Palm Desert

Channel Islands National Park

Have Fun in the Sun at Channel Islands

Drive 3 hr 46 min (218.7 mi) via US-101 N

For a truly unforgettable vacation experience, visit the beautiful Channel Islands National Park—a California paradise that encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. The five Channel Islands—Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island, and Santa Barbara Island—each possess unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. The Channel Islands is an extraordinary place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

An abundance of activities are available for visitors to enjoy a scenic, peaceful getaway at the Channel Islands National Park. The islands are ideal for quiet, uninterrupted time with family and friends, or wonderful places to hike, camp, snorkel, kayak, birdwatch, take photographs, sketch, or just relax to the soothing sounds of the natural world. One unique activity to do in the
Channel Islands is whale watching. The waters surrounding Channel Islands National Park are home to many diverse and beautiful species of whales, including gray, blue, humpback, minke, sperm, and pilot whales. Closer viewing of whales is possible from public whale watching boats or private boats, as whales have been known to approach boats quite closely. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, boaters must stay at least 100 yards from whales unless the whale chooses to approach the boat.

Another one-of-a-kind activity that the Channel Islands National Park offers is tide pooling. Dueto their isolation and protection, the tidepools in Channel Islands National Park are some of the best within southern California. Anemones, sea stars, urchins, limpets, periwinkles, chitons, barnacles, mussels, and many other beautiful species can be seen at numerous pristine tidepool sites. The most accessible sites include French’'s Cove on Anacapa Island; Smuggler’s Cove on Santa Cruz Island; Becher’s Bay at the pier, Southeast Anchorage, East Point on Santa Rosa Island; and eastern end of Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel Island.

In terms of the weather, the Channel Islands have a Mediterranean climate year-round. Temperatures are relatively stable, with highs averaging in the mid-60s and lows in the low-50s. However, visitors to the National Park must be prepared for high winds, fog, rough seas, and sea spray at any time. Winds are often calm in the early morning and increase during the afternoon. High winds may occur regardless of the forecast, especially on the outer islands, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. Anacapa, eastern Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara Islands have more moderate winds. Dense fog is common during the late spring and early summer months, but may occur at any time. Ocean water temperatures range from the lower 50s in the winter to the upper 60s in the all.

The Fabulous Beach House On The Sand at Faria Beach is the perfect getaway for an accessible Channel Islands vacation home. This picturesque 3-bedroom, two-bath beach house right on the sand at Faria Beach is five minutes north of Ventura, California, and 20 minutes south of Santa Barbara. A gorgeous garden is featured in the entry way. The beach house is also only five steps from the seawall to the sand, close to very popular surfing spots within a 3-minute walk in either direction. Swimming in the summer is a crisp 68-70 degrees on this private beach, complete with wonderful views of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.

For nearby attractions in Ventura, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara please visit:

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