Explore the local flora and fauna via kayak
You’ve probably seen the brave kayakers under the Golden Gate Bridge and thought about how epic that would be, but you’ve never quite mustered up the courage. Now’s the time. Sign up for a Sea Trek tour under the bridge or even paddle out to Angel Island. They promise that no experience is necessary, but if that makes you nervous take a class first. There are so many different kayak offerings: paddle a moonlight kayak tour, take a trip to Muir Beach, or visit the Elkhorn Slough wildlife up close. You don’t even have to do an organized outing, if people aren’t your thing. Just rent a kayak and paddle on your own around Tomales Bay, along the city shoreline by AT&T Park, or down in Half Moon Bay.
Learn how to row (and get super fit in the process)
Yeah, if kayaking and sailing seem intimidating, then rowing might feel downright terrifying. It really doesn’t have to be scary, though: nobody’s expecting you to start out like an Olympian. Both the Dolphin Club and the South End Rowing Club have been home to local rowers (... OK, and some Olympians) since they were founded in the late 1800s. While you have to be a member to use the fleet of boats or the facilities at Aquatic Park, there are public events and clinics for newbies to try out the old-school row boats. You can even start out rowing at Lake Merced in the city, or try your skills on Corte Madera Creek with Marin Rowing.