ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

channel islands national park--more than a park

Updated on September 16, 2011

Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island from the air
Anacapa Island from the air
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove

I have written several articles about working and commercial diving in the channel between Ventura and the channel islands. Today we are going to talk about what else there is to do on the islands and in the channel.

There are three harbors to use to get out into the channel, and those are located in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Oxnard. The harbor in Oxnard is mostly used for the working fishing and diving boats. Almost all of the things that would be of interest to the tourist, would be located out of the Santa Barbara harbor and some out of Ventura.

Here is a list of the various posible things of interest that are available to see and to do.

  1. Whale watching boats leave daily on most days out of the s.b. harbor on a large boat called the Condor. The boat is complete with a galley for a more than reasonable cost.  
  2. Kayac lessons and tours are also easily available.
  3. Surfing lessons.
  4. scuba diving, and snorkaling tours.
  5. camping sites are available on three islands, but are very rustic and not modern facilities so as to not disturb the wildness and wildlife on the islands.
  6. birdwatching
  7. guided hikes
  8. tide pool talks and lectures
  9. seal and sea lion watches
  10. wild flower viewing
  11. fishing

   If you plan to camp on the islands, be sure that you are prepared.  There is camping on every island , but there is absolutely no place to buy anything.  This means that what you bring is what you have.  All food, water, and whatever is needed for your comfortable camping experience must be brought with you.  There are no live phones, or any other modern convenience, for the islands are kept as they were when they were inhabited by only the indians.  All supplies, gear, and clothing must come with you, and leave with you.  the pristeen and delicate wilderness values of these islands must be preserved for future generations.  Camping is limited to four campsites per island, and four people per site.  Pit type toilets are available.

Santa Barbara Harbor and the adjoining waterfront

Santa Barbara Harbor:
Santa Barbara Harbor, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

get directions

whale watch boats start here, as well as lodging and restaurants.

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island from above
Santa Cruz Island from above
Central Valley
Central Valley
Smugglers Cove
Smugglers Cove
Historic Chapel
Historic Chapel

lodging accomidations and eating

Because the Islands themselves are kept natural, commercial businesses of any kind are forbidden.  If you intend to stay in a hotel or motel, these must be found on the mainland and are plentiful in santa barbara and ventura.  Although Oxnard is also listed in most of the brochures as someplace to find lodging and food, I would discourage doing so for several reasons.  First, Oxnard is not located as convieniently and it is easy to become lost for it is not close to freeway exits.  It also has more of a crime problem and less of a tourist attractiveness than ventura or santa barbara. 

Between Ventura and santa barbara, there are over 70 well known motels and lodges, both chain and privately owned.  I would recommend making all reservations for anything you may want to do on the islands or lodging well in advance of your trip.

Santa Barbara Island

marine life
marine life
grey whale
grey whale

The Photographs

   There are five islands in the national park, and each island is as individual as people are.  It is amazing that as close as they are to one another, how very different they are from one another.

     Just so that you can compare for yourselves here are a few pictures of each island for you to look at and compare and enjoy.  They are have left as untouched as they were 200 years ago, and appear exactly as they did then.  I have tried to show you a variety of not only the islands themselves, but hopefully a variety of things you might find through the whole experience.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park:
Channel Islands National Park, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA

get directions

Made up of five islands, this group of islands have not changed in over 150 yrs. There are many exciting and fun things to do on a family vacation.

San Miguel Island

elephant seals
elephant seals
monitoring pinnipeds
monitoring pinnipeds


Submit a Comment
  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    6 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Enjoyed seeing these photos and hearing about the different islands in the Channel Island national park. Will add a link from this hub to the one I just published about California's 8 national parks. This is one I would enjoy seeing some day...especially the whale watching. Up and interesting votes.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    6 years ago from Oxnard

    I am sorry, I have not heard of this cateror.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)