Things to do in
Channel Islands of California

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Our most recommended things to do in Channel Islands of California

Santa Catalina Island: Nautilus Semi-Submarine Cruise

1. Santa Catalina Island: Nautilus Semi-Submarine Cruise

Join the captain and crew and set off on a 45-minute exploratory mission through Lover's Cove, a State Marine Conservation Area sanctuary. Traverse amazing undersea gardens and ocean habitats in a semi-submersible vessel designed after America's first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, on a trip that is both educational and entertaining. Let your imagination descend into the depths of the ocean as you explore the magic and wonder of undersea life on the Nautilus. Venture into the ocean and through the kelp forest in a state-of-the-art vessel. Learn about what you see with the crew and research team, and let them entertain you with their stories. As you learn and explore, interact with the fish through a specially designed feeding system. Launch fish food torpedoes right from your seat (at an additional cost) and instigate feeding frenzies right outside your personal porthole.

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

2. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Guests meet their guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, guests will paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will paddle through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach. There is an abundance of wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and of course seagulls. Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. People love this paddle because of the relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of the town from the water.

Santa Barbara: Cupcake and Wine Tour

3. Santa Barbara: Cupcake and Wine Tour

After being picked up from your Santa Barbara or Santa Ynez Valley accommodation in the morning, board a climate-controlled vehicle for the Santa Ynez Valley. Get a preview of the day from your guide, who will cover the local human history and give you insight into the wine region along the way. On arrival, enjoy a wine tasting at some of the area's top wineries, including a venue where your wine is paired with delectable cupcake tastings. The full-day tour features a sampling flight of cupcakes from Enjoy Cupcakes, a unique bakery in Los Olivos. Compare flavors like pomegranate-mango chardonnay and chocolate-blackberry syrah. After you're served a picnic lunch in the shade at a favorite winery, gain insight into specific blends and selections from the winery staff. Each establishment offers vintages and award-winning selections, and several wineries extend discounts on wine purchases. Conclude the day with a return ride to Santa Barbara and drop-off at your hotel.

Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

4. Santa Barbara: Wine Country Tour

After pickup from your hotel or another prearranged meeting point in the morning, depart by climate-controlled van to the Santa Ynez Valley. Get a preview of the day from your guide as you set off for your first winery, learning about the history of this famed wine region along the way. Discover unique vintages and blends at each establishment, and some wineries extend discounts on wine purchases. On arrival, the winery staff will take your group for a wine tasting to learn more about each winery. Enjoy a picnic style lunch in the shade at a favorite winery with cold beverages also provided. Groups often enjoy a barrel room tour and explore the small towns of Los Olivos or Solvang. The tour includes tastings at 3 unique and hand-picked wineries, before driving back to Santa Barbara with drop-off at your hotel included. Group rates are available.

Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

5. Santa Barbara: Santa Ynez Wine Country Shuttle

Make the most of a Santa Ynez wine shuttle service which gives you the freedom to pick from a selection of some of the best wineries in the Valley. Explore a variety of lunch options in the quaint town of Los Olivos, focus on specific varietals or even enjoy an olive oil tasting or stop at a Lavender farm. Learn about the local history and gain insights into the Santa Ynez wine region along the way with your knowledgeable guides. When you arrive in the Valley, make your first stop within walking distance of 3 wineries. Your guide will go over the choices, and you can decide on the day which one speaks to your palate. Next, head on to the Los Olivos Tasting Rooms for a lunch stop and the chance to visit another tasting room. Boasting expansive views of Santa Barbara County’s vineyards and horse ranches, the town of Los Olivos has about 25 tastings rooms you can visit. Bring your own lunch or enjoy one of the many great restaurant options in town. For your final stop, get dropped off in one of the loveliest areas in the valley, and you can decide between 2 popular vineyards on the day of your visit. There is also an optional olive oil tasting stop at Rancho Olivos Artisan Extra Virgin Olive Oil that can be discussed with your guide the day of the trip.

Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

6. Santa Barbara: Sunset Kayak Tour

Meet your guides before sunset for a comprehensive kayaking lesson and to receive your paddle jackets and life vests. Watch a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. Head out to sea in a single or double kayak where you can watch the colors change and stars appear. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle for approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. Pass the harbor past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach. Learn about the natural history, marine ecology, astronomy, and current hot spots throughout the tour. For groups, guides can facilitate initiatives, games, and more in-depth paddle challenges for a fun and engaging way to bring your group together.

