Best Boating Destinations in California  

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California is known for its variety of views and places to explore. With numerous beaches, lakes and rivers, California is home to some unique and beautiful boating destinations. Whether you're planning a trip to California or are already in the area and are considering going boating, there are locations all over the state that will take your breath away.

Best Places to Go Boating in California

If you're visiting California for the first time, are a state resident or simply looking for new California boating destinations, we're here to help you find beautiful lakes, rivers and beaches that are perfect for boating. Before booking your trip, consider 10 of the best places to boat in California.

1. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in North America. This dazzling lake sits along the California and Nevada border and offers stunning mountain views that make for a great boating destination. With depths reaching 1,645 feet and covering an area of nearly 192 square miles, Lake Tahoe offers expansive space for boating enthusiasts to enjoy. 

Are you looking for a relaxing morning of kayaking or a fun-filled day of tubing, skiing and more with a bowrider, deck boat or another powerboat ideal for water sports? You can do either on Lake Tahoe. The unbeatable scenery, various lakeside marinas and potential for participating in numerous boating activities and water sports make Lake Tahoe one of the top places to take your boat in California. 

2. Shasta Lake

As California's largest reservoir, Shasta Lake is considered one of the best California boating destinations because of its crystal blue waters and mountain views. Numerous marinas and boat rental services allow everyone to enjoy a variety of boating activities. 

From bass boats to jet skis, you're likely to find hundreds of watercraft on Shasta Lake. Try your hand at waterskiing and wakeboarding or explore Shasta Lake's various coves via kayak. Because of the numerous types of water activities you can do at Shasta Lake, a fish 'n ski boat would be ideal since it offers a variety of capabilities.

3. Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake, located in Southern California, offers activities and experiences year-round. However, the summer season is your best chance of getting on the water because of the high elevation. With six marinas and several public launches, Big Bear Lake is one of the best places to take your boat in California. 

With six marinas and several public launches, Big Bear Lake is one of the best places to take your boat in California. 

Pontoon boats, jet skis and kayaks are popular on the lake, and people enjoy water activities like wakeboarding and tubing. If it's your first trip on the water, consider taking water sports lessons at one of Big Bear Lake's marinas.

4. Clear Lake

As California's largest freshwater lake, Clear Lake offers more than 68 square miles of water for boaters to enjoy. It also has plenty of public access areas, so you can launch your sailboat, deck boat or canoe. 

Explore the lake's 50 miles of water trails via kayak or get up on waterskis for a memorable day. Clear Lake even has strong winds for sailing, making it one of the top options for California boating destinations.

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5. Newport Beach

Newport Beach offers many ways to enjoy the water, from clean beaches to boardwalk restaurants. Whether you're boating in the country's largest harbor for small yachts or sailing out to deeper waters, there are plenty of sights to see — such as the various islands and coves around Newport Beach.

6. Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey has become a major destination for boating and other watersports, and it's home to thousands of boats ranging from cruisers to walkarounds. Surfing and jet skiing are among the most popular activities, though people come for everything from fishing to paddleboard yoga. Cruising around Marina del Rey may even give you the opportunity to spot ocean life like dolphins or sea lions.

Marina del Rey has become a major destination for boating and other watersports, and it's home to thousands of boats.

7. Mono Lake

If you're looking for a more relaxing boating day, check out Mono Lake. All types of boats are allowed, but skiffs, kayaks, canoes or paddleboards will give you the best opportunity to take in the unique ecology and scenery because they're low to the water and great in shallow water.

Mono Lake is endorheic, meaning it doesn't connect to the ocean. That makes the water very salty because there is no outlet for surrounding runoff. This results in unique calcium-carbonate columns in the lake, making it a destination you're sure to remember. 

8. The California Delta

The California Delta is made up of more than 700 miles of rivers, canals, estuaries and more. With endless ways to experience these waterways, the California Delta is truly a boater's paradise. Over 70 marinas and boat launches give boaters access to the waterways for activities like kayaking, jet skiing, fishing and sailing. 

Enjoy a variety of your favorite watersports or try something new. Whether you launch your own boat or use a rental, there are so many ways to explore what the California Delta has to offer. Pontoon boats or runabouts would be great for boating on the Delta because of the variety of options they offer.

9. Mission Bay

With 4,600 acres and 27 miles of shoreline, Mission Bay offers something for everyone. There are plenty of marinas and access points to take your own boat out on the water, but if you're looking for rentals, Mission Bay offers plenty of options. Additionally, if you're new to the boating world or are looking for something new to try, Mission Bay offers lessons and classes. From sailing and kite surfing to wakeboarding and tubing, you can enjoy any kind of watersport. Aside from watersport boats, bay boats are great vessels for this location.

10. Long Beach

Whether you're out to participate in a sailboat race or enjoy a new view of the coastline, there are numerous ways to enjoy Long Beach. You will find plenty of options for launching or renting boats and jet skis, so anyone can enjoy this hotspot for experiencing the Pacific Ocean. 

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Boating is one of the best ways to experience California's nature and wildlife. While having the option to rent watercraft is helpful for many, you may be looking for a boat of your own so you can enjoy the best boating lakes in California whenever you please. If you're looking to buy a boat and need finance options, get a boat loan from My Financing USA. Regardless of your credit score, our team will work with you to find the loan you want. 

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