Sheltered waters make it easy to paddle about a mile out from Calf Pasture Beach in East Norwalk, Connecticut, to visit the historic lighthouse on Sheffield Island or the bird sanctuary on Chimmon Island. Rent kayaks from Norwalk Sailing School (203-852-1857, norwalksailingschool.org) at the beach. On Cape Cod, you can avoid ocean currents altogether as you sneak up on Nauset Beach in Orleans through the shallows of Nauset Marsh. Rent a kayak from Goose Hummock Outdoor Center (508-255-2620, goose.com) and launch from its dock. On the way, you’ll see plenty of plovers and oystercatchers — and probably some human clam diggers.