IF YOU GO
Island Packers, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 105B, Ventura; 805-642-1393. Daily trips from Ventura Harbor to Santa Cruz Island. Round-trip adult fares from Ventura Harbor to Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz are $59, or $79 for those camping.
Channel Islands National Park, 805-658-5730, which includes Santa Cruz and four other islands, has its principal mainland visitor center at 1901 Spinnaker Drive in Ventura. The park also has an Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center on that city’s waterfront at 113 Harbor Way, 4th Floor, Santa Barbara; 805-4568752. There’s no entrance fee for the park.
For camping reservations ($15 per individual site, up to six people), go to Recreation.gov or call 877444-6777. Summer weekends are often booked months ahead.
Santa Barbara Adventure Co., 805-884-9283, and its subsidiary Channel Islands Adventure Co. offer kayak tours (ages 5 and older) and rent snorkeling gear. Most island kayaking tours cost $109 to $179 per adult.