La Jolla not only boasts stunning beaches, but it also has seven incredible sea caves carved into the sandstone cliffs. Six of these caves can only be reached via water, so kayaking is the best way to explore them.
On this tour, enjoy a naturalist guide and kayaks to safely navigate around the caves. Along the way, spot local marine life such as seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises and sea otters for some exciting photo ops!
1. La Jolla Shores
La Jolla boasts many hidden coves and sea caves that can be explored by kayaking along the coast. One particularly stunning location is seven sea caves located within 75 million-year-old sandstone cliffs near La Jolla Shores Beach.
These sea caves are home to seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises, sea otters, fish, sea birds and spotted leopard sharks – just to name a few! When kayaking in this area you can explore these stunning formations up close while getting an up-close view of all the marine life that calls these caves home.
One of the best ways to experience La Jolla Sea Caves is with a guided kayak tour. You’ll learn fun facts about the area and safely navigate your way towards the caves; many tours even venture into Clam’s Cave (if conditions allow).
Kayaking in this area offers another advantage; you get to see La Jolla Beach, which is ideal for swimming and other water activities as well as being an established surf spot. In fact, La Jolla Beach often features excellent surf conditions compared to other nearby beaches.
Kayaking in La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve is an ideal way to discover the stunning marine life and natural underwater splendor. Here, you can snorkel or dive, making it a great spot for kids to learn how to swim in the ocean.
For those who don’t have time to kayak or snorkel, a nearby cove is home to some sea lions who hang out here at low tide and may walk on the beach. It’s an enjoyable spot to watch these animals at work and play; however be aware that they may become aggressive if they feel threatened.
If you’re in search of a place to eat during your vacation in La Jolla, there are plenty of restaurants that will satisfy all your culinary needs. Some are right on the beach while others can be found in La Jolla Shores – an idyllic little neighborhood just outside town.
2. Clam’s Cave
As you paddle along the shoreline, you may spot seals, California sea lions, harbor porpoises, sea otters, fish, birds and even leopard sharks! Plus you have access to hidden coves and sea caves which would otherwise be inaccessible by kayak or larger vessels.
Clam’s Cave is one of San Diego’s most beloved hidden coves and sea caves, situated just offshore from Goldfish Point. When the tide is low, you can snorkel or kayak through this breathtaking cave to reach the other side.
To reach this breathtaking spot, Hike Bike Kayak Adventure Tours offers kayaking tours. Their guides take care of all the details so you can focus on taking in the sights. They’ll store your gear, outfit you with a helmet and PFD, and give you an informative lesson before hitting the water for some kayaking fun.
Once you’ve honed your kayaking skills, your guide will take you on an incredible coastal journey to secluded spots like tiny beaches, natural rock arches, historic watchtowers and sea grottoes. Take time for photos and commentary as you take in stunning views of the coastline as you uncover these hidden treasures.
From the water, you’ll have an exciting chance to explore some of the caves, such as Clam’s Cave, Sunny Jim Cave and Shopping Cart Cave! Plus you’ll get to view kelp forests, vibrant orange garibaldi fish and more as you kayak around these fascinating caverns!
Sea Surprize is another popular sea cave in San Diego, named for its small entrance leading to an 80-foot tunnel. It’s also noted for its vibrant walls which reflect off pools of water filled with calcite-coated sea anemones.
This cave is only accessible during low tide, which occurs twice daily. Though it’s challenging to enter, the reward is worth all the effort! Whether you’re solo or with a group, this incredible experience awaits! The only downside is that if the currents are too strong inside the cave you won’t be able to go inside.
3. Little Sister
For an exclusive and in-the-know experience, consider kayaking a tour to Little Sister. This hidden cove and sea cave lies adjacent to its bigger sister White Lady; it can be difficult to spot so having an experienced guide who knows this area well will ensure you find it quickly.
Little Sister is one of seven sea caves carved into a cliff face in La Jolla, California. Each sandstone opening is named for an animal or object that lies within it and lies just below sea level.
Little Sister, the smallest of the seven caves, can be difficult to locate. To visit this secluded cove, it’s best to go kayaking with a guide who knows the area well. This secluded cove is ideal for nature enthusiasts and those who want to get away from it all.
Though it appears small and unassuming from the outside, this cave offers 80 feet of walking passageways once inside. The walls have turned orange due to rock deposits, and there’s a pool deep within that contains calcite-coated sea anemones.
Divers will love this cave as it’s a popular spot to observe Spiny Lobsters and other bottom-hugging creatures. For optimal viewing of Spiny Lobsters, visit during lobster season from October through March.
Kayak tours departing from Egg Harbor, a port town in Door County, offer an array of options. Choose from half-day or full-day excursions to explore the 300 miles of shoreline that surround this region.
Take a guided tour or embark on your own kayaking expedition through this picturesque area to the bluffs and caves that make up its landscape. Many of the caves boast historic Native American pictographs etched into their limestone facades.
Kayak down to Three Sisters Springs, home to the largest manatee population in America. Please remember this area is federally protected so abide by its rules and stay within designated zones.
4. Natural Arch
Are you searching for an undiscovered cove or sea cave to explore along California’s coastline? There are plenty of them! Take your kayak and paddle around to get the most out of the tour.
Shark Fin Cove in Davenport, California is one of the best places to explore natural features and get lost. This hidden cove boasts an incredible walk-through sea cave and island shaped like a shark’s fin. The sand here has been battered and worn away by the ocean over hundreds of years, creating an incredibly unique sight to behold.
This cove can be difficult to reach due to the potential danger of being washed away by the tide, but it’s definitely worth the effort if you want to see this stunning cave. The best time to visit is during low tide; remember to wear a lifejacket when paddling near cliffs!
On any sea kayaking tour, it is highly recommended that you always wear a lifejacket. Not only will this prevent any accidents from occurring but it will also safeguard your equipment in case an emergency arises.
Another way to discover these hidden coves and sea caves is by joining an experienced kayaking tour guide on their exploration. Your guide can point out these sites while telling you about their history.
You can also search the Internet to determine if there are any nearby arches. To do this, enter the name of a country, state, or UTM zone into a search engine and look for pages describing natural arch locations.
Around the world, two types of natural arches exist: caprock and sea. The latter type is more frequent and subject to greater erosion rates than its counterpart, typically dating back hundreds or even thousands of years. The oldest known natural arch in existence is New Mexico’s Snake Bridge Arch which dates back more than 10,000 years.