The Golden State is home to dozens of islands in all shapes, sizes, and natural beauty. From historic Alcatraz, the quaint neighborhoods of Balboa – to our own offshore National Park: the California Channel Islands. Southern California has an island for everyone. What’s even better than spending the day on a Pacific island? Combining the trip with wine tours or a Santa Barbara limo pickup to your place of embarkment. Let our Santa Barbara- and Ventura limousine service present our top 4 islands of the Southern California coast.
Being the most accessible part of the Channel Islands National Park, sometimes called “America’s Galapagos”, Anacapa is an easy getaway for us in Southern California. As the smallest of the eight Channel Islands, Anacapa’s 700 acres and two-mile trail system is an easier way to check out the National Park. Just twelve miles off the coast of Port Hueneme, Anacapa is also the closest to the mainland. Our Ventura party bus recently chauffeured a big group of teenagers to the island, and told us this was their third time to the park. Our driver came back and told us about everything from “sea lion fights by the sea happens all the time”, and also happened to have visited the island many times for its great cliffs, untouched nature, great hiking, photographing, canoeing, scuba-diving, and also native fauna and flora. Many in our clientele have also told us about the great whale-migrations happening between February to March. At times there many gray whales spotted here on their way south towards Baja California. Usual visits here lasts from two to three hours, which is just enough time to explore the island. The island also has a unique history having been inhabited by the Chumash people for thousands of years. This island and any of the other islands compromising the Channel Islands National Park can be visited through the Island Packers, which has ferries departing from both Ventura and Oxnard. For sedans, limos, SUV’s or buses to the island, contact us today! We’ve even had tourists calling in to order a limousine or LAX sedan service from LAX and straight to Anacapa to explore the national park. We’ve also had tired campers calling for Malibu wine tours upon their return.
Famous for its luxurious beachfront houses and many shops, Orange County’s Balboa Island has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and vacationers for over a century. Beautifully located in the Newport Harbor, many have mistakingly assumed Balboa to be its own independent village, although it is part of the bigger City of Newport Beach. Accessible by both bridges and ferry services (the Balboa Island Ferry), it is a kid-friendly and picturesque island-village definitely worth visiting. Many renting an LA- or Ventura limousine are heading then to the ferry station near the Fun Zone for a full-day trip over to the island. For dating couples, the $1 ferry ride is a great way of adding to your special occasion. And we get it. Why go on Santa Ynez wine tours when you can taste wine under the stars on this beautiful island? Boasting California’s one and only auto ferry, bringing your car – or Ventura limousine – along is also an option here. The island is home to many small-town shops, miles of sandy beaches, cafes, restaurants, and estate homes. Make sure to check out the locally made Balboa Bar or the frozen bananas for an exclusive Balboa-experience. The village’s main street, the European-style 1 ½-mile promenade is a must to see, particularly combined with a world-famous Balboa frozen banana. An alternative or additional trip so often reserved for an LA- or Santa Barbara limo is Balboa Peninsula. This oceanfront peninsula is home to expensive estates and larger craft harbors, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes. Also boasting the most visited tourist attraction and the most beautiful beaches in the City of Newport Beach, a visit to the Balboa Peninsula is popular for tourists and other reserving our LA- and LAX sedan service. We recently transferred LAX sedan service clients here as well, for a hotel night to be spent by the seaside.
