Off the coast of Ventura, CA lies the hidden gem Santa Cruz Island part of the Channel Islands. The island is part of the National Park System (NPS) and co-managed by the Nature Conservatory. A couple buddies and I kicked off the summer by camping 3 days on this secluded island. This place has everything you would like to expect from a short local trip. Despite being there on Memorial Day week, there were hardly any people on the entire island which meant summit sunrise hikes not seeing a single soul, quiet campgrounds, and isolated beaches. We stayed at the Scorpion campground on east island which was a good proximity to many of the popular hikes. I would recommend the ridge summit hike as it is a moderate hike for the casual hiker and it gives a birds' eye view of east island. As added bonuses, there is an abandoned oil rig along the way and an old ammunition box with a registry at the summit.
The Scorpion campground has fresh drinking water, restrooms, and picnic tables. Campfires are prohibited so you will need to bring an electric burner. To get there, most people take the ferry from Island Packers. To those that plan on bringing lots of gear, I would recommend bringing a wagon or dolly to transport from the ferry to the campsite. There is some solid snorkeling and kayaking from Scorpion Anchorage which is where the ferry drops you off, so definitely bring your snorkels.