7 SUP Wildlife Tours in and around the Los Angeles Area

In General, SUP Activity Recommendations, SUP Location Recommendations by Perfect Paddles

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Check out our favorite SUP wildlife tours in the Los Angeles area!

Of the many reasons to try SUP in Los Angeles, wildlife tours are one of our favorites!

LA is famous for its exceptional weather, pristine beaches, and photogenic coastline. So tourists are wise to turn their attention to the ocean for their vacation adventures.

Many LA SUP companies are now offering wildlife tours in addition to their beginner lessons and SUP yoga classes. Why not take advantage of two of the greatest features LA has to offer: its weather and its biodiversity?

These eight wildlife tours are Perfect Paddles' top choices for your LA visit.

1. Paddle Method (Marina Del Rey)

First on our list of wildlife tours in the LA area is Paddle Method in Marina Del Rey!

Paddle Method provides expert instruction in everything SUP-related. From technique, paddle stroke, safety and information on boards, their instructors can answer all of your questions.

Paddle Method also offers three different wildlife tours. Their Sea Lion Tour is best for beginners, as it offers an easier paddle. And participants can experience a major species of wildlife native to this part of the coast: sea lions!

The two-hour Sea Lion Tour starts in the protected cove of Marina Del Rey. From there, paddlers make their way out through yachts and sailboats to the open waters outside of Malibu. In and out of the marina, colonies of sea lions bathe in the sun and howl at passing paddlers.

Participants can also see sea birds as well as a unique species of golden fish found near the rocks outside the bay. This tour is both physically relaxing and exciting, thanks to our resident sea lions and their antics.

Paddle Method also offers a sunset paddle as well as their premiere tour option, the Malibu Coast Tour. Requiring a more advanced SUP skillset, the Malibu Coast Tour takes paddlers into the open ocean and along the beautiful Malibu Coast.

Participants on this tour can expect to see numerous bird species. Dolphins might even approach paddlers on their boards, if they're feeling friendly! This is an amazing and truly unforgettable experience.

Paddle Method is one of LA’s premiere SUP outfitters. We highly recommend their tours to get you into the ocean and experiencing California's coastal wildlife.

Be sure to check out Paddle Method's Buddy Deals for additional discounts on their services!

2. Pirate Coast Paddle Company (Orange County)

Gliding next onto our list of wildlife tours in the LA area is a guided tour with Pirate Coast Paddle Company in Orange County.

Beginners can learn how to paddle while surrounded by scenic views of Orange County. Paddlers start by getting comfortable on a board in the calm waters and passages of the marina.

Once out in the bay, participants can expect to see ocean-dwelling birds including pelicans, egrets, and gulls. Sea lions and seals are also abundant.

Pirate Coast is high on our list of SUP wildlife tours due to its accessibility for beginners.

Most people are coming to this sport from a place of inexperience. So taking a comprehensive lesson before experiencing an extended tour is a must.

You get the best of both worlds at Pirate Coast Paddle Company — which is evident in their many positive reviews from customers from all over the world.

We're sure you'll have a great time in their beginner lessons as well as their guided tours.

3. Michael Kelley (Santa Monica)

The next business on our list is the personalized instruction of Michael Kelley.

While not limited to SUP wildlife tours, Kelley makes it onto our list due to his personalized approach. He offers a one-on-one guided experience, bringing paddlers into open waters to experience the coast of Santa Monica.

Famous for its crowded pier and amusement park, Santa Monica welcomes a large number of tourists to the warm, sandy shores of California.

Once here, those curious about paddling can sign up for a personalized lesson. Kelley will critique your paddle stroke and stance, making any necessary adjustments. His expert guidance can help to increase your paddle efficiency and technique on the water.

After some instruction on land, Kelley will help you onto a rented board and into the open ocean outside of Santa Monica.

Here you can expect to see a number of different aquatic species, including dolphins, seals, sea lions, and fish. If you're lucky, you may even spot a whale surfacing off the coast!

Kelley makes it onto our list due to his personalized teaching style and willingness to push your limits in the ocean off Santa Monica.

We highly recommend connecting with Michael Kelley to discover just how far you can go on a SUP!

