By Joe Kukura
As spring fever spreads sunshine, wildflowers and chances for outdoor activities, beach and water sports fans should get set to get wet in Marin County’s oceans and bays. Spring breakers will want to break for this Northern California getaway destination, where some of the country’s most iconic mountain coastlines serve as a backdrop for world-class kayaking and water sports.
Marin County features water experiences with some of the most majestic Pacific Ocean and California mountain views, with attractions like Point Reyes National Seashore, China Camp State Park and Corte Madera Creek. Here are a few of the best water events this spring in Marin County, plus places you can paddle every weekend.
A Marin County kayak tour is a phone call (or web click) away at Blue Waters Kayaking, the oldest and only full-service kayaking outfitter in Point Reyes. Anyone from beginner to expert-level kayakers can enjoy guided tours through the famed waterways of Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay.
Blue Waters Kayaking offers half- or full-day kayaking tours as well as guided overnight campouts. It can also provide memorable experiences in the California mountains with custom design tours, retreats and getaway opportunities that can include hiking, birding and even oysters.
Tomales Bay is one of the rare locations where bioluminescent dinoflagellates are visible. From April 26 through the 28th, Point Reyes Outdoors
offers bioluminescent tours that begin in daylight at 7:00pm where guides show you how to operate a kayak and teach you a few paddling techniques; no prior experience is necessary. The incredible view of the stars and the bioluminescence will amaze you for the remainder of the tour.
Stand-up paddleboarding is one of California’s hottest new outdoor crazes. 101 Surf Sports specializes in stand-up paddleboarding, but also offers gear and lessons for windsurfing, kiteboarding, surfing and kayaking.
101 Surf Sports provides stand-up paddle tours and kayak tours all year-round. But in the spring months, it presents a special season of kiteboarding and windsurfing downwind runs.
Bring the family for an exploration of spring with a Point Bonita YMCA naturalist to explore the wildflowers of the Headlands! Look for what’s blooming and discuss other plants, birds, insects and whatever else may catch your eye.
On Friday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Schooner Freda B presents a one-of-a-kind, once-a-month, “only in Marin County” event that shows off the most popular sights in the San Francisco Bay against the backdrop of a full moon. The April Full Moon Sail is an amazing nighttime tour with sunset and moonlit views of the San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island.
Opening Day on the Bay on Sunday, April 28, is a San Francisco Bay celebration of boats that you can join aboard the 80-foot Schooner Freda B. The day begins at 10 a.m. with a blessing of the fleet, continues as the schooner joins a parade of ships, then sets off on a sail throughout the bay. Your ticket includes a gourmet lunch, and homemade Bloody Marys are served all day at the ship’s cash bar.
Two separate sails are also available in April. On April 21st, don't miss a front-row view of the renowned cannon battles between the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain - it is a Battle Sails spectator cruise!. On April 22nd there is the Earth Day Sunset Sail (6:15 p.m.) that supplements a spectacular bay sunset with trips past Angel Island, Alcatraz, Mount Tamalpais, the Marin Headlands and other significant environmental landmarks.
Don’t settle for the same old washed-up weekend getaway when you can see some of the world’s most famous scenery in Marin County. You’ll harbor great feelings toward Marin County with a memorable getaway to its wonderful waters, so make plans to set sail for the sunny side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.