In my opinion, Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California easily wins as the most likely coastline on Earth to inspire poetry. But landlubbers get only a small peek at the goods. The real magic of this 80-mile stretch is on the waters of Tomales Bay, where sea lions nudge your hull, and bioluminescent microbes can transform the waters into an Avatar-like wonder. Whatever shore in the West you choose, though, kayak camping is in certain ways easier than hauling a pack along a trail while still giving you access to otherwise inaccessible beaches. By day, you can paddle beneath water birds and above marine life. By night, you can sleep on a deserted stretch of sand that beats any rocky patch of dirt. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro. “Kayak camping is safe even for beginners,” says Dallas Smith, operations manager and guide at Blue Waters Kayaking in Point Reyes. Here’s your plan for getting out there.