Santa Cruz Island
Often overlooked, Santa Cruz is the largest island in the state of California. As Anacapa, Santa Cruz is also uninhabited as a part of the National Park. But that doesn’t stop our LA- and Ventura limousine and party bus customers from venturing out here to explore. Home to numerous species found nowhere else on Earth – including the Island Fox, the Island Scrub-Jay and re-introduced Bald Eagles. Besides all the great wildlife, this particular island has a lot more to offer visitors. With its untouched wilderness found nowhere else in the state, the island is also a popular camping spot. We’ve had full vehicles – from a Santa Barbara limo to an LA party bus – packed with camping equipment for people who are looking to camp on the island. Here you can see among the biggest sea-caves in the world and learn about the ancient people that once lived on this island for thousands of years. Many riding with our Ventura limousine vehicles have told us about the various hiking trails found on the island. With ferries from Island Packers landing in two areas, Scorpion Anchorage and at Prisoner’s Harbor, there’s a larger trail system waiting to be explored. One hike definitely worth checking out is to Potato Harbor on the northern part of the island. Potato Harbor is a gorgeous stretch of beach, often visited by seals and sea lions, while Cavern Point is a popular place for sighting the great whale migrations. Between the months of Feb.-April, Party bus clients have also told us about the amazing bloom of the island’s endemic flowers covering the island. The Pelican Bay Trail offers the best chances of witnessing more native flora than anywhere else, although varying because of variations in rain and temperatures. The relatively fast one hour ferry ride from the mainland to Santa Cruz is often accompanied with the observation of various sea mammals and birds, including oftentimes dolphins, sea-lions, eagles, pelicans, whales, and more. Want an unforgettable canoe experience? Check out Scorpion Bay, famous for being an incredible place for kayaking or canoeing. Prefer a longer hike? A favorite for many LA- and Santa Barbara limo clients is the seven mile hike to Smuggler’s Cove from the landing by Scorpion Canyon. Prefer another method of transportation to the island? Although there’s no LAX sedan service needed for LAX travels, Channel Islands Aviation flies out of Camarillo Airport. If you are looking to see more exotic animals, book safari wine tours with us to Malibu Family Wines!
Nicknamed the Island of Romance, Santa Catalina Island is the California island that has it all. We take more LA- and Santa Barbara limo clients to this island than any other Californian island. Here you’ll find everything from beautiful hotels, golf courses, bars and nightlife, as well as gorgeous beaches and protected nature areas with a magnificent native wildlife and flora. Reachable by ferry and by airplane, Catalina is home to two villages: the main town of Avalon and the much smaller Two Harbors. In between is where we find the Airport in the Sky, which is located the island’s tallest mountain. Many customers looking for limos in Ventura or Camarillo love the short but exciting plane rides with Channel Islands Aviation from the Camarillo Airport. With ferries leaving from Los Angeles as well as Long Beach and Orange County, Catalina has become the most accessible of the Channel Islands Archipelago. Just twenty-six miles with boat from the mainland, famously mentioned in the song “26 Miles” by the Four Preps, Catalina is an easy getaway with much to offer. A favorite for many locals and even tourists using our LAX sedan service, spending a night in Avalon is a must for anyone visiting Southern California. At Catalina you can not only experience the great outdoors (over ninety percent of the island is protected nature areas), but the town of Avalon also boasts some great options for accommodation, dining as well as many activities. Being the only developed island of the archipelago, Catalina is also the only California island to offer a larger variety of day- and night activities for visitors. Recent clients looking for limos in Ventura for a ride to the Catalina ferry station told us: “It is the island that has it all. We visit for the underwater submarine tour and beaching at Descanso Beach.” Others have told us about the great safari tours from Avalon, where you can spot all kinds of wild animals, including buffalos, eagles, the native Island Fox, and many more. You may want to rent a golf cart or bike for a great way of exploring the areas surrounding Avalon. While a day trip might be enough on some of the other Channel Islands, Catalina is definitely a place worth staying overnight!
In what ever way you’d like to experience a backdoor Pacific island – by plane or boat, for nature or hotel night, – our Santa Barbara limo services are your natural choice in choosing transportation to the ferries. We have offered luxury Santa Barbara- and Ventura limousine services, as well as top rated Malibu- and Santa Ynez wine tours and party bus transportation, for more than twenty years in the making. For your next visit to the islands, consider reserving one of our limos or party bus rentals to begin your trip in style! Whether to visit a Pacific island, head out on wine tours, or “just” for the traditional limousine adventure, contact Blackhawk Limousine & Transportation today!
Did you know scenes from the movie Commando (1985) were filmed at the Channel Islands? Check out our Guide to Best Movies Filmed in Santa Barbara!