San Diego is a safe-haven for people who feel at home when surrounded by saltwater. No trip to America’s Finest City is complete without at least a few days spent seaside. Here are five aquatic adventures to have in San Diego to ensure that you get the much-needed water time on your visit.

Snorkel at La Jolla Cove

Look underwater at La Jolla Cove and don’t be surprised to see resident sea lions, seals, flashing orange Garibali, shovelnose guitar fish, and schools of other fish joining you on your snorkel session. San Diego has unique underwater ecosystems of rock reefs and massive kelp forests that provide homes to all types of wildlife. Rent a snorkel, mask, and fins from a nearby shop or simply bring your own. Sightings of harmless leopard sharks are common, but they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.

Kayak through Mission Bay

Calm and perfect for all abilities, Mission Bay is the place to explore from the seat of a kayak. Expect to get an arm and core workout while navigating through the expansive bay. Mission Bay is home to over 27 miles of coastline with inlets and waterways, all waiting to be discovered. Search for marine life like dolphins, seals, or sea lions for the full San Diegan package. You can even pack a lunch and paddle ashore at the best beach that catches your eye – just be sure not to tip over. Take a guided tour with a local or rent a kayak and explore on your own. Either way, you’re sure to have an adventure.

Surf at La Jolla Shores

Surfing is practically synonymous with San Diego. Offering waves for all abilities, San Diego is a prime place to learn. Beginners can go to La Jolla Shores, while experienced surfers can find more challenging waves at Scripps or Blacks Beach, located just north of what locals call, “The Shores.” If you’re learning, it’s best to rent a big foam-top surfboard and try to balance in the white-wash. Post surf, walk up the main strip, and grab a bite to eat at one of the town’s quirky beach restaurants.

Standup Paddleboard at Night in San Diego Bay

Without your standup paddleboards outfitted with LED lights underneath, this nighttime excursion is an adventurous way to get prime views of the San Diego skyline. Paddle between the shores and iconic Coronado Bridge for a unique, challenging, and surreal experience. Don’t stress too much about falling into the water, the excursion includes a life vest though the boards are usually stable.

Learn to Sail in Mission Bay

Don’t know how to sail? Don’t worry, San Diego has you covered. There’s something freeing about using nothing but wind to propel you forward, and sailing across the world is an adventure that seems to be universal. Try your hand at being skipper of your own craft with sailing lessons that teach you the basics.

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