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Discover Santa Cruz Island of Channel Islands National Park: The American Galapagos

Program Number: 9176RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/14/2013 - 7/17/2013; 3/29/2015 - 4/1/2015; 6/14/2015 - 6/17/2015; 7/19/2015 - 7/22/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/23/2015;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Ventura, California
Price starting at: $499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Relatively untouched by modern culture, California’s Channel Islands National Park is an oasis of natural splendor. Journey by boat to experience the island of Santa Cruz with its pristine beaches and grass-covered hills. Examine Santa Cruz Island as a miniature representation of the Southern California of 100 years ago, and learn about a rich array of plant life, sea birds, fish and marine mammals, some found nowhere else in the world.




Highlights

• Journey by boat to Santa Cruz Island, the largest of five islands making up Channel Islands National Park.
• Studies of the Channel Islands’ rich variety of flora, fauna and geology are led by local naturalists.
• Trace the island's human history from the Chumash Indians to explorers, fur traders, ranchers, scientists and visitors of today.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to half mile on flat, paved surfaces. Island hikes on uneven, dirt trails; one mile or longer walks optional. Boat trip one hour each way.



You may enjoy a five-night version of this program, "Channel Islands National Park: Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands” (#14758).




Date Specific Information

7-14-2013, 6-14-2015, 7-19-2015

Summer wildflowers include buckwheat, asters, and other sunflowers. Slight chance to see blue or humpback whales in the deep water during boat ride to and from the Island.



3-29-2015

Green grasslands and native wildflowers are visible on Santa Cruz Island. Intensity and duration of bloom varies each year due to rain and temperature.



9-20-2015

Summer wildflowers include buckwheat, asters, and other sunflowers.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Ventura

A classic California beach community with surfers, art galleries, white-sand beaches and warm breezes, Ventura is situated between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara near the region's museums, historic missions and coastal wonders.



Accommodations
Ventura's only beachfront property, with balcony rooms and ocean views, steps away from the historic downtown and pier.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Robert Lopez

Bob Lopez is a fifth-generation resident of Ventura County and Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Moorpark College. While in college, Bob became interested in the history and archaeology of the Mission Period. This spurred his interest in the native peoples of the area: who they were, how they had adapted to the environment and what had happened to them. Now retired from teaching, Bob stays active in local archaeology through Road Scholar programs and the Ventura County Archaeological Society.
 
Margery Spielman

Margery Spielman is an internationally recognized environmental and marine artist, lecturer, naturalist and professional diver. An oceanography and scuba instructor, she is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild and has worked underwater on numerous films. Her freelance assignments for the Cousteau Society have included research logistics, diving, speaking and illustrating. Described as a visionary realist, she exhibits her watercolor paintings in major marine art expos from Hawaii to Paris.
 
Keri Dearborn

Keri Dearborn is the Education Director for Friends of the Island Fox and has been with the organization since its founding in 2005. She holds a master’s degree in environmental education and developed FIF’s school and community education outreach program. She presents workshops to teachers on using the endangered island fox to teach science and math with a real world application and has worked on several education projects with Channel Islands National Park. A fifth generation Californian, she finds the Channel Islands especially intriguing because they bring together her interests in local wildlife, native plants, native American cultures and geology. Keri has taught on the subjects of insects, amphibians, reptiles, and local whales and dolphins for a UCLA Extension course in zoology. As a published author and poet, Keri blogs on sustainability issues and Southern California wildlife on AnimalBytes.net.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
  Ventura, California 3 nights
 Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Delight in the year-round sunshine of Ventura, California with its miles of clean, uncrowded beaches, spectacular mountainous back country, and the magnificent Channel Islands National Park on the horizon. At the center of it all, right at the water's edge, stands the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. All of its guest rooms feature magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the mountainous curves of the California coastline. It is ideally situated within walking distance of historic downtown Ventura where you will find the San Buenaventura Mission, museums, antique stores, a wide variety of restaurants, bookstores, cafes, clothing shops, and art galleries.
  Contact info: 450 E. Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001 USA
phone: 805-648-2100
web: www.cpventura.com
  Room amenities: All rooms are equipped with Crowne Plaza "Sleep Advantage" bedding; coffee maker; iron/board; hair dryer; high-speed Internet access; 32" TVs; ocean-view balconies; in-room movies. All rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: The ocean-front Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach is a 12-story tower with balcony rooms, all with ocean views. There's a great walking path next to the hotel which stretches for miles up and down the coast. Guests enjoy a host of amenities including convenient parking; restaurants with outdoor patio dining; lobby lounge with ocean-front patio seating; room service; heated ocean-front swimming pool; exercise room; and laundry & dry cleaning with same-day service as well as a coin-op laundry. Wi-Fi Access: Road Scholar participants receive complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access as part of their package. The coverage includes all hotel guest rooms and public areas. Although there is no charge for this service, a password is required, which may be obtained from the front desk staff.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Based upon availability Call Laura Moran at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel at (805) 652-5142 to make a reservation for additional nights before or after the program and to inquire about rates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is in the hotel lobby from 3:30-5:00PM. Program orientation begins at 5:30PM followed by dinner at 6:00PM. Self introductions after dinner. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach that night.
  End of Program:
Please make your travel arrangements so that you can join us for our final class which will end at approximately 10:00AM. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available in the lot adjacent to the hotel, but the parking pass needs to be validated at the front desk.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ventura, California
  Nearest city or town:  Santa Barbara
  Nearest highway: Highway 101 passes through Ventura
  Nearest airport:  Los Angeles International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Ventura, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Los Angeles/LAX to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$76 p/p one-way; $9 each additional passenger
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 20 min, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

