Cali coastal area

The death of a friend has us near the coast sometime in the next few weeks so we’re going to use the opportunity to put into some water.
Is there anything worth paddling between Long Beach and San Clemente other than the Newport Back Bay which we have done and may do again?
What about the area around Seal Beach?

My partner’s not wanting to go in and out through surf since she got rolled coming at La Jolla and now has a fear that she hasn’t worked on and I don’t feel that this is a time to encourage practice.

You are in the northern fringe of @SeaDart 's home waters. He might have some ideas.

Ironically, SeaDart met up and took me out to surf La Jolla (I believe…). Had a really fun surf session and post surf taco meal. :slight_smile:


Unfortunately I’m not very familiar with the chunk of coastline you are interested in. I know there is a harbor and wildlife refuge near Seal Beach and and you can get out there through a fairly busy channel if you want to do the open ocean, but if your partner is afraid of a beach launch in lajolla I don’t think open water paddling would be to her taste. I don’t think you can paddle in the wildlife refuge, but I don’t know for sure.

There is also a harbor and a good protected outlet at Dana Point. I believe the harbor is pretty busy there, I have not paddled out there for almost 20 years.

Summertime waves in Lajolla ( late august) are usually pretty tame, I’m not sure if you launched from Avenida De La Playa or Spindrift and Roseland but usually the waves there. this time of year are not very challenging if she wants to give it another go. (We do have hurricane surf predicted in the next few days but that is something that rarely happens.)

I’m from San Clemente and have lived in Seal Beach.
SB has a lot of big surf.

I’d suggest Dana Point Harbor area.

Balboa Island would be nice also.

Mission Bay is another possibility.


Hey, good luck with Hurricane Hillary…


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I second the suggestion of Balboa Island. It is so close to Newport Beach/Back Bay you might as well paddle both.

Mission Bay is big and suitable, but it means driving between SD and LA areas…

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Looking at the map tells me that me launched from Avenida De La Playa. The open water wasn’t an issue, other than her spending too much time looking at her phone to evaluate the photos she was taking and then getting seasick, and even getting out through the surf was ok but coming in was something she hadn’t prepared for no matter how many videos I’d shared or times I tried to talk to her about it.
Unfortunately we are not usually near a coast so any kind of surf practice is non-existent.
Currently we’re parked up in the high desert so I’ve been watching that hurricane as well.

I see that Balboa Island and the Bay are all part of the same area, good call!

What about the water up near the aquarium in Long Beach? There seems to be quite a bit of it around there as well.

meh ~ crime

I would not leave my car there (Long Beach)

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I frequent Newport Upper Bay and occasionally extend the paddling down to Newport Bay (Lido Island/Balboa Island) with our golden retriever; she loves riding in the kayak. I also go to Huntington Harbour.

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Found it. Do they let you go into Balsa Chica or in the area to the north?

I’m not a real fan of the water quality in Mission Bay, also boat traffic (more likely jetski / lake lice). can be a big issue depending on when you are there. You can go for long paddle in the bay though.

Jeez storm track map is going right over my house, I expect that will change but we are supposed to prepare for 50 mph winds and 2 -4 inches of rain, which is about as wild as it ever gets in San Diego. Hoping my new patio and old house roof tiles hold up to it, and I’m glad my neighbor cut down her palm tree that was on our fence line this year.

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Yeah, please get ready. Even not a direct hit, y’all are in the tight wind gradient as Hilary heads north.


Fun, easy paddles at Long Beach (near canals) and Huntington Harbor. Oceanside harbor and Carlsbad Lagoon.