Santa Barbara to Channel Islands (by Boat)
Santa Barbara combines the easy-going nature of a beach town with an urban flare for art and culture. Time your trip to catch a concert at the legendary Santa Barbara Bowl or the historic and elegant Arlington Theater. After the show head to local favorite, Joe's Cafe, located right in the heart of the action on pedestrian-friendly State Street for one of their stellar cocktails. The Burnt Ends Sandwich at Harry's, an old school steakhouse and long standing Santa Barbara institution, is a must for meat lovers. For an upscale experience, stay at the classic Santa Barbara Biltmore and grab bunch at the Boathouse on Hendry's Beach before catching an hour and a half long ferry out to the nearby Channel Islands.
A national park comprising five uninhabited islands surrounded by shockingly clear water brimming with sea life, the Channel Islands feel like they're in the middle of the ocean, even though you can see Los Angeles on a clear day. Book a tour with Island Packers and they'll take care of everything. After hits like sea kayaking through caves, snorkeling in the kelp forests, whale watching, wildlife viewing, and camping under the bright stars, two nights on the islands will make civilization feel dreamily far away.
Santa Barbara to Channel Islands:
Distance: 30 miles
Travel Note: Take US-101 S for about 30 miles to Ventura Harbor, where you'll find Island Packers and parking, and grab your boat to the Channel Islands.