Near Moss Landing, Elkhorn Slough is a huge tidal salt marsh that draws bird-watchers from around the world to see the more than 300 species that thrive here. In spring, it’s also the perfect place for kayaking; you’re practically guaranteed to see sea otters. (Watch out for the big jellyfish; they can fill a city pothole.) You don’t have to be an expert; the protected slough offers easy kayaking, and even if you’ve never held a paddle before, you can learn enough to get around in about 15 minutes. Rent a kayak and explore the 7-mile-long slough on your own, or take Kayak Connection’s guided tour. One tip: Arrive in the morning, when it’s less windy. BONUS: Stop in at Sea Harvest afterward for a crab and shrimp Louie (or fish ’n’ chips) overlooking the water. Entertainment is provided by the sea otters.
Directions to Elkhorn Slough.
Kayak Connection, 2370 Highway 1, Moss Landing; 831-724-5692. Rentals are $45 for a half day for two people in a double; guided four-hour bird-watching tours $65 per person.
Sea Harvest Fish Market and Restaurant, 2420 Highway 1, Moss Landing; 831-633-8300.