Kayaking in Houston - Lake Livingston State Park

13 Best Places To Go Kayaking in Houston & Nearby

The oppressive summer heat in Houston has many people exploring ways to cool off. Jumping into the water at one of the numerous Houston area swimming holes is one option, but kayaking in Houston is another. If you love kayaking, you’ll be happy to know that there are more than a few places to go kayaking in Houston. At these locations, you can either bring your own kayak, or rent one.

Kayaking in Houston

Sugar Land Memorial Park

The newest location to offer kayaking in Houston is Sugar Land Memorial Park, in Sugar Land. Their self-service kayak rental facility makes it simple and easy to rent a kayak and enjoy the lake.


  • Single Kayak
  • $20/hr for the first hour. $5/hr for each additional hour
  • Tandem Kayak
  • $25/hr for the first hour. $5/hr for each additional hour


Saturday & Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM

Lake Woodlands

Lake Woodlands is an expansive urban lake, surrounded by trees. The lake is in close proximity to Market Street and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. You can find affordable kayak rentals at two locations, making this a great option for kayaking in Houston.

Riva Row Boathouse

The Riva Row Boathouse allows you to rent kayaks, paddle boards, swan boats, and water bikes. They require a valid ID to rent, and include lifejackets so no need to bring your own.

  • Single Kayak: $15 for the first hour.
  • Tandem Kayak: $20 for the first hour.
  • Single Pedal Kayak: $25 for first hour. 
  • Tandem Pedal Kayak: $30 for first hour.
  • Paddleboards: $20 for the first hour.
  • Swan Boats: $25 for the first hour.
  • Water Bikes: $25 for the first hour.
  • May 6 to August 11: 9 a.m. to sunset (Last Call: 7 p.m.)  | Closed Wednesdays
  • August 12 – December 31: 9 a.m. to sunset (Last Call: 1 hour before sunset) | Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • HOLIDAY HOURS – CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

Lakes Edge Boat House

Lakes Edge Boat House is the newest boat rental facility on Lake Woodlands, offering kayak and paddle board rentals.

  • Single Kayak: $15 for the first hour
  • Tandem Kayak: $20 for the first hour
  • Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP): $20 for the first hour
  • Each Additional Hour: $5 per boat
  • July 3 – August 9: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Last call 7 p.m.)  Closed Tuesdays
  • August 10 – December 31: 9 a.m. to sunset (Last Call: 1 Hour before sunset)  Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
    • OPEN July 4th, Labor Day, and the Friday after Thanksgiving
    • CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve

Buffalo Bayou

Probably the most popular spot for kayaking in Houston, this 26-mile stretch from the heart of downtown to the west side of the city offers multiple access points if you have your own kayak. If you are looking to rent, you can do so via Bayou City Adventures. Rentals include life jackets and paddles.

Bayou City Adventures also offers kayaking and stand up paddle board lessons.

  • Single Kayak $30
  • Tandem Kayak $40
  • Tandem Canoe $45
  • Shuttle $20 per boat
  • Opens 10 AM. Last boat leaves 6 PM
  • Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only

Discovery Green

Discovery Green is another popular spot for kayaking in Houston. Kinder Lake offers a few different activities; you can rent remote control sailboats, but if you prefer to be in the water yourself, you can rent kayaks for a short kayak ride around the lake. Discovery Green kayak rentals are also run by Bayou City Adventures. These kayaks can hold up to three passengers, and if you have kids, they can even go with a guide.


$5 for 15 minutes


This location for kayaking in Houston is currently closed.

Lake Conroe

Lake Conroe spans 21,000 acres and is a great destination for boating of all kinds. If you’re looking for kayaking, here are a few outfitters that rent kayaks on the lake.

North Lake Conroe Paddling Company

North Lake Conroe Paddling Company is a reservation-only outfitter renting a variety of sit on top kayaks. Sit on top kayaks are great for people who want to get in and out while on the water, so you can enjoy swimming in Lake Conroe, too.

Kayakers are provided with life vests and a map, and can paddle a variety of different routes, from exploring nearby creeks to paddling over to the Sam Houston National Forest. NLCPC employees help launch your kayak for you from a grassy beach, which makes it easy for you to get in.

Children can paddle too, with youth kayaks available for rent. Dry boxes are provided for keys, phones, etc. NLCPC is located on a part of Lake Conroe away from motor boat traffic, so you can have a peaceful kayak experience.


Pricing provided is for two hour rentals.

   3rd hour4th hour5th hour
Touring   $ 29.99 plus $10.00plus $7.50plus $5.00
Recreation  $ 29.99 plus $10.00plus $7.50plus $5.00
Youth/kids  $ 24.99 plus $7.50plus $5.00plus $5.00
Tandem kayak$ 44.99 plus $15.00plus $10.00plus $7.50
 Three (3) hour rentals  4th hour5th hour6th hour
“Loaded” fishing yaks   $ 49.99*plus $15.00plus $7.50plus $10.00

By reservation only. Call ahead with reasonable notice to secure a reservation.

