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North America > United States of America > California > Central Coast (California) > Channel Islands (California)
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Not to be confused with the islands in the English Channel, the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands, also known as the Santa Barbara Islands, lie off the coast of California in the United States, between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and lie in Santa Barbara County, Ventura County and Los Angeles County.


Northern islands

Southern islands

  • San Clemente Island - US Navy controlled
  • San Nicolas Island - small island, relatively flat, located in the northeastern-most position of the southern group. Owned by the US Navy, and is used for an instrumentation range. San Nicolas is the furthest of the Channel Islands from the mainland, located 7-8 hours by boat from Long Beach. The island itself is not accessible to civilians, because it houses numerous classified facilities. However, the waters off San Nicolas are used for scuba diving. Large spiny lobsters are the target of the eager divers. However, the diving environs are quite rough and available to experienced/certified divers only. Because of its hostile but productive dive environment, it has become legendary among California divers. This island is best known as the setting of the legend of Juana Maria, as told in the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins.
  • Santa Barbara Island - part of Channel Islands National Park
  • Santa Catalina Island - the only island with significant permanent civilian settlements and tourist accommodations: the resort town of Avalon and the unincorporated village of Two Harbors.


  • Avalon - Located on Catalina Island.

Other destinations

  • Channel Islands National Park - The visitor center is located in Ventura. The park encompasses five islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archaeological resources found nowhere else.

This region travel guide to Channel Islands is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!