While Lewis and Clark helped produce highly accurate maps of the Northwest, few historians promote the fact that the two only kept moving west in hopes of seeing some otters. For $25, today’s Groupon goes where great explorers never managed, with a choice of three guided kayak tours from Kayak Connection (a $50 value). For those whose hydro-adventures never go beyond the bath tub, a Santa Cruz Harbor tour welcomes paddlers of all experience levels to tour the scenic sights and see the furrier creatures of the harbor while imagining washing with a loofah.
Kayak Connection’s trained tour guides are highly proficient in leading wide-eyed rowers through the waters of the Santa Cruz coastline. Sea lions, seals, otters, dolphins, and whales make their presence known over the three-hour course of three tours:
- Natural Bridges Tour: This round-trip voyage from Santa Cruz Harbor to Natural Bridges State Park passes the likes of surfers and surfing seals out in the open waters past West Cliff (an eight-mile trip on the third Saturday of each month at 8:30 a.m.).
- Capitola Tour: Paddling to the coast of Capitola takes a sightseer past the eastward kelp beds of Pleasure Point and the aquatic paths of dolphins, porpoises, otters, seals, and crofts. The return trip follows the guidance of a distant lighthouse (on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month at 8:30 a.m.).
- Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Weekday Tour: The largest national marine sanctuary in the country unfolds to the beauty of Seal Rock, where hordes of marine life congregate under a backdrop of informative tour-guide narration (on Wednesdays and Fridays in June through August at 9 a.m.).
Kayak Connection provides all of the necessary equipment and a wonderful workout that reminds rowers of the rigors involved in a seafaring life. Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance, although it’s recommended that they be made sooner than that to reserve a seat and avoid being ordered to swim alongside the vessel.
Today’s deal is not good for the whale watching and is valid only at the Santa Cruz location.
Five Yelpers give Kayak Connection four stars, while one TripAdvisor rates it five owl eyes: > * The marine life was incredible! Seals, otters, sea lions, pelicans and many other life forms, all around us, sometimes just a paddle length away! It was breathtaking! – DrPanglossOakdale, TripAdvisor > * I was initially very apprehensive about falling in the water and possibly getting hurt, but the kayak is surprisingly stable and easy to control. – Chon Q., Yelp > * Overall: kayak rentals in good condition and guides were great and experienced. – Liz K., Yelp
The folks at Kayak Connection outfit visitors with sea kayaks and standup paddleboards before leading them on guided tours or sending them out to explore the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary out of the Santa Cruz Harbor. Tours vary from romantic sunset paddles to trips designed for families and include one tailored to getting glimpses of local birds.
413 Lake Avenue
Santa Cruz, California 95062Get Directions