1097 Watersports

1097 Watersports rents pontoons, jet skis, party boats, kayaks, paddle boards and canoes. Advance reservations are required and can be made via their online system.

  • Single Kayak – $22/ hour
  • Tandem Kayak – $29/hour
  • Canoe – $29/hour
  • Paddle Board – $29/hour

By reservation only. Reserve online.

Kemah via Kayak Shack

Kayak Shack offers fun and safe paddling for all experience levels. They rent kayaks and paddle boards. If you’re new to paddling, just let them know and they’ll give you a free beginner’s lesson.

Waterproof cases for your phone/keys are available for rent and sale.


All equipment

  • $25 for one hour
  • $40 for up to three hours


Closed Mondays. Call ahead to reserve.

Taylor Lake via Pinky’s Kayak Rentals

Taylor Lake is a lake near Clear Lake, just southeast of Houston. You can rent single kayaks, tandem kayaks, and paddle boards at Pinky’s Kayak Rentals.

They also offer self-guided tours on Armand Bayou. An air conditioned shuttle will take you to the launch point, and from there you’ll kayak on back to their base. Check their site for pricing


  • Tandem Kayak – $30 first hour, $15 each additional
  • Single Kayak – $25 first hour, $10 each additional
  • Stand Up Paddle Boards – $25/first hour, $10 each additional


Please check back once they reopen

Lake Livingston State Park via Paddle EZ

Lake Livingston State Park is one of many state parks that offer boat rentals. You can opt to rent through the park visitor center, or book a kayak or paddleboard online via Paddle EZ.

Simply go to their website and select your time. You’ll get a code that will give you access to a locker. Inside, you’ll find life vests, and opening the locker will also free your boat.

Getting out into the lake can be a bit tricky due to all the logs in the water, but there is a beach entry with shallow water.

You must purchase a day pass to enter the park ($5 per person for ages 13 and up). You can do so here.




6 AM – 6 PM, advance registration required.

Kayaking in Houston - Lake Livingston State Park
Kayaking in Houston-area Lake Livingston

Huntsville State Park

Huntsville State Park also offers self-service kayak rentals near Raven Lodge.


There are a number of places to rent a kayak in Galveston.

Finney Boat Rentals

Finney Boat Rentals rents a variety of motorized boats, jet skis, tubes, water slides, and kayaks.


They offer a 5% discount for teachers, military and first responders.

  • Fishing Kayaks – $25 first hour, $10 each additional hour
  • Leisure Kayaks – $25 first hour, $10 each additional hour

Advance reservation required

Galveston Kayak Outfitters

Galveston Kayak Outfitters rents single and tandem kayaks by the day, or for multiple days. They offer free delivery to anywhere on Galveston Island. You can also make a reservation to launch from Galveston State Park and they’ll meet you there with your kayak.

Rentals include kayak, life vest, paddles, and free delivery on the island.


Single Kayak

  • Daily: $40.00
  • 24 hrs: $49.00
  • 2 day: $89.00
  • 3 day: $110.00
  • 7 day: $175.00

Double Kayak

  • Daily: $55.00
  • 24 hrs: $70.00
  • 2 day: 125.00
  • 3 day: $145.00
  • 7 day: $215.00

Sunrise/Sunset guided tours (3 hours): $40/pp


Advance registration required

Artist Boat

Artist Boat is a not-for-profit that offers ‘inspiration and education through coastal adventures.’ They offer guided kayaking tours that include a stop to sit and enjoy a watercolor demonstration and some painting time.


$75 for three- and four-hour Adventures. Includes stop for watercolor demonstration and painting

Age Policy

  • Children must be at least 7 years old to participate in a 3-4 hour adventure, and 5 years old to participate in a 2 hour adventure.
  • If children are under 50 pounds you must provide a Coast Guard Certified Personal Flotation Device.
  • Adults with young children should expect to do all of the paddling.
  • An adult from the same party is required in the kayak with each child under 13 years of age.
  • Children 16 years or older may attend without an adult present as long as a parent or guardian signs the waiver and medical release.

Lake Longhorn

Lake Longhorn is a scuba diving spot just 35 minutes from downtown Houston that offers stand up paddle boards and kayak rentals, as well.


Entry is $15 per person. SUPs and Kayaks are $15/hr.


Mon – Sunday: 9am – 6:30pm

Have you gone kayaking in Houston recently? Which of these spots has been your favorite place to go kayaking in Houston? Let us know in the comments!

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