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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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96 reviews from our community

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English first
Lake Forest, California
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
71 attraction reviews
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

Take the ferry to Santa Cruz Island and it's your for the day. They go through great lengths to keep the Channel Islands in its natural condition. You can snorkel in the cleanest, clearest water in California (although it is a bit chilly), hike, or sign up with Channel Island Outfitters and kayak in the sea caves for a totally... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

Why have I never heard of this place! Amazing! Short trip 1 hour boat ride, its not at all what I expected it to be. Everything is easy from the time you book (online) to the minute you step on the island. We camped at Scorpion for 3 days and we hiked and snorkeled all day long. The ocean is... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Manhattan Beach, CA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

we went in July and the waters were fantastic. pristine kelp forests, shallow waters, not too many people. I saw different types of fish, a leopard shark, a rare blue shark, an eel, a large crab and lobster, seals, and other underwater animals. the water is clear(great for photography). The only issue is that the water was in th lower... More

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San Juan Capistrano, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

I wanted to take my teenaged grandkids on an adventure that didn't involve electronics, and asked my son to come along for the paddle. I chose to do some sea kayaking in the Channel Islands, and I'm so glad that I did! We camped overnight because I was unsure of the timing on the kayaking and the boat back to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

I've wanted to go to the Channel Islands for years now, and we finally made the trip. We took a ferry with Island Packers from Ventura. I love boats and being on the water, so the ride over there was really fun. We saw Risso's dolphins, and evidently that's really rare for this area. One thing I'll do differently next... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

The boatride was wonderful with views of both the mainland and islands. On the island we had an hour guided hike with one if the parks very nice and knowledgeable volunteers. The island itself was very bare which made the hike less interesting. We did see wild fox on the island and dolphins from the boat.

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
35 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

To get a campsite on the Channel Islands, go to www.recreation.gov then arrange your ferry trip through Island Packers. We departed Ventura at 8 am and our return ferry was at 4pm. It is an easy walk from the pier to the campsites but there are a few handcarts if you must bring lots of gear. Sites are in a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

This was a great island to see! We did the hike to potato harbour and it was perfect. There are breathtaking views along the way. This whole hike was along the coast . Just a heads up, once you go up, there are zero trees. So make sure you are well protected from the sun and have enough water!

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Calabasas, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Loved this island. We kayaked, swam, snorkeled, and hiked. The campground is fantastic but they have pit toilets only :( The foxes are little buggers and will get into everything so bring your items in storage bins or coolers that can lock. Throughly recommend Channel Island Outfitters ( J.D. the guide) for the kayaking and snorkeling.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Sunnyvale, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

I'm so glad we visited Santa Cruz Island. We took the boat out from Ventura Harbor and had a fairly smooth crossing (glad I took Bonine, though), highlighted by sighting a pod of dolphins! Once at Scorpion Bay, we stowed our lunch in the "fox-proof" lockers and took off for a hike to Potato Harbor (gorgeous!) and Cavern Point -... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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