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

7. Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

Learn to surf the waves of Santa Barbara's beautiful beaches! These surf sessions give you a foundation in this exciting water sport. Meet your instructor at Mondo's Beach, south of Santa Barbara, and learn about the finer points of catching waves during a beach lesson and while in the water. The instructor will begin with a beach lesson reviewing: how to position yourself on the board, paddling techniques and proper stance. Once in the water students will get pointers on maneuvering waves, balance techniques and surf etiquette. Most of the guests "get up" within the first hour in the water! For the half-day option, pack your own lunch and enjoy a lunch break. Relax on the sand and enjoy drinks and food while recharging. A cooler will be provided for you to keep your lunches cool during the session. The seasoned instructors have years of experience in guiding lessons and can adapt their instruction to virtually any skill level. Santa Barbara offers ideal beginner's breaks and provides the perfect opportunity to get a foundation for this incredible sport. Surf sites are selected based on the current swell and tide conditions, and your instructor finds the best breaks for successful learning. Be sure to take in the gorgeous scenery with a view of the Santa Ynez mountain range.

Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

8. Pacific Coast Highway: Audio Tour Between LA & San Diego

Connect your smartphone to your vehicle's stereo and make your drive come alive on this self-guided driving tour along the Pacific Coast Highway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Simply download your personal audio guide and tour to get started. Let your audio guide transform your scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure as you pass through and learn about some of the cities and small towns nestled along the coast. Along the tour, you’ll pass Oceanside, Carlsbad, Long Beach, Dana Point, San Onofre, San Clemente, and more. Your audio guide will point out must-see sights, parks, historical sites, tourist attractions, recreation areas, and more. Explore the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, the Batiquitos Lagoon, and look for dolphins at Dana Point. Walk along some of the world’s most famous beaches. Other tour highlights include Las Flores Estancia, Crystal Cove State Park, Sunset Beach, Torrey Pines, and the San Elijo Lagoon. Feel free to visit as many sights and attractions as you want: you have complete freedom to take as much time as you like to complete the tour. As you drive, get a historical overview of the area, including its original inhabitants, the Tongva. Hear about Louis Zamperini, the RMS Queen Mary, the Rise of Long Beach, Huntington Beach Oil Fields, and Crystal Cove's 1930 era beach cottages. This tour works in either direction and you can stop anywhere while you discover this incredibly scenic and historic drive.

Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Trip

9. Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Trip

Meet your guide at Haskell's Beach just north of Santa Barbara, one of the area's most beautiful beaches featuring a palm-lined coast and crystalline waters. Your guide will outfit the members of your group with kayaking gear and will take you through a kayaking lesson on shore, including instruction on entering and exiting the surf. When you are on the water and feeling comfortable with your paddling skills, you will set off on a stunning 4.8 km journey. You will stop amid pristine kelp beds to learn about marine ecology and the Santa Barbara Channel. Keep an eye out for dolphins that often swim and play alongside the kayaks. At midday, you will stop for a delicious lunch served on a secluded beach. After an optional swim, venture back to shore and on the way take part in some fun kayak challenges and games. This is an unforgettable trip and the perfect half-day activity.

Pacific Coast Hwy (LA <> Santa Maria): Smartphone Audio Tour

10. Pacific Coast Hwy (LA <> Santa Maria): Smartphone Audio Tour

Explore the stretch of Pacific Coast Highway between L.A. and Santa Maria on a self-guided driving tour. Start anywhere along the route and enjoy a scenic drive along the California coast. Let your audio guide transform your scenic drive into a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering, family-friendly adventure. Pass through and learn about some of the cities and small towns nestled along the coast. See the famous Marina Del Rey, catch glimpse of the Channel Islands, and pass by the Vandenberg Space Force Base. Find out about parks, historical sites, tourist attractions, recreation areas, and more from your audioguide. Explore Tuna Canyon and Topanga State Park, Nicholas Canyon Beach, and the Chumash village of Wishtoyo. Admire Boney Peak at the Point Mugu State Park and look for the endangered California Condors in Ventura County. Check out other sights along the way, including the Getty Villa Museum, Port Hueneme, Santa Ynez Mountains and Painted Caves Historical Park, Goleta, and Nojoqui Falls.

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What people are saying about Channel Islands of California

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 28 reviews

Great, the best wine tour I have been on, my wife and I were celebrating our three-year anniversary and this was a perfect activity for our celebration.

Super profitable! Possibility to see lots of things to do in Los Angeles and without queuing or even booking for the most part! Brilliant I recommend!

I already knew the system, having all payment in the activities and avoiding queuing is very good

Everything went well with redeeming the selected attractions.

Easy to use. A lot of options and no issues when using app.