across the steel-blue mirror of the no-wake zone, an ideal stretch for learning and exploring.

Instructors from Adventure Water Sports impart nautical wisdom to youngsters in summer youth classes that focus on anything from waterskiing and wakeboarding to riding aqua cycles. The waterfront retailers also rent out single and tandem terrestrial bicycles for those looking to cruise the Mission Beach boardwalk or simply explain the motorcycle noises they are making with their mouths.

1710 W Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego,
CA
US

Throughout the year, Hike Bike Kayak Inc's expert guides bring out the best in both La Jolla and Mission Bay's scenery as well as those admiring it. The CPR- and first-aid-certified guides equip visitors with gear for safe land and sea adventures. Kayakers and snorkelers in La Jolla's sea caves might catch a glimpse of harmless leopard sharks darting in and out of kelp, and hikers in Torrey Pines State Reserve might spy coyotes playing freeze tag with deers.

The rental agency's civic-minded outdoorsmen consistently model good behavior, whether epitomizing best practices during visits to fragile ecosystems or donating muscle and dollar power to the area's annual Coastal Cleanup Day. An expanding set of programs helps groups to develop teamwork, dog owners bond with their pets, and young scouts earn badges.

2222 Avenida De La Playa
San Diego,
CA
US

Over the course of its 22-year existence, Ocean Experience Surf School has helped somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15,000 students to safely discover and refine their passion for watersports. Students 6 or older hop atop surfboards, paddleboards, and kayaks for on-the-water practice under the care of experienced instructors during private lessons and group classes.

The local press and community showers the school's companion retail outlet with praise, which won both the Best Surf Shop and Best Skate Shop in CityBeat's 2010 Readers' Poll. In an effort to give back to the community, the organization runs an afterschool sports program offering surfing and skateboarding lessons to kids up to 18 years old and adults with a note from a certified kindergarten teacher.

4976 Newport Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

San Diego Motorsport Rentals gives outdoor adventurers the ability to tame any obstacle with the fleet of all-terrain and aquatic vehicles. Four-wheeled ATVs from Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki cut through more than 150,000 acres of off-road paradise. Their mechanics also keep engines in tune on four-stroke dirt bikes so riders can feel the wind blow through their hair while tearing through rugged paths or their high school graduation. From their Grand Avenue and Mission Bay outposts, customers can check out jet skis or boats ready to break through incoming breakers.

2727 De Anza Road
San Diego,
CA
US

Mission Bay Aquatic Center, which was voted 2010 Best Water Activities in San Diego by CityVoter, expertly guides more than 15,000 waternauts yearly in the ways of wave roving. Harboring one of the world's largest instructional seaside facilities, MBAC immerses beginners in basic sailing lessons held in four three-hour installments. Let the marine mavens fill your brain with essential sailing theories and boat handling tips while you man a Sabot, a single-handed boat that leaves your other hand free for high-fiving dolphins.

1001 Santa Clara Pl
San Diego,
CA
US