Visiting the Channel Islands is like traveling back into the past. Here you can discover a world protected for current and future generations to explore, learn from, and enjoy. The Channel Islands are accessible year round. Variations in weather, underwater visibility, wildlife migration and spawning cycles, as well as seasonal changes in plant life, present a variety of experiences that change constantly.
Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park encompass the ocean environment and five of the eight California Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara). The islands' remote, isolated position at the confluence of two major ocean currents creates remarkable biodiversity. The Channel Islands offer adventure and breathtaking scenery just 100 miles from Los Angeles.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is located off the coast of Southern California and is only accessible by boat (visitors can also access Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands by plane).
The waters surrounding Channel Islands are a popular destination to observe wildlife year-round for a variety of seabirds, whales, dolphins, sharks, fishes, seals, and sea lions.
Whale watching, bird watching, boating, diving, fishing, and kayaking are all popular things to do in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Towering kelp forests, sea caves, and coves of the Channel Islands offer some of the best diving in the world. Explore the remains of historic shipwrecks that line the ocean floor, but please do not disturb or remove them as they are protected by law.
The rich and productive waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary present both seasonal and year-round sport fishing opportunities "from the pier or by boat".
Sea kayaking is most popular around Scorpion Landing on East Santa Cruz Island. There are numerous beautiful sea caves, arches, and cliffs to explore.
The sanctuary works with many partners throughout central and Southern California to interpret the living and maritime heritage resources that are a part of this iconic place.
The annual "Get Into Your Sanctuary" celebration and photo contest raises awareness about the value of our national marine sanctuaries as iconic destinations for responsible recreation.