going to so cal oct 6-13—staying in capistrano beach—beginner kayakers from michigan—advice on enjoying LaJolla cove and caves—any other great highlights in --so cal-- to do on and off the water will be appreciated–thanks----phil
Aqua Adventures or Southwind Kayaks. If you want lessons, contact Jeff at liquid fusion kayaks.
Not kayaking but
a must see while in southern California is the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. It’s the largest state park in California. Take a whole day to drive the roads in this park. The sandy wash dirt roads are where the best sights can be seen but it really takes a high clearance 4x4 rig.
There are also a few lakes not to far from the coast where a kayaker can get a peaceful paddle in.
Does guided paddles from Avenida De La Playa in Lajolla, check out their web pages. In October you may be able to paddle into the Sea Caves but by then Northwest swell is pretty dominant and fairly strong and it may not be possible to explore the caves due to very strong wave surges. Still possible to have a very nice paddle in the area even if big surf.
You can also rent and safely paddle sit on tops in the cove area depending on weather conditions 9 out of 10 days in October should be safe paddling but there can be fairly high surf, there is a spot you can launch from if that is the case.
Also check out classes and tours from Aqua-Adventures or Jeff Laxier at liquidfusionkayaks.com
Anza Borrego is OK, and there are some very pretty spots, interesting rock formations, and nice hikes, but Southern Californians are not used to open spaces and sort of love this place to death. Much nicer desert areas to explore in Utah and Arizona, I am a bit spoiled having grown up in Utah and lived in the Sonoran desert in Arizona, but I would not make a special trip to see it. Also the dirt roads are pretty crowded with fairly obnoxious drivers who don't operate their 4X4's with a lot of respect for others or the landscape. If you go, do so mid-week.
lakes to paddle on?
We have heard that it is possible to paddle on Lake Morena east of San Diego. We would appreciate names of others and restrictions if known–such as boating is allowed but don’t touch the water with any part of your body!!
Off the water in San Diego we enjoyed
A. Visiting the Old Point Loma Lighthouse–Tremendous views down and to the east of San Diego and the Navy shipyards and then the contrasting views of the open ocean and the natural undeveloped shoreline to the west.
B. Watching the hang gliders jump off the cliffs at Torrey Pines State Park
C. Touring the Midway Aircraft Carrier
South Orange County
Lake Morena is a reservoir - so no body contact with the water. Since you’re coming all this way, you shouldn’t deny yourself the salty water experience. But if you’re concerned with water/wave conditions (I’m a former Wisconsinite in San Clemente - right by Capo Beach, so I get that hesitation), head to Aqua Adventures in SD, and rent boats for the afternoon and just paddle around in Mission Bay.
You’ll love it, it’s relatively calm & safe, and there are restaurants that you can paddle to for lunch or breakfast, or bring a small cooler and picnic on a beach. Or, for a mere $15 each, you can hook up with one of Aqua Adv.'s Wed. morning social paddles, or Thursday evening social paddles, and go with the security of a group.
You’ll be right by Dana Point - and the Ocean Institute is right there. Great little facility, and low cost to get in.
There are lots of restaurants and bars at the harbor that are fun to hang out at, and it’s a great place to walk and get exercise. Beautiful lookouts, and park benches to just sit and enjoy the ocean view. Great sunsets too.
Check this out for deep sea fishing and harbor cruises. Very relaxing and fun: http://www.danapointharbor.com/
The beach at Capo will have tumbling rocks in the waves - ankles beware! If you want to take a plunge in the surf, head south to San Clemente at the pier. Clean sand, no ankle-knockers. The water will be cool, but still doable for a quick dip just to say you did it.
At the San Clemente pier- the Fisherman restaurant is awesome for seafood. Left side has a full menu, and good food (the halibut is amazing). Get there before 6 for the Early Bird seafood specials - always worth it.
The right side is a bar with basic appetizers. Buckets of clams are always good, great chowder there too. Their weekday happy hour always includes a $3.00 bar food menu…not the tastiest, but we call it dinner from time to time. After a week of vacationing in SoCal, a $3.00 dinner is usually much needed wallet relief, especially if you can combine it with an amazing view of the ocean and Catalina Island on the horizon!