Whale Watching in Southern California & Hiking on the Channel Islands

Who knew there was such a beautiful getaway island that you could visit with your family in Ventura, California?!?!! Check out IslandPackers.com they have a spacious vessel that is exclusively permitted (by the Coast Guard) to take passengers to Channel Islands National Park. Let’s take a hike!

ventura ca - channel islands

The Island Packer were so awesome, they hosted us for the day trip to the island. Their boat has a cool snack bar filled with chips, drinks, fruit, burgers, and even a little wine. It’s got plenty of space to fit a few friends in a table bench nook, or keep it intimate with a mini table for two. The entire boat has enough seats to fit 40-50 people, which includes the upper deck. I highly recommend that you place a reservation at least 3 days before you plan your island trip. With the Spring coming up, it’s better to save your seat than to be lucked out.

island packers

There is sooo much to share about the beautiful Ventura Harbor Village, that I can’t even share it all with just one trip to the breezy town. We arrived to check-in at 8:15 am and boarded to leave by 9am. We all had quite a bit of wiggle room.

Check-in 8:15am
Leave harbor 9am
Arrive at Santa Cruz Island 10am

Depart the Santa Cruz Island 4pm
Arrive at the Ventura Harbor Village 5pm

We got to enjoy some beautiful dolphins jumping and swimming through the ocean, there were only 2 whale sightings, still sooo awesome! Mind that we only actively searched for whales during the 15-20 min search before we had to make our way out to the island. They offer a full 3-3.5 hour Whale Watching tour that seems to be a big hit for some tourist like ourselves. We’ll be going back to enjoy this without the boys, maybe a cute little spring date?

santa cruz island

So what’s there to do? Ventura has various shops where you can grab breakfast just before the boat leaves the harbor, or you take take your own breakfast and it’s heavily advised that you take your own snacks, lunch and drinks. We packed two backpacks will snacks and drinks. The boys devoured our Pistachios!

Our Day Packs

My husband (Ernie) took a tactical backpack and I packed my canvas backpack, they’re both available on Amazon.com

– Beef Jerky
YumEarth Organic Lollipops
-Granola Bars
Blister Prevention

We also took some jackets, wore our sweaters  and hats. Using our sneakers was a good idea but we should have taken some hiking boots. Those would have been better for the slight mud that we came across. Definitely didn’t take away from our day trip, it was still filled with beautiful views and cool little moments with the boys.

channel island national park

I was soo happy that upon arriving to the island, the Island Packers crew helped us with the boys. Zachary is just under 2 years old and they made sure he got on and off the boat safely. One crew member held him and climbed the elevated bridge ladder, while another crew member made sure he wouldn’t slip or have any accidents. The boat pulls right up to the bridge where we simply walk across onto land and take 4 ladder steps on and off the boat. They were extremely professional and so educated on the safety of the passengers.

The best part of the day trip to Santa  Cruz Island was to explore the village history, like the Native Chumash Indians, Island Fox, Golden Eagle and some other cool critters. The entire island is under a restoration to help make it greener and prettier. By the way, Ventura California is the safest beach! Drop by the Harbor Cove and get a glimpse. You can find some cool live broad cast lectures online, they’re awesome for kids of all ages (and adults).

There will be a Part 2 to this post, Stay Tuned!

explore channel islands national park

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive commission if you purchase through my links. You can trust that I will guide you to great deals and cool products that you may like as much as I do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s