Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Island Packers & Santa Barbara Adventure. While I was sponsored by Island Packers & Santa Barbara Adventure , all opinions are my own.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love to hike and find offbeat destinations. Well, discovering the Channel Islands was like finding my own personal heaven. Only a few hours boat ride from Santa Barbara in California are these incredible islands that seem so out of place, it makes you doubt if you are even in the U.S. Read on to find more details on this offbeat destination!
There are two options of getting to the Channel islands. Option 1 is by plane via Channel Islands Aviation. Option 2 is by boat with Island Packers. We opted to go with option two and take the boat ride with Island Packers, in order to check out some ocean wild life. Believe me, it was absolutely worth it. Due to high winds, the ocean stirred up a lot of fish and coming back from Santa Cruz Island, we were able to watch a rare feeding that attracted hundreds of dolphins and around 20 whales! It was one of the most unforgettable moments of our trip and I definitely recommend taking advantage of Island Packers whale watching tour.
What to do:
No matter which Island you choose to go to, hiking is a must! The panoramic views of the ocean and the rare and unique plants in the islands are spectacular to see. Being surrounded by nature and a worlds apart from mainland makes this hike even more special.
Sea Kayaking with the Santa Barbara Adventure Co should not be missed when visiting the Channel islands, the incredible wildlife will be nothing that you have seen before. Discover the cave that baby seals relax on, touch and even sample the kelp surrounding the islands. Then, experience the beauty of the island from a different perspective, a view that you will not be able to see if you are just on land. Make sure to reserve a sea kayaking tour with one of the incredible guides at Santa Barbara Adventure Co. It will be one of the highlights of your trip!
Where to Stay:
Camping in all five Islands are available all year round. However, Santa Barbara Island is currently closed due to damage from recent storms. Be sure to check the Channel Islands National Park site for updates.
Spots for each camp site is limited so book fast and make sure to reserve 1-2 months in advance. To reserve a spot visit recreation.gov. I recommend staying in one of the Islands for at least a night. Wake up early to see the Sunrise and make sure to enjoy the sunset. One of the highlights while staying over night is having the Island almost all to yourselves. All of the day trippers will be gone and you are in your own private island!
The Channel islands has been nicknamed the Galapagos of North America due to the isolation that has allowed wild life to evolve in the islands. This nickname is definitely well deserved, there are so much to do and see!
Have you been to the Channel Islands or planning to visit? Comment below and let me know!