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Address: Off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, Channel Islands National Park, CA
Phone Number: +1 805-893-6431
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Activities: Whale watching, Viewing wildlife
Description: The waters that swirl around the five islands within the Channel Islands...
The waters that swirl around the five islands within the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary combine warm and cool currents to create an exceptional breeding ground for many species of plants and animals. Forests of giant kelp are home to numerous populations of fish and invertebrates. Every year over 27 species of whales and dolphins visit or inhabit the sanctuary, including the rare blue, humpback and sei whales. On the islands (which are part of the Channel Islands National Park), seabird colonies and pinniped rookeries flourish while overhead brown pelicans and Western gulls search the water for food. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is located 25 miles (22 nautical miles) off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. Visitors to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary can enjoy recreational opportunities such as tidepooling, diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
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Fun & educational

Nice boat ride (Island Packers) to the islands - we saw lots of dolphins, good hiking but plan accordingly - boats leave at certain times and no food or water on the island. There... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 25, 2015
UofA1
,
Arkansas

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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Denham Springs, Louisiana
Level Contributor
450 reviews
190 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

The visitor center is informational and educational with good interpretive and interactive displays. Really good for kids and adults, and the video is very good.

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Arkansas
Level Contributor
128 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015 NEW

Nice boat ride (Island Packers) to the islands - we saw lots of dolphins, good hiking but plan accordingly - boats leave at certain times and no food or water on the island. There is lots of overnight camping spots. You will learn about early ranching and sadly how the native American culture was destroyed.

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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
85 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2015

We took the ferry over to Santa cruz island (you can visit 5 of the islands) for the day and had a company (island packers) take us out sea cave kayaking then we had time to explore the island taking a hike above the beach and landing point for very pretty vistas. We saw the native island fox which are... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

liked the unique land and seascape; did not like the long boat ride and the wait at Scorpion Bay to return.

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Missouri
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

We took the island Packers shuttle to Santa Cruze Island where we hiked to Potato Harbor via Cavern point. We had plenty of time to do this hike and could have taken more time to stop and experience the scenery. The scenery was breathtaking! Even though the Channel Islands National Park is the least visited park, don't miss it! The... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bellevue, Washington, USA
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

We took the 10 am boat to Santa Cruz (had to be there at 9:15) and lingered on the one-hour crossing to watch the dolphins playing in our wake and then the 3 gray whales hanging out on the surface, blowing and diving We finally left them to get to the island about noon. Still had time to hike to... More 

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Dacula, Georgia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2015

Used Island Packers to cruise to Santa Cruz Island. The channel is teaming with marine life. We actually saw a Steller sea lion (normal seen further north along Oregon and Washington). Pods of dolphins swimming. Winter is migration for gray whales returning to Alaska with their young.

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NOAA-ONMS, Tourism and Recreation Coordinator at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, responded to this review

We're glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! More 

California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

Took a day trip to see the Santa Cruz Island (part of the 5 Channel Island). Booked tickets online with Island Packers (1691 Spinnaker Drive #105B, Ventura, Ca 93001 - Phone: 805-642-1393 Info@IslandPackers.com) and took their 9:00am ferry to Santa Cruz ($59 adult, awesome service, quick booking). We reached SCruz in about an hour and took a short hike with... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Montana
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014

Took the boat out to Santa Cruz Island in August. Beautiful day. Took a guided hike to a bay bordering the Nature Conservancy side of the island. Was disappointed we didn't have time to make it all the way to the bay but other than that we really enjoyed ourselves. The boats should leave earlier to accommodate the time it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Vail, CO
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

Taking a boat out to The Channel Island is a must do for all nature lovers. From sea birds, sea lions, seals, dolphins, whales and other marine life to the rare Island foxes This is a must stop when you are in the area.

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