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Best kayaking in the county

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By Sadie Scott
A&E Editor

If standing isn’t really your thing, and maybe your sense of balance is questionable at best, the beautiful central coast still offers plenty of ways for you to get into the water. Kayaking might be the answer for you. Lay back, soak up the sun (watch out for that life preserver tan) and take in the beach from an angle you may not have experienced before. A fun and inexpensive outdoor activity, kayaking allows you to stay dry and warm while getting up close and personal with the ocean and its wildlife.

Get out on the water through these kayaking rental places along the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, with many more just a stone’s throw away.

Kayak Shack at State Park Marina

Kayak Horizons

Sub Sea Tours

Rock Kayak

Costs for single kayaks range from $12 to $15 for the first hour, the costs for double kayaks range from $20 to $25. Most all kayak shacks have stand up paddleboards and canoes available and all rentals include a lifejacket and paddles.

My friends and I went kayaking in Morro Bay and, to say the least, it was spectacular. We went to Rock Kayak where Tony got us all set up and told us all the need-to-knows before paddling out.

Usually the bay is still, but on the day we went it was extremely windy making the water choppy and in the end, a little more exciting. Luckily we were still able to get fairly close to a dock of seals who were loudly barking back and forth amongst one another.

In addition to the marine scenery, there are tons of boats anchored throughout the bay, each one with a unique aesthetic and it’s own special name. Otters and their babies are always swimming  throughout the water. But be careful, they aren’t always the most friendly.

“I think that kayaking in Morro Bay is a great way to experience the marine life that Morro has to offer, the kind that you don’t get to witness everyday,” said Clayton Schuler, Kinesiology major at Cuesta College.

SLO COUNTY BEACHES

The ocean brings solace. There’s a steady golden roar of waves gently kissing the shore line. You can hear kids laughing; taunting their siblings with icky seaweed. Surfers shouting to their buddies to see who calls the next big wave.

The sun glistens on the surface of waters deeper than the secrets of Clark Kent, with the sun casting diamond-like reflections.

The fresh, crisp breeze blows through your skin and hair as if you weren’t there at all.  The sand’s softness seems to almost massage your wet feet as they emerge from the water.

To be able and to look out at the ocean and realize there are things in this world bigger than yourself is very humbling.  It’s astonishing to think that something can be so beautiful and so terrifying at the same time.

MORRO BAY: Waterfront restaurants and great for sightseeing. Nestled up against an iconic three stack power plant (which happens to be for sale if you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars laying around and a flair for the exotic), Morro Bay is dotted with many locally caught fresh fish markets and historic Morro Rock, a 581-foot volcanic plug. While access to the top of Morro Rock is restricted, walks up the adjacent beaches offer more than enough beauty and entertainment to compensate.

MONTAÑA DE ORO:  The often discussed but rarely sighted great white shark has been known to call these waters home, but it won’t stop surfers from braving these cold waters south of Morro Bay. A more isolated example of the many beaches along the central coast, you can walk through the beautiful eucalyptus trees to see where the forest meets the sand.Montaña de Ore means “Mountain of Gold” in Spanish, comes from the golden poppy wildflowers found in the park. At Montaña de Ore’s main beach is called Spooner’s Cove, for a quite beach, take the Bluff Trail for half a mile to Corallina Cove. Also, a good surf spot is Hazard Canyon Reef.

AVILA BEACH: A picture-perfect beachfront town, complete with ice cream and candy shops, bars for those of age, and plenty of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Avila also offers many clothing shops for the last minute forgotten towel or broken flip flop. Avila also hosts a Farmer’s Market that runs every Friday from 4pm – 8pm, April through September.

PISMO BEACH: “Recognized by scientists, conservationists, and the public as the finest, most extensive coastal dunes remaining in California, Oceano is just south of Pismo Beach,” according to classic California. If motorsports are your thing, take advantage of the ATV rentals available in the adjacent town , Oceano, and when you’re done warm up with a bowl of clam chowder from one of the many restaurants along the main drag.

SHELL BEACH:  Small, yet a significant getaway spot in between Avila and Pismo. Cuesta and Cal Poly holidays often see this beach flooded with students looking for frothy beverages to match the waves you can watch crashing into the shore. If you feel inclined to partake in the revelry on days like Cesar Chavez or Cinco De Mayo, exercise caution to avoid a nasty citation. Then have your sober driver take you to In-N-Out to complete the college experience.