Friday, February 10, 2017

7 Best Southern California Islands! | Best of LA

Southern California is home to dozens of islands, from the larger natural preserve islands to smaller quaint community islands. Most larger islands are part of the California Channel Islands, an island group compromising eight islands off the Southern California coast. Five of these islands make up one of the few National Parks found in the LA region - namely the Channel Islands National Park. Here people come to unwind from their busy days in the city by enjoying nature in an almost entirely desolated area of wildlife, beautiful cliffs, green hills and original California nature. For those wanting the Channel Island experience, but also a few bars, restaurants, hotels and maybe guided tours, Santa Catalina Island is a popular choice. For those wanting the less isolated island-feel closer to town, visiting Balboa Island or Balboa Peninsula can be a lot of fun and is attached to the mainland. For whatever occasion there’s an island for you in Southern California. Looking for a romantic getaway with your significant other? Catalina Island has been named “the island of romance”, while the Italian feel on Long Beach’ Naples Island is guaranteed to also be a successful pick if you know what to look for. So without any further due, let us present the “7 Southern California islands”!

7. Anacapa Island

Just 11 miles off the coast is where we find the smallest and closest Channel Island to the mainland. If you’re looking for the genuine Channel Island-experience, but would prefer not spending the whole day getting there and back, Anacapa Island might the best choice for you. Here you can discover what California once looked like, and with just 700 acres of land, the island is easily explored for even the laziest amongst us. Tourists using our LAX transfers just last week told us about all the unique indigenous species found here and nowhere else on Earth, including the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus anacapae and several species of lizards and salamanders. More interesting might be the large bird habitat of and gorgeous nature consisting of ocean arches, caves, blowholes and steep cliffs.

6. San Miguel Island

One of the most difficult islands to reach, few people have put their feet on San Miguel Island. Being the westernmost of the California Channel Islands, it’s just one day-tour scheduled here for 2017. Reached by boat tours offered by Island Packers, this over 9,300 acre island is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit. San Miguel Island is home to over 10,000 Northern fur seals, which occupies large coastlines of the island. The fourteen-mile trail that goes around the island is popular for Los Angeles limousine clients and almost guarantees numerous wildlife sights, including sea lions, seals, sea birds and numerous other species. Besides ferry tours by the Island Packers, San Miguel can also be visited through the Channel Islands Aviation which flies here from Camarillo, CA.

5. Santa Cruz Island

Maybe the most popular destination in the Channel Islands National Park, our limo services and LA party bus vehicles transfer many clients to the Ventura Harbor for rides to Santa Cruz. Being the largest island in the state, the nearly 100 square mile island might have the largest populations of Island foxes, an endemic species found nowhere else on Earth than the Channel Islands. Nicknamed “the North American Galápagos”, the island has many indigenous animals and plants unique to the island. Besides that, the island is also home to one of the largest sea caves in the world and also is famous for its many Bald eagles, Island scrub jay’s. Some of the beaches here include the Potato Harbor and Scorpion Harbor. The island has been inhabited for over 9000 years, and many Chumash artifacts and cave paintings have been discovered on Santa Cruz.

4. Naples Island

Being a neighborhood in the Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, Naples Island is the easiest of these islands to visit. Being known as one of the most romantic destinations in Los Angeles County, many combine their wine-tasting tours or other romantic outings with a visit to Naples. With its beautiful canals, gorgeous walkways and elegant restaurants, visiting the island by limo services will make you experience the island to its fullest. Kayakers are a common sight in the canals and the island is famous for its Italian-inspired street names and Italian pizza diners such as Domenico and Ragazzi. Other popular sights here are the Naples Plaza and La Bella Fontana di Napoli. An artificial island built in 1900, the 0.25 square mile island might be most visited by limo services during the holidays when houses, bridges, canals and boats are decorated with Christmas lights and decorations.

3. Santa Rosa Island

One of the most sandy islands in Southern California, the natural beauty of Santa Rosa Island will leave you breathless. A part of the Channel Islands National Park, the nearly 53,200 acre island is located - just as Catalina - 26 miles off the California coast and is part of Santa Barbara County. Los Angeles limousine travelers will love the unlimited amount of recreational activities available here, as opportunities for hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, camping, photographing and wildlife viewing are endless. Many species are found here, including but not limited to the Island fox, Channel Islands spotted skunk and many other species of flora and fauna found nowhere else. Its natural beauty makes this one of the most popular island destinations for our LA party bus and Los Angeles limousine services.

2. Balboa Island

Balboa Island and the nearby Balboa Peninsula in Orange County’s Newport Beach are our number two top pick for best Southern California islands. Here you can discover beautiful sandy beaches, gorgeous beach homes and a quaint little town of neighborhood shops and eateries. Their Balboa Bar ice cream is unique to the island and a must for visitors to try out! We’ve even had LAX transfers going straight from LAX to Balboa Island with tourists that have read up on the island and wanted to discover it for themselves. If you bring your children along, make sure to make a stop at the Balboa Fun Zone and try out their famous ferris wheel and other rides! The historic Balboa Pavilion is another must, which appears on both the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is a designated California Historical Landmark. For many traveling by Los Angeles limousine a stroll along the beaches and tiny town community might be sufficient.

See also our Guide to Balboa Island!

1. Catalina Island

The only island that “has it all”, Santa Catalina Island has been a popular Los Angeles limousine spot for over twenty years. Clients most often ride by ferry from San Pedro, Dana Point, Newport Beach or Long Beach with either the Catalina Express or Catalina Flyer. Many also decide to visit the island by helicopter or airplane, offered by for example Channel Islands Aviation. At Catalina you’ll have lots to do. With its own casino, golf course, many shops, bars, restaurants and hotels, you’ll never run out of things to do on Catalina. Furthermore, there are many tours available here including everything from submarine rides, paragliding, inland wildlife tours, scuba diving and much more. Some of the more recently popular tours include their unique UFO tours and ghost-hunting tours. A must to experience is renting a bicycle to explore Avalon and nearby areas. For a more signature Channel Islands-experience, get a boat- or car ride to the other community on the island, Two Harbors!