71 miles from LAX to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel

   

SuperShuttle is a primary shuttle service for LAX and operates continuously at the airport. Call for current rates and to arrange pick-up time. Price is subject to change. Advance reservations are required. Website: www.supershuttle.com On Arrival at LAX: Claim your luggage, proceed outside & look for the shared ride van sign on the inside curb just outside of Baggage Claim. ALTERNATE VAN SERVICE: Prime Time Shuttle. For info and reservations, call 800-733-8267; www.primetimeshuttle.com

 

Ventura/ Amtrak Station

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Yellow Cab
phone: 805-659-6900

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Minimum fare of $10 per ride one-way will be charged
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Under 2 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

Amtrak Station is 0.3 miles from hotel

   

Amtrak (1-800-872-7245) provides transportation service to Ventura via the Pacific Surfliner route. The covered Amtrak platform is located outside Seaside Park (Ventura County Fairgrounds) at 20 W. Harbor Blvd. near Figueroa St. You may walk 4 blocks from the station to the hotel, or call a taxi. Amtrak website: www.amtrak.com

 

Burbank/BUR to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$65 for 1st guest; $9 each additional guest
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 10 min from Burbank Airport to Crowne Plaza Hotel (in normal traffic) 

 

Distance:

 

62 miles from Burbank Airport to Crowne Plaza-Ventura Beach

   

SuperShuttle offers door-to-door shared van service from Burbank to your destination. Call for the current fare as prices are subject to change without notice. Advance reservations are required. For online reservations and exact fares, visit www.supershuttle.com ALTERNATE VAN SERVICE: Prime Time Shuttle. For info and reservations, call 800-733-8267; www.primetimeshuttle.com

 

Los Angeles (LAX) to Ventura

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Ventura Co. Airporter Shuttle
phone: 805-650-6600
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$35 P/P to drop-off point in Ventura; then taxi to Crowne Plaza @ $15
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hr 15 min to drop-off point + taxi ride (additional 20-25 min for wait time and ride) 

 

Distance:

 

67 miles from LAX to Holiday Inn Express at Ventura Harbor

   

VCA Shuttle offers 8 daily trips to/from LAX and Ventura at a great price p/p. However, it drops off passengers at the Holiday Inn Express at Ventura Harbor, 3.5 miles from Crowne Plaza Hotel. From the drop-off point you need to call a taxi to get a ride to the Crowne Plaza. Call Yellow Taxi Cab at 805-659-6900 at $15 per ride. Advance reservations are required. For pickup times and current fare, call VCA Shuttle or visit their website at www.venturashuttle.com

 
Driving Directions
  Northbound Highway 101 Going North on Hwy 101, take the California St. exit. Turn left onto California St. at the top of the exit ramp. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then left into the hotel parking lot.
  Southbound Highway 101 to Crowne Plaza Ventura Hotel Going South on Hwy 101, take the Ventura Ave. exit. Turn right on Thompson Blvd. and continue for approximately 4 blocks to California St. Turn right on California St. and go over the freeway to Harbor Blvd. The Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel will be directly ahead. Turn right onto Harbor Blvd. then immediately left into the hotel parking lot.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals/Introductions
(Sunday, July 14)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel after 4:00PM

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. In addition to the regular Road Scholar meal plan, this program offers a vegetarian meal option. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introductory Lectures/Field Trip to Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center
(Monday, July 15)

Note: Walk 0.38 mi along the harbor from Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center to The Greek Restaurant



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center

Enjoy the opportunity to watch the new video, "A Treasure in the Sea: Channel Islands", talk with park personnel, walk through the native plant garden, and view exhibits which highlight the natural and cultural features of the islands. Browse the bookstore and enjoy the scenic view from the tower before walking along the harbor to the restaurant located in Harbor Village.

