If you want a truly unique view of the city, you need to get out onto the water, which is where our guide to the 7 places to go kayaking in Houston can help!
With some incredible sights to see, Houston is excellent for watersports. There are many places in Houston, as well as slightly outside of the city, to explore.
Top Places for Kayaking in Houston, Texas
We’ve tried to keep this list exclusively based in Houston, but there are a few places to look at just outside of the city too. Still, each location isn’t too far a drive, so if you want a change of scenery, it’s worth checking them out.
We’ve included all the key information you need to know about each kayak rental service, as well as more detailed information about the location, the services offered, and any extra facilities or special events you can take advantage of.
If you’ve never been kayaking before, it’s worth calling ahead to ensure that there are qualified instructors to facilitate your experience.
Some places also offer kayak storage, so if you want to buy a kayak or keep it in a more convenient location, this is an option.
Here is our list of the top 7 places to go kayaking in (or around) Houston without further ado!
1. Riva Row Boat House
|Address:||2101 Riva Row The Woodlands, TX 77380|
|Activities:||Kayaking, water biking, swan boat rides, standup paddleboarding|
Riva Row Boathouse is located in the Woodlands Waterway, within walking distance from Town Green Park. It sits on the lower waterway and offers many options for families to rent watersports equipment.
Single, tandem, and pedal kayaks are available for 1-4 hour time slots. Children under 42 inches tall can ride in an adult’s lap in the standard single and tandem kayaks, but not the pedal kayaks. You can also bring your most well-behaved pets, and there are a limited number of sit-in canoe-style vessels too.
They have standup paddleboards of different sizes for rent, as well as water bikes for ages 10 and up, and swan boat rentals, which are fun for the whole family. The swan boats are located on a different body of water than the other equipment, giving a calmer, more relaxing experience.
You can book events here (for example, team-building or Boy Scout events), with some discounts available for larger bookings. They have special events throughout the year, including Jingle Boats at Christmas and the Kayak Egg Hunt at Easter.
There are small lockers available, but you’ll need to bring your own locks. There are restrooms nearby too.
2. Bayou City Adventures
|Address:||1520 Silver St Houston, TX 77007|
|Activities:||Kayaking, surfing, cycling, standup paddleboarding|
|Facilities:||Bike parking, equipment storage|
Bayou City Adventures offers an array of watersports with a beautiful view of the city.
They have a variety of sizes of kayaks available, as well as kayaking lessons by certified instructors. They also offer kayak storage, so you can keep your kayak there for a small charge, and they have high-pressure hoses there to use if you need to clean it after use.
Again, they also offer surfing and standup paddleboarding with certified instructors if you’re new. They also offer cycling and bike parking too.
The main thing to note here is the quality of the classes – the Introduction to Kayaking course is worth doing if you’re new to kayaking, and the instructors are calm, welcoming, and super friendly. They’ll even take photos of you and your friends if you want.
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3. Pinky’s Kayak Rentals
|Address:||4106 Nasa Pkwy Ste 1 El Lago, TX 77586|
|Activities:||Kayaking, standup paddleboarding, guided bayou tours, self-guided tours, yoga classes|
Pinky’s Kayak Rentals has 5 locations to paddle through, starting at the Bay Area Park, offering a range of outdoor fitness activities and tours.
There are single and tandem kayaks with self-guided and guided tours. Tours include everything you need, including a safety briefing, water, and a dry bag if you forget to bring your own. The self-guided tour takes you through 5 locations: Armand Bayou, Big Island Slough, Spring Gully, Horsepen Bayou, and Lake Mark Kramer. It’s a beautiful spot with plenty to look at. You can bring kids aged 7 or over.
They also offer standup paddleboarding and outdoor yoga classes, perfect if you want to enjoy some relaxing exercise in beautiful surroundings. You can book events here, for example, corporate retreats or birthday parties, with discounts of up to 20% if you rent more than 5 kayaks.
There aren’t many extra facilities, so it’s worth doing some research in advance if you want to know where the nearest bathrooms or places to eat are located.
4. Trail Expeditions
|Address:||5535 Memorial Drive, Suite F, Houston 77007|
|Activities:||Kayak tours, kayak and paddleboard demonstration days, outdoor equipment for sale|
If you want to explore more of Texas outside of Houston, this is a good excuse to travel! Trail Expeditions is a trail company based in Houston. Experienced instructors will take you on kayak tours, showing you the most beautiful spots in Texas. You can choose from tours around Armand Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, Lady Bird Lake, and Lake Ray Hubbard.
The instructors are friendly and helpful, and they will reassure you if you’re new. Tours include a tour guide, basic instructions, and single Eddyline recreational kayaks and gear for each participant. They also offer sit-on-top and double kayaks in some locations.
Trail Expeditions sell kayaking equipment and paddleboards, and they have kayaking and paddleboard demonstration days, allowing you to test out the equipment before purchase. Participants will receive a money-off credit towards a purchase from Trail Expeditions.
If you want to try out some beautiful kayaking spots in Texas, it’s worth checking them out!
5. Water Play at Kinder Lake
|Address:||1500 McKinney, Houston 77010|
|Facilities:||Park activities including kids play areas, putting greens, and bathroom facilities|
Suppose you’ve ever wanted to visit Discovery Green, a beautiful park in Houston. In that case, you can enjoy kayaking on Kinder Lake simultaneously.
There aren’t many facilities here in terms of actual kayaking. You hire the equipment, and the kayak ride is 15 minutes long. However, it’s a beautiful spot and an excellent way to view some of the wildlife living in the park.
Once you’re done with the kayaking, you can enjoy the many other activities available at Discovery Green, including play areas, putting greens, art exhibits, beautiful gardens, walking and running trails, stages for live shows, and more. It’s a great way to explore Houston, especially for families.
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6. Kayak Shack
|Address:||622 Marina Bay Dr. Kemah, TX 77565|
|Facilities:||Tours, bike parking|
Kayak Shack offers a range of kayaks for different age groups, with multiple kayaking tours depending on experience level. Located in Kemah, just outside of Houston, it’s an excellent place to go if you want to try somewhere slightly outside the city.
They have single and tandem kayaks and single and tandem kayaks for children to rent. They also rent paddleboards. They have three trails, the Beginners Tour, the Nature Tour, and the Island Tour. They vary in length and difficulty, and you can always ask staff for more information on which one is right for your group.
They also have a wide range of kayaks for sale, from inflatable kayaks to larger tandem kayaks. If you want to buy a kayak, the staff are very knowledgeable and will talk you through it.
7. Southwest Kayak Tours and Rentals
|Address:||2517 Nasa Pkwy Ste 7 Seabrook, TX 77586|
Southwest Kayak Tours and Rentals is affiliated with the American Sailing Association and Paddle America, offering kayak tours in beautiful Seabrook just outside of the city.
They were launched in 1988; the larger part of the business deals with sailing, with a sailing school run by qualified professionals. They also offer kayak tours and rentals with friendly, professional, and knowledgeable staff.
They call themselves ‘the oldest and most well-known kayaking facility in the Southwest’, with the tour guides and hosts having a combined experience of over 100 years.
If you really want to feel safe in the hands of experts, this is the place to be!
There isn’t much in the way of extra facilities here, and it’s worth calling ahead to see what you need to bring with you.
With so many gorgeous sights to see in Houston, we think it’s worth visiting all of these locations, especially if you’re a watersports enthusiast!
Want to keep exploring Houston? Read more of our guides, including the 13 Best Boutiques in Houston, TX [Ranked], the 7 Best Christmas Lights in Houston Worth a Visit, and the 8 Best Plant Nurseries Houston, Texas.