The oppressive summer heat in Houston has many people exploring ways to cool off. Jumping into the water at one of the 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.
Kayaking in Houston
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.
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 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
- HOLIDAY HOURS:
- OPEN July 4th, Labor Day, and the Friday after Thanksgiving
- CLOSED Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve
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
Please note: Kayak rentals at Discovery Green are currently closed, due to COVID, but will hopefully reopen soon!
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 for an extra $5.
$5 for 15 minutes
This location for kayaking in Houston is currently closed.
Lake Conroe spans 21,000 acres and is a great destination for boating of all kinds. If you’re looking for kayaking, here are a few outfitters that rent kayaks on the lake.
North Lake Conroe Paddling Company is a reservation-only outfitter renting a variety of sit on top kayaks. Sit on top kayaks are great for people who want to get in and out while on the water, so you can enjoy swimming in Lake Conroe, too.
Kayakers are provided with life vests and a map, and can paddle a variety of different routes, from exploring nearby creeks to paddling over to the Sam Houston National Forest. NLCPC employees help launch your kayak for you from a grassy beach, which makes it easy for you to get in.
Children can paddle too, with youth kayaks available for rent. Dry boxes are provided for keys, phones, etc. NLCPC is located on a part of Lake Conroe away from motor boat traffic, so you can have a peaceful kayak experience.
Pricing provided is for two hour rentals.
|3rd hour||4th hour||5th hour|
|Touring||$ 29.99||plus $10.00||plus $7.50||plus $5.00|
|Recreation||$ 29.99||plus $10.00||plus $7.50||plus $5.00|
|Youth/kids||$ 24.99||plus $7.50||plus $5.00||plus $5.00|
|Tandem kayak||$ 44.99||plus $15.00||plus $10.00||plus $7.50|
|Three (3) hour rentals||4th hour||5th hour||6th hour|
|“Loaded” fishing yaks||$ 49.99||*||plus $15.00||plus $7.50||plus $10.00|
By reservation only. Call ahead with reasonable notice to secure a reservation.
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.
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.
- $25 for one hour
- $40 for up to three hours
Closed Mondays. Call ahead to reserve.
Currently closed due to COVID
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 is one of many state parks that offer boat rentals. While the boat rentals through the park are closed due to COVID, Paddle EZ self service rentals are still renting kayaks and paddle boards.
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.
There are a number of places to rent a kayak in Galveston.
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 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.
- Daily: $40.00
- 24 hrs: $49.00
- 2 day: $89.00
- 3 day: $110.00
- 7 day: $175.00
- 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
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!