While most people dream of brightly-colored coral reefs and warm, tropical waters for their ideal SCUBA vacations, the Santa Barbara Channel will always have a special place in my heart. In my completely unbiased opinion as a Santa Barbara Native, I think that the kelp forests that surround the Santa Barbara Channel Islands are incredibly beautiful. I will admit that going from sweating in a 3mm wetsuit in French Polynesia to covering my shivering body head-to-toe in 7mm-thick neoprene in order to survive a Californian dive was a bit of a shock, but it was worth it to jump into these amazing waters. With towering kelp, vibrant gorgonians, and obnoxious harbor seals, diving around the Santa Barbara Channel Islands is an adventure that I have been lucky enough to experience. If you can, I recommend that you try to get out there too!