On relatively still water, sit-on-top kayaks are immensely popular. They’re easy to manage, comfortable, and fun. A great example of this type of boat is the Perception Triumph 13.0 ($700). This is a lot of boat for the money. It’s based on a touring hull, so it tracks well and has lots of stability. Then it adds comfortable padded seats, a handy drink holder, bow and day hatches to store the stuff you need for a day-long excursion. And bow and stern handles make it easy to handle.
Sit-on-top kayaking is made for sociability, so take a look as well at the Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 ($890). It seats a pair for comfortable cruising on lakes, moderate swells, slow rivers. You can even fit in a child or a Golden Retriever. And it’s designed for easy paddling, good tracking, and reassuring stability.