10 of the Best Spots for Sea-Kayaking in the United States!

Sea-kayaking, or paddling in open waters, is a sport that was once not-a-sport: the Inuit brought a harpoon on board and used their primitive wooden kayaks as a way to hunt seals and walrus.

Kayaking provides a whole different perspective and way to explore. Sitting atop the water, you experience the coastline and marine life in a completely different way than you would from the shore or deck of a noisy boat.

Kayaking isn't hard to learn (and for those who always wonder, "Don't your arms get tired?" the stroke should come from your torso and upper body), but there are some safety techniques that should be mastered first, especially before heading out to a bay or ocean. "Bracing" is essential to staying upright, but if you go over, the "Eskimo roll" is a technique to bring you back up.

With a little practice and attention to safe-paddling practices,sea-kayaking can be safely enjoyed in some pretty amazing locations. Here are ten to put on your Bucket List.

1. DOWN EAST ISLANDS, MAINE

It's one of the most rugged areas on the East Coast. The Maine Island Trail portion spans the length of the coast and is the oldest water trail in America. The hidden coves and stony beaches along the way make for a real adventure.

2. THE OUTERBANKS, NORTH CAROLINA

Kayaking around these barrier islands offers a look at some pretty diverse landscapes. There are wildlife refuges, plus the Kitty Hawk Maritime Forest and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

3. CUMBERLAND ISLAND, GEORGIA

As you leave the mainland, you'll have a great view of amazing bluffs. Once at the Island (Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island) there are miles of salt marshes to navigate and some fascinating ecosystems to observe.

4. THE FLORIDA KEYS

The shallow, crystal-clear waters (that come in five shades of blue) make this a prime destination for kayaking. As you paddle along, you're apt to spot many a stingray, sea urchin and other marine life.

5. SAN JUAN ISLANDS, WASHINGTON

These chilly waters supply plenty of food for seals, otters, porpoises and whales, thus making for an interesting ride. There's also some pretty spectacular bird watching from inside your kayak cockpit.

6. THE OREGON COAST

Take it up a notch with some of the most challenging paddling in the country. You'll take in the breathtaking rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest as you navigate ocean swells and surf.

7. BAJA, CALIFORNIA

This area is considered one of the best for warm-water kayaking. One of the most appealing aspects is being able to paddle alongside seals and 40-ton gray whales as the make their annual migration.

8. KONA COAST, HAWAII

The gorgeous waters of the Kona side of the Big Island offer a prime spot for watching humpback whales. There are plenty of calm areas to paddle in and remote coves to duck into when you want a little break.

9. MOLOKAI, HAWAII

There are roughly 20-40 miles of stunning kayaking routes in these waters around the north coast. Take in massive sea cliffs (the tallest in the world), waterfalls, hidden valleys and caves on your trek.

10. GLACIER BAY, ALASKA

There are numerous bays and fjords to explore in this 3.28 million acre national park. What's also cool is you can spot rare plants uncovered by a retreating glacier.

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