Outfitters: City Kayak, (415) 357-1010, www.citykayak.com; Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center, (415) 488-1000, www.seatrekkayak.com
For a terrific view of San Diego's skyline, you'll want San Diego Bay. Paddle south and slide past enormous cruise ships. Paddle north and you can ogle Naval aircraft carriers. Time your paddle out through the mouth of San Diego Bay so that you reach the ocean side of La Jolla Point Loma at low tide, and you'll enjoy some of California's best tide pooling. Just to the north is San Diego's other bay; Mission Bay is seven square miles of bay, beach, park, and frolic. In summer, the water is the best seat in the house for Sea World's nightly fireworks. It's also a fun place to enjoy a concert; Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay seats 1,350, but that won't concern you. Paddle out through the mouth of Mission Bay and you'll find yourself off Ocean Beach. Parking in Ocean Beach is almost impossible, but pulling a kayak ashore at this classic southern California beach isn't. Just back from the beach, Newport Avenue is lined with spots to eat - try the grilled fish tacos at the South Beach Bar & Grille.
Outfitters: Aqua Adventures Kayak Center, (619) 523-9577, www.aquaadventures.com-
; Seaforth Boat Rental on Mission Bay, (619) 223-1681, www.seaforthboatrental.com