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Channel Islands - Best Way to See the Area?

Summersville, West...
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1,175 posts
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Channel Islands - Best Way to See the Area?

My husband, twenty-five year old daughter, and myself are planning to visit the LA area in late December. May I have suggestions as to the best way to see the Channel Islands? We have read of a North Shore Cruise around Santa Cruz but prefer to get suggestions from our fellow, Trip Advisors.

Also, where would we start any trip(s) to see the island(s)?

Will we be lucky enough to see whales at this time of the year?

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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1. Re: Channel Islands - Best Way to See the Area?

December is good whale-watching time near Channel Islands. We've only been once and we did see whales, it was amazing.

Island Packers, out of both Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard and Ventura Harbor in Ventura offer both island tours and whale watching tours:


There are, I think, other concessions (the National Parks page lists them, I think), but Island Packers has a good reputation and competitive pricing.

Both Harbors are nice and have eateries around, but Ventura is perhaps more tourist oriented. Both have sandy beaches nearby and various accomodations (the Mandalay in Oxnard is very nice, there are a couple of larger chain hotels near the harbor in Ventura, as well). As far as what to do in the evenings, Ventura has a livelier downtown and restaurant scene, although Old Town Oxnard has revived and has quite a few restaurants, a bit like being in a Mexican beach town.

2. Re: Channel Islands - Best Way to See the Area?

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