Must-Try Water Activities in LA for every Thalassophile

ClickTravelTips 10 Min Read

            “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf,” said Jon Kabat.

Los Angeles is famous for Hollywood, but there’s so much more to see and do! Have you thought about what else you can find in this big city? If not! Then, beyond the silver screen, this vibrant city offers wonderful experiences that cater to every kind of traveler. 

Picture yourself strolling through spaces filled with art, where history meets the cutting edge, and every creation has a tale to tell. The irresistible call of stunning beaches, a playground for relaxation and adventure. Surfing the waves, feeling the rush of the ocean, or gently paddling on a stand-up paddleboard into the serene blue. Sounds amazing.

But the allure of Los Angeles doesn’t stop at its shores. This city offers many water activities that promise thrill and serenity in equal measure. From kayaking through hidden marinas to diving beneath the surface to explore underwater adventure, it invites you to write your own aquatic experience. So, it’s time to explore different water activities on your own.

Let’s dig into it.

Thrilling Water Sports In Los Angeles

Playing in the water is a fun way to cool off and relax when it’s hot in the summer. The cool part about water sports is that you can try many different ones, no matter if you’re new or have done a lot.

To have a good time with water sports in LA, check out the list below.

1) Parasailing

  • Average Height: 500 to 800 feet above water
  • Location: Marina del Rey
  • Experience Duration: 1 hour (with about 8-10 minutes in the air)
  • Age Requirement: Generally 6 years and older

Have you ever dreamt of soaring like a bird and taking in breathtaking views from above? If yes, then parasailing offers just that – an unforgettable aerial adventure. Picture yourself gliding over Marina del Rey, five hundred feet above the sparkling waters, with the entire city spread out beneath you. Sounds impressive, isn’t it?

For the thrill-seekers, why not push the limits and ascend to eight hundred feet? You even have the option to skim the water’s surface gently, adding an exhilarating touch to your flight. Take advantage of this chance to experience the city from a new perspective and capture panoramic views that will stay with you for a lifetime.

2) Whale Watching

  • Peak Season: May through November for blue whales; December through April for gray whales
  • Location: Various, including Marina del Rey and Long Beach
  • Tour Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Sightings Can Include: Blue whales, gray whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions

While aquariums offer glimpses of marine life, there’s nothing like seeing majestic whales in their natural habitat. If you’re keen on Whale watching, plan a visit to LA during the summer months, when you have the chance to witness the world’s largest mammal, the awe-inspiring blue Whale.

But wait, there’s more! You might also see happy dolphins and inquisitive seals during these trips. The adventure typically spans two hours, promising an experience you will remember! Plus, LA Whale Watching cruises are led by knowledgeable captains who can get you close to the whales while sharing fascinating insights about marine life. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature in a truly remarkable way.

3) Dragon Boat Ride

  • Location: Castaic Lake
  • Boat Length: Typically 40-50 feet
  • Team Size: Can range from 10 to 20 paddlers per boat
  • Event Types: Practice sessions, races, and moonlight kayaking

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to ride a dragon boat? It’s just as thrilling as it sounds! Think about it: a long, narrow boat powered by human strength, which means you get to row it yourself. One of the best places for a Dragon Boat Ride is Castaic Lake, where the excitement awaits. It’s a lot of fun, but be ready to flex those muscles because it requires strength.

Also, don’t worry if you’re new to dragon boating; there are plenty of programs to teach you how to paddle. Join one of their classes; soon enough, you’ll be a pro. Once you’ve mastered it, you can paddle away on the water or even try moonlight kayaking for a unique nighttime boating experience. It’s an adventure you will want to take advantage of!

4) Snorkeling

  • Location: Catalina Island
  • Visibility: Up to 40-100 feet on clear days
  • Marine Life Includes: Garibaldi, kelp bass, sea cucumbers, starfish, and lobsters
  • Experience Level: Beginner to advanced

At Catalina Island, you can get really close to marine life. Dive into the clear blue water and see beautiful exotic fish swimming gracefully around you. And there’s more! Also, don’t miss the chance to watch fish feeding sessions, where the underwater world comes to life right before your eyes.

What makes it even more exciting is the presence of snorkeling instructors who dive into the waters to bring starfish and lobsters up close for you to admire. Catalina Island offers a large amount of water activities, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking aquatic adventures. Dive in and discover the wonders of the ocean like never before!

5) Surfing at Venice Beach

  • Wave Type: Suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced
  • Best Season: Summer for beginners; winter for experienced surfers
  • Lesson Availability: Year-round surf schools and rentals
  • Water Temperature: Ranges from 58°F (14°C) in winter to 70°F (21°C) in summer

Venice Beach is not just famous for its vibrant boardwalk; its waves make it a popular spot for surfers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer chasing the perfect ride, Venice Beach has something for everyone. Numerous surf schools along the beach offer lessons and board rentals.

6) Kiteboarding at Belmont Shore

  • Wind Conditions: Best during spring and summer
  • Learning Curve: Moderate to high, with lessons recommended
  • Gear Rental: Available at local shops
  • Safety Measures: IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) guidelines followed

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, kiteboarding at Belmont Shore in Long Beach offers the perfect combination of wind and waves. This sport requires a bit more skill, as it involves maneuvering a kite while riding on a board. There are several schools offering lessons to get you started, ensuring you learn in a safe and controlled environment.

7) Kayaking at Catalina Island

  • Routes: Includes Lover’s Cove and the Casino Point Dive Park
  • Rental Options: Single or tandem kayaks
  • Wildlife Encounters: Possible sightings of sea lions, dolphins, and flying fish
  • Permits: Not required for recreational kayaking

Just off the coast, Catalina Island presents a fantastic kayaking experience with clear waters and abundant marine life. You can choose to go on a guided tour or rent a kayak to explore hidden coves and secluded beaches at your own pace. The island’s waters are also ideal for snorkeling, offering a closer look at the underwater world.

8) Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) in Marina del Rey

  • Best Time to Paddle: Morning for calmer waters
  • SUP Yoga: Offered by various rental places
  • Rental Duration: Hourly to full-day rentals available
  • Age Requirement: Generally suitable for all ages with options for beginner to advanced paddlers

Marina del Rey offers calm waters that are perfect for stand-up paddleboarding. This activity is not only fun but also a great workout, improving balance and strength. You can explore the marina at your own pace, glide past luxurious yachts, and enjoy the scenic views of the coastline. Rental shops are available around the marina, providing all the gear you need.

Wrapping Up

Whether you want to fly high parasailing in Marina del Rey or see majestic whales, there’s something for every water enthusiast. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to explore the endless thrills that cater to every traveler’s desires.

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