Santa Cruz Island

posted in: Family Getaways | 24


There is something magical about stepping foot onto an Island. I always have this feeling like I’m discovering something new just like when Columbus discovered various Caribbean Islands. I know I’m fooling myself because many have lived, camped, and stepped foot onto Santa Cruz Island but the feeling is still there. I’ve lived more than half of my life in California and I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first time on Santa Cruz Island. Why haven’t anyone told me about it before? It is so beautiful and unique. I was sold as soon as I heard that there are foxes on the Island and that you can come close to one.

The great thing is that the visitors center is in Ventura. We love knowing what our options are and having a game plan ahead of time really works best for us.


Boat Ride


This is a rough boat ride to and from the Island. To be completely honest with you it was not something we expected. Luckily for our family none of us lost our breakfast or lunch but there were some who did. If you have strong sea legs then you’ll love the boat ride. Our older children loved it.




Santa Cruz Channel Island


We only had a few hours to explore the Island so we decided to do the coastal hike. There really is no access to the beach expect for the landing and departing area. We enjoyed the incredible views of the rugged coast.

I know I’ve said it before but hiking is so good for the entire family. Hiking is even good for little kiddos. We started taking our children hiking as young as one week old. You might think that your children are too young but we are living proof that your never too young to go hiking. Yes, it can be hard especially when kids complain. Two of our children never complained while the other two did and sometimes still do. Hubby and I had to get really creative. Most of the time the youngest child is the leader. This usually always motivates little ones.

Yes sometimes it is hot and lots of work but it is crazy how once we start hiking the kids just surround hubby and I and they don’t want to stop talking to us because they know that it is one of the biggest benefits to hiking. It is all about walking and talking while exploring new dirt paths. There are no distractions on the trail. I honestly believe that hiking brought us closer. If you have a child who is becoming distant I highly recommend you to go hiking with your child. Just start walking and you’ll be surprised how much they will start to open up and share with you.


So glad I wore overalls because I was that mom with a fox in my pouch whenever Eve got too tired to carry him.





Island Fox


I have always been fascinated by foxes. We were so excited when we actually got to see the Island Fox up close. The first one we saw walked right past us. They like to be near campgrounds. That is were we saw them. Can you believe that this is the only carnivore unique to California and can only be found on six of the Islands. In each Island the foxes are slightly different from each other. These foxes are as big as a house cat and weigh about five pounds each. They can live up to 15 years. They mate for life and can have up to five pups. They eat deer mice, crickets, and beetles. They are great climbers so if they find a bird nest they will eat the eggs.

In 1999, Bald Eagles started disappearing due to pesticides. As Bald Eagles disappeared, Golden Eagles moved in and started eating the Island fox. At one point there were only 14 Island Foxes left. Since then, Golden Eagles have been taken away from the Islands and Bald Eagles were brought back. Bald Eagles eat fish and because of their presence Golden Eagles do not come around. There are over 200 Island Foxes and the number is increasing yearly since they have no natural predator on the Island.




Hands on Learning


We loved learning all about the Island Fox while the kids drew  their own Island Fox. We learned about the Island Fox when we were on the Island but we enjoy coming home and learning new things. While we were on Channel Island we simply observed the Island Foxes behavior. They sure loved sniffing around the tents. Since there are no natural predators on the Island the Island Foxes are active both during the day and at night.






Thank you Visit Ventura  for hosting our trip.

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24 Responses

  1. I have been on a boat since I was a baby (literally), my dad and mom went fishing every weekend, carrying me in one of those infant seats. I love the ride! This looks like it was a lot of fun.

  2. Looks like a fun family trip! I was just looking at some adventurous travel, but I think we’ll have to wait a couple years for the kids to enjoy it.

  3. What a wonderful trip! The island looks pristine. I love hiking – I need to add the Channel Islands to my must-visit list.

  4. This looks like such a fun trip! I love scenic days like this and all of these views look so refreshing. I hope you had a fun time. Santa Cruz looks so gorgeous!

  5. Amazing pictures of your trip to Santa Cruz Island! The island looks so majestic and peaceful. Beautiful island!

  6. robin rue

    That sounds like such an amazing place to visit. I loved looking at all your photos. It looks like you guys had a blast.

  7. There’s no doubt that this place is beautiful and I just love how picturesque the whole area is! Too bad there’s no access to the beach, that would have been a huge plus for me!

  8. I’ve never been here before and it would be so nice to take the kids here and just explore since we all love hiking. I think the place is stunning!

  9. I have never heard of this island before! It is just beautiful! I love seeing your family enjoy themselves so much! That picture of the dolphins is so beautiful!

  10. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. I love walking and hiking and so does my family. Have to keep it in mind.

  11. Such a fun trip. It has been years since I explored that island and hiking is the way to do it.

  12. Terri Steffes

    You always get so much learning from your trips! I enjoy how you turn them into learning adventures.

  13. This looks like a beautiful place to visit. I love seeing the aquatic wildlife and using it as a chance to help educate the kids about them. I know my daughter would love that!

  14. What a wonderful family. Memories are full of adventures!

  15. I would definitely need to take some seasickness meds to go on that boat ride. But it would be worth it to see a fox in its natural habitat, not mention hiking along such a gorgeous trail.

  16. I have to admit that you look way cuter on your hike than I would have. I would have been wearing some tshirt from the 90’s and probably some jeans that I wouldn’t mind messing up.

  17. This looks like the quintessential family adventure!nature, exercise and time to unplug and enjoy each other in beautiful surroundings!

  18. I had never heard of this place. It looks like a lovely place to visit for the day. Your pictures are beautiful!

  19. I love reading about your families adventures! And this looks like another great time! I haven’t been to Santa Cruz island myself but would love the chance to visit one day

  20. What a beautiful coast line and an amazing adventure. That blue water is breathtaking! Taking these adventures are creating memories that will never be forgotten.

  21. What a great family vacation, looks super adventurous too. Your photos are great.

  22. Going to Santa Cruz Island seems like an incredible trip! The scenery is breathtaking and there seems to be so much to do.

  23. This is beautiful! I love the water photos but honestly I would be so worried about my two year old daughter getting too close to the mountain edge. She would be so amazed to see a fox in the wild though!

  24. I grew up next to the ocean so it is always beckoning me to come back. I would love this experience since it revolves around the ocean.

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