Kayaks, McNear's Beach

Kayaks, McNear’s Beach

Make the Bay Your Playground

Many of us have walked, jogged, or biked along the Bay, enjoying our shoreline for exercise, relaxation, wildlife watching, or for personal reflection. The Bay offers a completely different type of experience – out on its waters. This great 450-square mile estuary has many opportunities for recreation for those that venture out beyond land. Some are thrill seeking, and others are quiet and peaceful. We invite you to explore, discover, learn, and enjoy!

The following are a sample of the diverse experiences our Bay has to offer. Visit our map page for information on specific sites.


Paddle, canoe, or row along the San Francisco waterfront, taking in views of bridges and the skyline while witnessing the hustle and bustle of city life from the water. Or head over to the Oakland Estuary and discover the mix of swanky condos, restaurants, and warehouses found along the waterfront.


We share the Bay with an amazing diversity of wildlife – seasonal visitors and year-round neighbors. Every time you get out and explore you will be surprised and delighted. Enjoy a meandering slough, lunch on a secluded beach, or soak in views of marshes and wetlands teeming with wildlife – you will forget you are in a major metropolitan area.

Kayakers, Petaluma River

Kayakers, Petaluma River

Islands, Rivers, and Sloughs

Not only do we have miles of open Bay to explore, but the Water Trail also includes rivers, islands, and sloughs. Explore tidally influenced rivers such as the Napa and Petaluma Rivers, both of which offer miles of play with many attractions to entice you along the way. For the more experienced, head over to Angel Island and find yourself in the jewel of the Bay.


The winds, tides, and currents found on the open Bay offer many challenging conditions thrill-seekers thrive in. Boardsailors (windsurfers and kitesurfers) have access to world-class windy conditions with scenery that is unsurpassed. Advanced paddlers have miles of exploration to fine tune paddling skills and enough challenging wind and wave conditions to get an adrenaline rush.

kire boarder flying through the air



The Bay has no shortage of attractions for both locals and tourists. Soak up local flavor at many restaurants located on the shore. View beautiful bridges from many locations around the Bay. Catch a “splash hit” from a Giant’s baseball game at McCovey Cove (AT&T Park). Enjoy views of houseboats and Mt. Tamalpais in Sausalito. Visit the historic vessels at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. You will not run out of things to discover.