Where on Earth? (Week 15) Santa Cruz Island, California!

Wow, I thought I lobbed out a difficult one this week and the very first answer nailed it. Congrats go out to Jim for correctly guessing on Wednesday that the above photo was taken at Potato Harbor on Santa Cruz Island (second place goes to Antheny and Ram for guessing the Channel Islands).

Santa Cruz is a part of the Channel Island chain just off the coast of California. Although most people are familiar with the most famous island in the chain, Catalina, few California natives realize that there are five others to the north.

I’ve been fortunate to visit three of the islands in the last few years. Although Anacapa is the most beautiful of those I visited, Santa Cruz is my favorite. I went for the first time two years ago for a bachelor party along with Erik, a fellow blogger here at Gadling.

Santa Cruz was the perfect location for a weekend away from Los Angeles. It has a good sized campground, some of the best coastal caves in the state for kayaking, miles of hiking trails, and some decent snorkeling.

The reason I thought no one would nail this location is because of the beautiful quality of the water sparkling in the above photograph. Anyone who has spent time swimming at the beaches of Southern California–especially in Los Angeles–will tell you that water clarity is abysmal. And yet here, just an hour’s boat ride away on Santa Cruz, the water looks as though it might be located in Mexico, the Philippines, Australia, or somewhere in Greece–all great guesses from some of our well-traveled readers.