One of California's little-known gems, Morro Bay is a coastal town with a small population of just 10,000 people. In recent years, as more and more people have discovered the beauty of Morro Bay and the surrounding area, this little town has become quite a popular vacation spot, playing host to many different outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

This area is particularly popular with nature lovers, with a whole section of the area being officially designated as a national bird sanctuary. In 2007, the area was also classed as a marine protected area, and many people like to visit Morro Bay to get in touch with nature and enjoy one of California's most pristine spots, with the likes of otters, sea lions, birds, and many different kinds of fish being easily spotted at all times of year. Things to Do in Morro Bay

With so much beautiful scenery and such a rich array of abundant wildlife to enjoy, it’s no surprise that kayaking at Morro Bay can be simply magical. For nature and animal lovers in particular, there are few kayaking spots in all of California that can rival Morro Bay. Various kayak rental and tour opportunities are available in the area and the waters can vary from relatively calm to more intense, perfectly suited for kayakers of all ages and ability levels.

Kayak Rentals and Tours at Morro Bay

When it comes to kayaking at Morro Bay, renting a kayak or heading out a guided or non-guided kayaking tour is very easy. There are plenty of different kayaking stores and tours operating all around the Morro Bay area, many of which are very highly rated. These kayaking companies often provide a wide array of kayaking equipment to suit every kind of kayaker, as well as offering advice and guidance to help you find the best routes and make the most of your Morro Bay kayaking adventures. Here are some of the top rated kayaking companies for you to contact in Morro Bay.

· Kayak Horizons - 551 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442 (805 772-6444)

Boasting one of the best locations of any Morro Bay kayak company, Kayak Horizons is located right down on the waterfront, just a few steps away from the water itself. Parking is free right outside so you can simply leave your car, grab yourself a kayak and take off for an exciting session of kayaking fun either by yourself or as part of a guided tour.

The location is perfect for several different kayaking tours, and the friendly staff working at Kayak Horizons will be only too happy to recommend some of their favorite routes and point out nearby landmarks and great wildlife encounter spots. If you want to enjoy some of the best rated kayak tours in Morro Bay and have the best chance of seeing some wild animals in their natural habitat, this is a great company to choose.

· A Kayak Shack - 10 State Park Rd, Morro Bay, CA 93442 (805 772-8796)

For kayak tours and rentals in Morro Bay, A Kayak Shack is a great place to stop off. This kayaking operator has actually partnered with the highly-rated Central Coast Outdoors company for guided tours around Morro Bay. Trained, experienced guides will lead the way and share fascinating facts about the local ecosystems, as well as pointing any interesting flora and fauna along the way including sea lions, seals, otters, and countless kinds of birds.

This is a great tour for families and is one of the best guided kayaking tour options in all of Morro Bay, but if you'd prefer to simply hire a kayak and head out on the waters by yourself, A Kayak Shack offers great rental rates on kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards, as well as providing life jackets and other useful accessories.

· Rock Kayak Co - 2175, 845 Embarcadero # 11, Morro Bay, CA 93442 (805 772-2906)

For kayak rentals at Morro Bay, you won't find better prices and value than Rock Kayak Co. This kayaking company offers single and double kayak rentals at great rates, as well as stand-up paddle boards too. Lessons are also provided free of charge and kayak tours around the Morro Bay area can be reserved by appointment only.

Renting a kayak at Morro Bay is a great way to take in the surrounding scenery and explore the area at your own pace, without the need to keep up with any schedules or groups. And if you do want to go down the kayak rental route, Rock Kayak Co is the name to choose.