Russian River Kayaking – California

IMG_1643_editedKayaking down the Russian River in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Saturday was a perfect day to spend in Nor Cal.  I sat in the front of the kayak with my eyes closed and felt the cool gentle breeze blow against my face.  I felt the warmth of the sun on my skin – the sound of the water, birds, I took life in.  I tend to do that when I’m on vacation, traveling brings out a whole different side of me, I become more peaceful, relaxed, and appreciative.  A little confession – I’ve gotten tired of seeing the same boring things, I’ve had it!  So being home in California where I took nearly everything for granted, well, I’m going to enjoy it to its fullest!

Dad planned an awesome two hour trip kayaking through River’s Edge.  You can rent a canoe or a kayak – I’d say go the kayak route.

IMG_1669_editedTank: Alexander Wang / Pants: Forever21 (similar, love these) / Shoes: Puma H-Street (in black) / Hat: J.Crew


What a view for a Saturday, eh?  These photos don’t do it justice, I swear to you it was just as lovely as can be.

Hey, mom and dad!


While we were too busy smiling for a selfie…


Just like that, mom and dad passed us!  Look at them go!


I did row, just a little – for this photo.

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This is when I laid back, eyes closed, and thanked God I was back home.  And that little bit of skin exposed created the most awesome ankle tan which compliments my South of France boat tan.

I thought this looked like an Abercrombie ad, these young boys in this metal canoe.

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You had to row a bit before you got headwind downstream which would make it a bit difficult if you didn’t make it back before 3 pm – the river closes at 5:30.  The person in back is the captain and steers the kayak, while the one up front is…sitting pretty?


There are parts where you must get out and drag your canoe or kayak across because the water is too shallow.  Mr. Wonderful helped my mom and dad.  We tried to pull the kayak while I was still sitting in it but I suppose even in one inch of water that doesn’t work, and I’m not that light so I had to hop out and get my feet wet.


Then I said, “Let’s take pictures!”

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Then we hopped back into our kayaks and kept rowing.


To when we saw the finish line, the bridge!  I love this photo.


If you decide to go tips:

  • The water is shallow, you will most likely be able to stand if you fell in – only some parts are a bit deeper but if you know how to swim, you’ll be fine.
  • There’s little chance you’ll flip unless you run right into a tree at a turn – they tell you to put your weight forward so you don’t tip.  It works.
  • Wear sunblock all over your legs or long pants like I did – dad and Benjamin got burned on their knees. Remember you will be out there for 2 hours!
  • It’s not as hard or bad as you think, super relaxed.  Of course, I didn’t do much work, haha!
  • The Russian River is class one which means, it’s weak sauce, and you can handle it!

Diana Elizabeth’s dad loves to plan adventurous activities, he’s quite active.  He also joked Benjamin went too fast that he felt obligated to catch up and afterwards he was super sore!

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.

1 Comment

  • Billy

    Thanks so much for your information on kayaking the Russian River! I definitely want to try this out myself – have you gone again or do you have any plans on going again? I’d love to go on a kayak tour with my family either in Sonoma or Napa.


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