Day Trips,  Hiking,  Kayaking,  Trail Review,  Weekend Adventures

Moss Landing

One of our favorite places to kayak is Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, CA. The Slough is home to tons of birds, otters, fish, and tons of other wildlife. There is so much to do in Moss Landing you can easily fill up an entire weekend. In this post we will take a dive into some of our favorite things to do in Moss Landing. Let’s go!



We have our own kayaks and we love getting out and exploring our local waterways. Taking a kayak tour of the slough is a must-do. You can bring your own kayak and pay $11 to park and drop in right on the beach the rental company uses. If you don’t have your own boats you can rent from the Kayak Connection or Monterey Bay Kayaks. Both companies offer tours, classes, and reasonable rental rates. Take your time to paddle through the slough and witness the many types of birds, groups of otters, and beautiful scenery.

Jakob trying to get the perfect shot of the super-cute otters.

Make sure you plan your meals and bathroom breaks accordingly as there is no stopping allowed in the slough. You will want to check the wind forecast and tidal information to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Whale Watching

The Monterey Bay is home to some of the best whale watching in the world. We love going out with Sea Goddess Whale Watching. There are a few things that make Sea Goddess the best. Whale watching out of Moss Landing is great because you head out straight into oncoming waves. There is not a large amount of side-to-side wave action. This is great for those of us who suffer from motion sickness. The boat is also the largest whale watching boat out of Moss Landing so you get stability and plenty of room.

Photo Credit: Sea Goddess Whale Watching

You can bring your own food and drinks on board. There are some drinks for sale on board if you get thirsty. The best part of going with Sea Goddess is that they guarantee whale sightings or you can go again for free!

Elkhorn Slough Safari

If kayaking is not your thing, and you still want to see the the slough you can take a ride on the Elkhorn Slough Safari.

Photo Credit:

Playful sea otters, curious harbor seals, boisterous sea lions, and hundreds of bird species abound as you explore one of California’s most spectacular wetlands aboard a stable, 27 foot, U.S. Coast Guard inspected pontoon boat.

We have not taken this tour but we have seen them in the slough and they provide a smooth, informative tour and are always friendly! This is a great way to experience Elkhorn Slough if you are unable to kayak.


If you are looking to take in the slough from land there are some great trails for you to check out! Head over to the Elkhorn Slough Visitor Center to find the trailheads.

The trails provide nice views of the slough. You can head down to the bridge and get a chance to see baby rays and leopard sharks. There are plenty of overlooks and beautiful viewpoints. The visitor center has plenty of picnic tables so bring a lunch! The trails are hard packed gravel and provide a solid surface when dry. In the wetter months the gravel trails may become muddy so keep that in mind. The trails are not wheelchair/stroller friendly unless you have some suspension and good tires. The wind can be pretty strong so dress in layers!

Elkhorn Slough Visitor Center

The Elkhorn Slough Visitor Center is an awesome spot even if you don’t go for a hike. The Visitor is a wealth of information about the slough and the surrounding area. This is a great place for kids with some really cool learning installations. There is a small gift shop with some books, apparel, and toys. We are big fans of this place.


Phils Fish Market

Arguably one of the best restaurants in Moss Landing, Phils is the quintessential seafood place. The food is great, the prices are a bit high, and the parking is limited but it is worth a visit at least once.

Located in the heart of Moss Landing, Phil’s Fish Market is a locally owned family business. We have been serving the finest local & sustainable seafood available for over 30 years. We were named #1 Best Beach Restaurant by BBC Travel, featured on Food Network and have been written up several times in Sunset magazine and many other magazines and newspapers. We now freshly prepare and flash freeze our most popular dishes to serve those that can’t make it to the Monterey Bay.

We love the calamari and the fish & chips however, you really cant go wrong with anything you order! A walk down the side of the restaurant will take you to the beach, which is a great place to watch a sunset!

The Whole Enchilada

If you are craving some Mexican food, look no further! The Whole Enchilada is a chill little spot with great food, a fun atmosphere, and reasonable prices.

Enjoy Coastal Cuisine. The Whole Enchilada is an upbeat restaurant with a harbor view specializing in fresh seafood from the Monterey Bay.

Phil’s Snack Shack

If you are looking for a quick sandwich, bowl of chowder, or a burrito check out Phil’s Snack Shack. The food is tasty and affordable. We were able to find something for everyone, not break the bank, and find a chill little spot outside to eat.

Located in the heart of Moss Landing, Phil’s Shack is a locally owned family business. We have not yet had the BBC and Food Network awards and acclaim that put Phil’s Fish Market on the food map. However, we at the Shack focus our energy on making mouth watering sandwiches, some of the best burritos, and we are now featuring healthy V8 V-Fusion Smoothies. The Shack is the perfect place to show up in flip flops and shorts and enjoy an amazing calamari sandwich along with a bold Greek coffee.
Easily accessible parking at Phil’s Snack Shack

Moss Landing is a great destination for a weekend trip, but it makes for an awesome day trip as well. There is so much to see and do. You can stay in the RV campground or find lodging nearby in Watsonville, or the Monterey area. Please remember that this is a marine sanctuary and be mindful of your trash! Remember Pack it in, Pack it Out. Leave no trace!

These are just a few of our favorite things in Moss Landing. There is plenty more to do! Leave a comment below, or hit up using our contact page, if you want more info on Moss Landing.

Get Up, Get Out, and Create an Adventure!

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