What is the Chesapeake Bay known for?
Booming fisheries, countless coves, tiny islands, bountiful wildlife – the list goes on. This estuary has thousands of acres of intrigue that can be tough to reach by foot (unless you want to lose a shoe or two to a marsh), so kayaking is the perfect solution.
Kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay is a no-brainer for anyone who loves taking their time exploring and finding wildlife enjoying their natural habitat. A perfect creative date, family adventure, or friends getaway, Chesapeake Bay Kayaking will start with gorgeous natural scenery and usually end with some world-famous seafood at a bay-side restaurant. Can you think of a better day?
More than 100,000 streams and rivers end up at this bay, and so should you. Here’s an ultimate guide to Chesapeake Bay kayaking!
Why Kayak Chesapeake Bay?
The shallow water means more to see
We love Chesapeake Bay kayaking because you’re never really too far from the bottom of the bay – more than 700,000 acres of the bay are less than 6 feet deep! That means more to see no matter where you paddle. Fish, crabs, otters, ducks and much more can all be within eyesight on a clear day.
It’s often calm enough to kayak
Thanks to the thousands of inlets, rivers and water trails that make up the bay, you can usually find calm water to enjoy. This also makes it an excellent place for beginner paddlers to build their skills and test out kayaking for the first time.
There are so many features to enjoy
Hop off your kayak and (temporarily) claim a private island, or paddle along harbors lined with piers and boats with creative names. Whether you want to boat watch or escape anything man-made, it’s possible in the Chesapeake.
Where To Kayak in the Chesapeake Bay
Kent Island – enjoy water trails, grassy marshes, and narrows on this quaint island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.
Tangier Island – a tiny island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay is tough to reach but can grant you access to some of the most isolated kayaking in the bay. If you want to paddle in solitude, this is a great option.
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge – kayak through wildlife, wetlands and more with a shoreline view. You may see one of the protected species here, like bald eagles, white-tail deer, or cute turtles.
St. Michaels – enjoy an area with a quaint vibe and several areas to kayak, like San Domingo Creek, Oak Creek, Miles River and Leadenham Creek.
Chesapeake Beach and North Beach – The Chesapeake Beach area is a great place to explore the bay, including North Beach and the surrounding waterways.
What You Need to Kayak Chesapeake Bay
Here are some things you need to have a great day kayaking the Chesapeake Bay:
- A Kayak and paddle – you can rent a kayak near the bay or purchase a kayak whenever you want.
- A PFD (Personal Flotation Device): You need a PFD on your boat for each person before you set out into the water.
- Sunscreen – Don’t become as red as the lobster you’re eating later – wear sun protection!
- Water bottles – you’ll have water all around you, but you’ll want some to sip on, especially on longer paddles.
When you’re ready for your forever kayak, you can get everything from the Front Royal Outdoors shop. We have several high-quality solo and tandem kayaks perfect for the bay.
What To Do After Kayaking Chesapeake Bay
Eat Some Seafood
You are in the area for some of the best seafood in the country – don’t miss out on some delicious dishes with a seaside view! Chesapeake Bay is famous for blue crabs, oysters, and striped bass, a must-try after your kayaking excursion. There’s no better way to end the day!
Walk Through Quaint Towns
Chesapeake Bay is extensive, but chances are, no matter where you are on the bay, you are close to an adorable town to explore. The towns on the shore of the bay tend to have adorable main streets, marinas, and piers to explore. Take in some of the local scenery at your fingertips.
Learn More about the Protected Nature Areas
If you kayaked near a nature reserve or protected wildlife area, experience that area off the kayak as well! There are many animals to discover thriving in a safe and protected environment.
Find More Adventure on the Shenandoah River
If you fall in love with kayaking (which you will), you will want to plan your next trip. Shenandoah River is only a couple hours from Chesapeake Bay and will be the ideal next weekend adventure to add to your kayaking bucket list. Visit us in Front Royal, Virginia, to kayak the famous Shenandoah River!
The Chesapeake Bay will offer endless opportunities for adventure or relaxing outdoor activities. If one taste of the bay has you ready to commit to the hobby, visit our online store! We’ll hook you up with everything you need to head out on the water every weekend.