 Lunch: Lunch at restaurant in Harbor Village
 Afternoon: CLASS: Learn about topics related to the Channel Islands National Park such as cultural history, native history, marine life, geology, natural history and current research, which will be presented based upon instructor availability.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: CLASS: Learn about topics related to the Channel Islands National Park such as cultural history, native history, marine life, geology, natural history and current research, which will be presented based upon instructor availability.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Boat Trip to Santa Cruz Island
(Tuesday, July 16)

Note: Travel to Santa Cruz Island by boat, weather permitting. Boat transportation is provided by Island Packers. Duration of the boat trip is approx. 1 hr one-way to Scorpion Anchorage where there is a small pier. Visitors step from the boat onto a ladder and climb a few rungs to the pier. Choice of hikes: an easy 1-mile round trip walk into Scorpion Canyon, or a more strenuous 2-mile round trip hike which climbs 300 ft on the first third of the trail to Cavern Point.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: All day boat trip to Santa Cruz Island, weather permitting

With its pristine beaches and grass covered hills, Santa Cruz is the largest island of the five islands comprising Channel Island National Park, and is a miniature of what Southern California looked like 100 years ago.

On the island, you'll have a choice of 2 hikes. Scorpion Canyon is an easy 1-mile round trip walk with good examples of native and endemic plants. Cavern Point is a 2-mile round trip hike that takes approximately 1 hour 30 min. The trail climbs 300 ft on the first third of the hike to Cavern Point after which the trail flattens out providing expansive vistas of the Santa Barbara Channel. Guides talk about the isolation of the island, animals, plants, restoration projects, ranch history and the marine environment at stops along the trail.

 Lunch: Bag lunch on the island
 Afternoon: Exploration of Santa Cruz Island (continued)

The boat returns to the mainland at approximately 4:00PM.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Independent Departures
(Wednesday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: CLASS: Learn about topics related to the Channel Islands National Park such as cultural history, native history, marine life, geology, natural history and current research, which will be presented based upon instructor availability.

HOTEL CHECK OUT: The program concludes around 10:00AM after the morning lecture. We hope you have enjoyed our Santa Cruz Island adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Ventura, California Mission San Buenaventura
211 E. Main St.

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 643-4318

Mission San Buenaventura was founded in 1782. It is the ninth of California's 21 missions and the last to be established by Father Serra. Visitors will discover a small museum with mission artifacts such as Chumash basketry, a quiet courtyard, and 250 year-old paintings of the Stations of the Cross. For additional information, visit www.sanbuenaventuramission.org

  Museum of Ventura County
100 E. Main St.

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 653-0323

One of the museum's permanent exhibits explores the community's past from the Chumash era through the 21st century. It consists of a fascinating collection of artifacts and displays focusing on Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican pioneers, and European and Yankee settlers. Especially notable are the George Stuart Historical figures, which are intricately carved figures from history that are dressed in elaborate period costume. For additional information, visit www.venturamuseum.org

  Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau
101 S. California St.

Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 648-2075

Ventura offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as beach walks, biking and hiking trails, bird watching, camping, golf, sport fishing, water activities and whale watching. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is situated next to the beach and an oceanside boardwalk that stretches for many miles. Some trail heads are within walking distance of the hotel. For additional information, visit www.ventura-usa.com

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Channel Islands National Park


Author: Susan Lamb (Author) & George H. H. Huey (Photographer)


Description: The five remarkable islands of Channel Islands National Park preserve a part of California many visitors thought had long vanished. This isolated maritime sanctuary of natural and human history is a short boat ride from the urban areas of Southern California. The environment provides a serene habitat for many species of birds, marine mammals, wildlife, and plants - plus archeological sites that mark nearly 13,000 years of human presence.



The Chumash and Their Predecessors: An Annotated Bibliography, Contributions in Anthropology, No. 1


Author: Marie S. Holmes and John R. Johnson


Description: This volume may be ordered from: The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Bookstore, 805-682-4711, X310.



Diary of a Sea Captain's Wife: Tales of Santa Cruz Island (Hardcover)


Author: Margaret H. Eaton


Description: While there are many science books about the Channel Islands, this book offers a woman's personal memoir of living on Santa Cruz Island in the first half of the 20th century. The book's editor, Dr. Jan Timbrook, lectures in the Road Scholar Channel Islands programs. Used paperback editions of this book are available at www.alibris.com for prices ranging from about $5 to $50 and up as well as at other online booksellers. The paperback edition may also be available for sale at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center.





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