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“An amazing night adventure!!”
Review of Moonlight Kayaking

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Moonlight Kayaking
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An amazing night adventure!!”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

This was definitely a must do!! So much fun, beautiful scenery, & a knowledgeable & helpful guide!! We had a great time!! I would recommend it to anyone; young or old.

1 Thank utah7400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Irvine, California
1 review
“Great way to unwind after a busy week”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

This is the perfect end to a hectic week! We left the Newport Aquatic Center around 7pm on Friday night and paddled into the sunset. Our guide, Danny, took us past sandstone cliffs and across the mirror-calm waters of the Back Bay, stopping periodically to tell us about some of the geological features of the land and also some of the local history. Those who wanted to go at a faster pace were able to do so and those who wanted a more leisurely pace could do that too, so no one felt left out. This is a great trip for anyone who wants to really experience California coast.

Visited August 2012
Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fun, Relaxing Evening on the Water”
Reviewed October 12, 2011

What a great way to spend a Saturday night! Grab a couple of friends and set out for a new adventure. I went Moonlight kayaking with my husband and another couple, and none of us had ever been kayaking before, much less in the moonlight. It was so fun and easy, and the guides were great as we navigated the waters around the back bay, Harbor Island and Balboa Island. We stopped to rest frequently which was great for those of us with very little upper body strength, and we stopped on Balboa Island for a coffee, frozen banana or a cocktail halfway through. Even though I live in Newport, I felt transported to another place, as we paddled under bridges and by houses on the water it felt like Venice in the moonlight. I am definitely going to do this again, especially for the holidays when you can see all of the holiday lights around the harbor. Great experience!

Visited October 2011
5 Thank gladys8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2011

We kayaked under the shimmering full moon with expert guide, Danny Hough. The evening begins with a gourmet picnic, then set out into the pink layers of a setting sun over the glassy waters of the Balboa Back Bay in Newport Beach. It's an easy paddle, even for first-timers, and passes through a magnificent bird estuary, over Amsterdam-like canals lined with the quaint and stunning homes on Balboa's Islands. The area's wild life and sites can include birds, sea lions, dolphins and more. We were lucky because no one had to get back, so Danny extended the evening by stopping for hot chocolate or frozen banana on the island. Then we paddled back under tranquil golden moonlit waters.

I believe Danny also privately guides couples and does the picnic also by moonlight - by request. He also does parties.

Weak/concerned/younger or older (we had a 1st-time woman who was 85!) go out on the larger, even more steady, Hawaiian outrigger canoes. Kids 8+ are welcome and some take kayaks, others go in the big canoes. My family LOVED this and called it the highlight of their entire trip. We saw dolphins which was a lovely surprise.

The picnic is optional and I thought it was well-worth the $10. (They had candle light, real silverware and glasses, a gourmet, sandwich, salad, cookie or brownie and beverages – all from a French baker. Even the bread was hand-made.). We brought a bottle of wine. There was one cute couple that wore a backpack and pulled out little cups and a bottle of champagne on the kayak to celebrate their anniversary. (They must've sipped at the breaks because when you are paddling, you are not sipping!)

Last winter we also did the Holiday Lights Paddle, which goes out on the Hawaiian Outrigger Canoes where you sit up higher, so it's warmer. That time we stopped for hot chocolate on Balboa Island and also at a house that was particularly decked-out for the holidays with a snow machine and lights I've never seen before. All of the boats are decorated for the local holiday boat parade and the reflection of all of the lights on the water is really pretty. We saw sea lions too, which was fun. What surprised me most about both paddles was how WARM it was on the water compared to the temperature of where we docked from. Even in November when we were literally shivering in snow caps and heavy jackets – we were told to leave some of it in our vehicle because we would be too warm once we got moving and on the water. Reluctantly, we did, and ended up stripping down to just a windbreaker, leggings and T-shirt. ON the water, somehow, it was an entirely warmer temperature.
With the help of the other guides (who are also close at hand on the water if you need anything), we buckled our seats into own kayaks, grabbed our paddles and then got instruction on technique. We were warned that men tend to flip and get totally soaked almost as soon as they got on the water (they let them change clothes and start again). We were told that the kayaks are tippy and men don't use their core, and tend to flip and get wet. Men should be warned not to muscle anything, and remember, they're top-heavy which doesn't help. Both times I did these paddles I also saw people in body types of ALL sizes and non-athletes. And everyone enjoyed themselves and did just fine.

Danny Hough is this very gentle, happy-go-lucky, kind (and easy to look at) guide, and we tipped him 20% ($8) for every person in our group, both times but it is not required. I noticed other people tipped him too however.

You can find more information on Danny's Meetup.com page.

You can also see more photos there, and on Facebook. Just Google:
"Paddle with Danny Hough (Moonlight Kayak, Outrigger & more)" and "LIKE" his page.

The Newport Beach Aquatic Center website also has more information. Call them for the website for summer Moonlight Paddling and winter Holiday Lights Paddling. (Danny also teaches private and group lessons.)

Reservations are required.
Kayaks launch promptly at 7:15
I recommend you arrive an hour early to get your life jacket, glow stick & review of how to paddle most efficiently.
This evening can run late. If you have to get back by 9:30 for kids or something - tell Danny in advance. Expect to finish at 10pm, but you may get in by 9:15, 9:30pm

They say all levels (1st-timers, novice and experts) are welcome, and it's an easy paddle but, if you get winded walking up a flight of stairs -- this probably isn't for you.

What to wear:
FYI: Even on COLD winter evenings, we found it to be WARM once you're on the water.

• Hat (I wore a baseball cap just recently in July, and a very thin fleece one for the holiday paddle)

• Cropped leggings or longer surf shorts (your knees may get dripped on if you're in the kayak - less likely in the canoes, which some people requested)

• T-shirt, or an athletic wicking/poly-T

• Windbreaker or LIGHT jacket (I wore one with no lining, and just a regular, short sleeve T-shirt underneath and I was hot - ended up unzipping it)

• Flip-flops or any shoe that can get dripped on or get wet

• Small dry bag (if you know what that is and have one)

• Cash to tip your guide and for hot chocolate/frozen bananas etc. (yum)

• Headlamp (if you have one)

• An entire set of dry clothes & shoes to change into after (underwear, shoes -- everything)
Dress in layers. There are showers and lockers for changing after.

Needless to say I loved this event and while I'm not a "kayaker" I really enjoyed it.
You can get a little workout in if you want, or you an just chill and glide on the glassy water. It's a beautiful nighttime event.

Visited July 2011
12 Thank jonze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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