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Santa Cruz Island

Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands National Park, CA
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Type: Islands
Activities: Kayaking, Camping
Description: Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, this island is a popular place for kayaking and exploring sea caves.
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80 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Cos Cob, Connecticut, United States
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
28 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

Our trip with Aquasports allowed us to do a few amazing things in one day. On the boat ride over and back we saw humpback whales. They were very close and we saw a couple of breaches (when they jump out of the water). The best part of the trip was kayaking into the sea caves. There are many where... More

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Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

We went for a day trip to the island on our kids' spring break. The 1.5 hour boat to the island was pretty bumpy, and my 5 year old son had a tough time, but the hike after that was great. We hiked to potato harbor from scorpion ranch, coming back the coast trail. The weather was perfect and the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
leftcoast
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Like stepping back in time 100 years. See how coastal California looked before the introduction of exotic plants. Great place for kayaking, sea caves and rocky inlets abound; check the weather before going. Take an Island Packers boat out of Ventura Harbor. They also rent the kayaks. Pack a picnic lunch and take a hike on the beautiful coastline. Summer... More

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Yucaipa, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

It's NOT Catalina Island so please don't go if you can't handle a desolate island. Trip out: You must make reservations with Island Packers who has a monopoly on public boating transportation services to the channel islands. On the way out, Captain Dave took a 10-15 minute detour so the passengers could see gray whales, dolphins and seals which was... More

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Sudbury, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
17 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

Went out to the Scorpion entrance in the morning and spent the day hiking before the boat ride back to the mainland. You must take all your own food and drinks. The views are beautiful. We hiked out to potato cove; good view from the top. Saw lots of dolphins on the ride there and back. The only disappointment was... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Saugus, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

We had such a great time. The ride over was a little choppy, but didn't bother us. The weather was beautiful for Valentine's day. We took the carvern point trail clockwise. There is a moderate grade in the begining, but then it is flat or downhill. The views from the cliffs and the beach were beautiful. So serene and unspoiled.... More

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Anaheim
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We went for an afternoon of hiking and drinking in the scenery. We weren't disappointed! We arrived in the Scorpion entrance. The 'ranch' was a little disappointing but the views were the reason we were there and it was beautiful. We took the Cavern Point hike with a volunteer guide named Carol. She was enthusiastic and informative and gave us... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

I have wanted to visit the Channel Islands for years. This August I finally made it. And now, I know I have to go back. We did an all-day trip to Santa Cruz Island via the Channel Island outfitters concession (which runs very smoothly). On the boat ride out, we saw seals hanging out on buoys, jostling each other for... More

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Richmond, Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

This is a very unique and isolated national park. The only way on any of the islands is by a park concession. This turned out to be a great experience. The boat was modern and run by a five-person crew who made themselves available to answer questions and help with any problems. This trip included a sixth-grade group (52!) that... More

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San Diego, California, United States
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

I'd long meant to visit the Channel Islands, and so when I was going to be in the area, I made a point of going. Sadly, I could only go for half a day (boat left at noon, and I returned at 5), but that was enough time to get a general impression. I followed a loop to Potato Harbor... More

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