4. Morro Bay Paddlesports (Morro Bay)

Located north of Los Angeles, Morro Bay Paddlesports is the premiere outfitter for wildlife tours in their area.

Offered only in the morning at a lower tide, their Nature Tour is perfect for beginners and experienced paddlers alike!

In the calm waters of the bay, participants can see such creatures as starfish, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, sand sharks, and various birds. The tour offers plenty of stops to take in the natural surroundings.

In addition to a guided beginner lesson, you will learn about the local wildlife as well as the history of the bay and its development.

We highly recommend spending an afternoon with Morro Bay Paddlesports. At $45 per person, their Nature Tour is both highly entertaining and incredibly affordable.

Don't forget to check out their Buddy Deals for discounted services!

5. Sunset Stand Up Paddle (Laguna Beach)

Sunset Stand Up Paddle is located on Laguna Beach, one of California's most beautiful beaches. Famous for the hit MTV series by the same name, Laguna Beach provides perfect weather, warm waters, and picturesque sunsets.

Sunset Stand Up Paddle offers an educational and adrenaline-spiking adventure in a complete package on the board.

After a beginner lesson to get you comfortable on the board and prepared for the ocean, guides will take participants to the open water. There you can expect to see fantastic cliff views and unforgettable coastline beauty.

Participants have the opportunity to see ocean-dwelling species such as dolphins, sea lions, seals and whales. Then take a rest while exploring gorgeous, secluded coves for an unforgettable experience.

As an added bonus, Sunset Stand Up Paddle provides tour participants with fresh water and an organic snack.

We highly recommend taking a lesson and tour with the instructors at Sunset Stand Up Paddle in beautiful Laguna Beach! And be sure to check out their Buddy Deals for additional savings.

6. Standup Rentals (Long Beach)

Our next recommended wildlife tour in the LA area is offered by Standup Rentals in Long Beach.

Their Ultimate Dolphin Adventure is a must-do experience for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in California's coastal wildlife.

The tour starts in the morning with a chartered boat trip into the ocean. Participants will start with a refresher lesson onboard before paddling on the open water.

Standup Rentals also provides SUP equipment, fresh drinking water, tasty snacks, and a high-definition camera to catch all the action.

The only catch: Paddlers must be certified with a Level Two skill on a board. This is due to challenging conditions on the ocean, as well as the inherent risks of paddling close to live dolphins.

However, once you have the experience to make it successfully on the ocean, this tour is a must-do experience. The beauty of the ocean combined with the opportunity to come this close to pods of dolphins make this tour completely unforgettable.

The best part? Standup Rentals guarantees that participants will see dolphins on their tour.

We at Perfect Paddles cannot recommend this experience enough! This is a tour you must add to your list of activities when visiting the LA area.

7. Mountain and River Adventures (Kernville)

Our last shop on the list is Mountain and River Adventures situated in Kernville, California. Located a few hours outside of the city, this is the perfect getaway if you are feeling claustrophobic in the city.

Their group SUP wildlife tour takes you through quiet lakes and tall pine forests. It's a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Sequoia National Park area.

The half-day or full-day SUP tours start with a beginner lesson on land to get everyone acquainted with the basics. Then, participants are guided on a trip around Lake Isabella. Participants can expect to see many different species of birds, including robins, Steller's jays, woodpeckers, northern flickers, and more.

Lucky paddlers may also be able to spot deer, sheep and even the occasional black bear! But don’t be frightened; it's perfectly safe on the water.

In addition to seeing wildlife, paddlers can test their mettle on a class 3 river. In the rapids, balance, skill and adrenaline make for one of the most thrilling afternoons spent on a board!

Looking for a unique excursion outside of LA?  We recommend Mountain and River Adventures for experiencing the wildlife in and around Sequoia National Park.


We all know LA has many activities, events, and attractions to offer visitors and residents alike. But setting your sights outside of the city and onto the water can offer a truly unique wildlife experience.

Paddling with sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales is not only worth remembering, but worth talking about for the rest of your life!

Be sure to check out these shops and outfitters when you make your way to the golden coast of California. And if you need help deciding on a tour, Perfect Paddles is always here to answer your questions!

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