Outdoor Water Activities in San Mateo County & Silicon Valley
With sunshine shining on us for most of the year, the San Mateo County and Silicon Valley area offers a vast variety of outdoor beauty, making our destination so unique and enjoyable all year-round. Whether you’re looking to kayak on the Pacific Ocean or surf in Pacifica, you can find it all here!
KAYAKING & BOATING
Kayaking in San Mateo County is one of the best ways to experience our destination. Explore the beautiful San Mateo County coastside and kayak among seals, birds, and other marine life at Pillar Point Harbor with Half Moon Bay Kayak. This Half Moon Bay kayaking company allows you to discover the world of sea kayaking on the Pacific Ocean. Their fleet is made up of single, double, and triple kayaks and a wide variety of paddleboards, perfect for a nice family outing.
Now, if you're looking like to learn the ins and outs of kayaking, California Canoe & Kayak is the place for you. Their teaching style is interactive and action-oriented. Their instructors are the best in the business and provide students with a dynamic learning environment and flexible curriculum while keeping programs creative, original, and current.
Or if you happen to be on the bayside, then make sure to pack a picnic and rent an electric boat with Edgewater Marine in Foster City. They rent Duffy Electric Boat by the hour which allows you to float on the relaxing Foster City lagoon.
Hang ten! Always wanted to experience the thrill of surfing on the Pacific coast? You’re in luck! Numerous beaches in San Mateo County offer surf access! Starting with Linda Mar State Beach in Pacifica, this popular beach is always packed with surfers and it includes a recreation trail, surf camps, and lessons for beginners and restrooms with showers.
Meanwhile, down in Half Moon Bay, surfers can visit Surfer’s Beach located next to Pillar Point Harbor. This beach under the right conditions creates a nice surf break, perfect for those looking to experience surfing in Half Moon Bay. The beach also offers restrooms and restaurants are located nearby. Another great spot is Mavericks Beach, the setting for the famous "Mavericks Surfing Competition".
To learn more about beaches in San Mateo County, please click here.
If you’re a more hands-on person, you may explore marine life up close at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, CA. This rocky seashore hosts a living community of marine life that is of great interest to visitors and naturalists alike. A variety of seaweed, crabs, sponges, sea stars, mollusks, and fish make their homes in the inter-tidal; that area between low and high tide.
Interested in whale watching? Located in Pacifica, the Pacifica Pier is one of the best locations for whale watching in the Bay Area. Gray whales can be spotted from February through April from the shores of Pacifica. Although blue whales are not as common as gray whales, they are typically also seen along the coast from late spring to fall. As for the humpback whales, the prime watching season occurs in the summer and fall.
Down in Pescadero, visitors may plan a visit to Ano Nuevo State Reserve. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, where every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches. The park also features the Marine Education Center boasting a natural history exhibit, bookstore, and a theater.
Over on the bayside, make sure to visit the 1,940-acre Baylands Reserve in Palo Alto. The Baylands Preserve is one of the largest tracts of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay and offers fifteen miles of multi-use trails that provide access to a unique mixture of tidal and freshwater habitats. Furthermore, many consider this area to be one of the best bird-watching areas on the west coast. The preserve has a substantial resident population of birds as well as being a major migratory stopover on the Pacific Flyway.