For more than 20 years, Channel Islands Outfitters's Paddle Sports Center has helped humans commune with nature through their guided expeditions, courses, and gear rentals. Their expert guides lead kayakers and hikers to California destinations such as Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island, where explorers enjoy picturesque scenery and native wildlife that haven’t yet learned about sarcasm. The outdoor fitness center also offers instruction for outdoorsmen ranging from courses that cultivate Wilderness First Responders to lessons in the art of standup paddleboarding. Meanwhile, their surf shop doles out aquatic equipment such as surfboards, paddleboards, and an array of kayaks that are available in single-seat or tandem models.
Captain Fred Hershman, a decorated veteran with more than 40 years of boating experience, founded Celebration Cruises Santa Barbara with his wife Kathy in 2003 with the hopes of sharing his love of the water with others. In the years since the business's founding, he has whisked more than 250,000 passengers away on all manner of aquatic adventures.
The sailing aficionados behind Pacific Sailing want as many people as possible to experience the thrills of traveling to untouched islands and docking inside giant wine bottles. That's why they charter sailing tours and eschew the cost of boat ownership with a sailing club, granting members access to boats for a certain number of sailing days each year. Pacific Sailing also trains new captains during one-on-one lessons that cover both basic and advanced techniques.
Its fleet, which includes boats up to 34 feet in length, sails up the coast of Ventura Harbor Village and takes 14-mile trips to Channel Islands National Park. Here, five picturesque islands grant sailors views of lush foliage and wildlife such as blue and humpback whales.
Trail And Mountain's owner inherited a love for the outdoors from his father, an avid hunter. Though the son never cared for hunting, he has followed that passion for nature for the rest of his life, honing wilderness navigation skills by hiking landscapes from the Catskill Mountains to the hills of North Carolina. Today, he marries this experience with certifications in first aid in a quest to introduce others to California's wilderness. During single- or multiple-day excursions in Santa Barbara County and beyond, he helms tours and helps coordinate activities for tourists ranging from day hikes to whale watching to paragliding.
Scenes of learning and enjoyment spark infectious enthusiasm among Channel Islands Kayak Center's guides, who thrive on bringing adventurers up close to the wildlife of Channel Islands Harbor and Ventura Harbor. The team furnishes independent explorers with kayak rentals, which include safety briefings so kayakers can tell the difference between a sea lion and an actual lion.
Sea-curious land dwellers relax aboard the Wiley, a 36-foot Catalina yacht, while witnessing gorgeous scenery and watery wildlife of the Santa Barbara Channel and Ventura Coast of Southern California. Captain Dan, a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain, will guide the schooner toward prime spots to witness whales frolicking and dolphins holding fraternity hazing rituals. Seafarers meet at Vintage Marina to board the aquatic vessel, and then set out from Channel Islands Harbor. Time your voyage to occur at sunset and observe the briny coastline as it floats by, swathed in the sediment-flattering hues of yellow, orange, and pink. Tour-goers can complement their adventure into the watery abyss by bringing snacks or drinks or by having the staff arrange catering. Buy two Groupons for a couple's cruise, or get up to four people together for an on-ship bridge tournament where the losers have to swim back to shore.