The name itself is a Spanish byword for “earthly paradise,” and for hundreds of years it has had an irresistible to attraction to those seeking fame, fortune, or a fresh start. We’re talking about California, of course, but you don’t have to be a gold panner or an aspiring movie star to feel at home in the Golden State–in fact, there are few better things to be than a sailor.
Why sail in California?
California is larger than many countries, so there’s an incredible variety to the landscape and weather. You’ve got the rugged beauty of NorCal, the greenery of the Central Coast, and the surfer’s paradise of the south, just to name a few. No matter what kind of sailing you’re into, there’s bound to be a spot to satisfy your needs. Not to mention the fact that, thanks to the famously clement weather, sailing season goes year round!
Where can you sail in California?
With 840 miles of coastline, and countless lakes and rivers, there aren’t many places you can’t sail. Even so, a few locales stand out for their scenery, conditions, and sailing heritage.
- San Francisco Bay: The granddaddy of them all. From the Golden Gate Bridge, to Alcatraz, to the fog, it doesn’t get any better than this. Challenging conditions and strong winds make the bay not only a great place to learn, but a sailing ground that never gets old.
- Catalina Island/Santa Monica Bay: You want sunshine? We got sunshine. Sailing season never ends off the coast of L.A. The 26 mile sail from the mainland to Catalina is not to be missed–which is why ASA hosts a yearly flotilla there!
- Morro Bay: The ultimate in central coast beauty. Rugged, green, and full of sea lions!
- Lake Tahoe: Cobalt blue water high in the Sierra Nevadas! One of the world’s most stunning lakes.
- San Diego Bay: Perfect weather year round. A huge sailing community. What’s not to like?
- California’s Channel Islands are a national park only accessible by water
That list is just a place to start! There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of other ways to sail California.
Learn to sail in California
With nearly 50 ASA affiliated sailing schools in California, there is no shortage of options. Check out our directory of schools to find the one closest to you.