For a fun, educational and local family field trip, visit the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park at the Ventura Harbor. This visitor center is free of charge and features a bookstore, marine aquatic life exhibits, a nicely done 25 minute movie, "A Treasure in the Sea" and friendly National Park Service staff to answer your questions.
Located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, the visitor cneter is open 8:30 am until 5 pm daily. On weekends and holidays (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) at 11 am and 3 pm, rangers offer a variety of free public programs covering the resources of the park. Click here for programs and events scheduled at the visitor center. Call 805.658.5730 for more information.
This placard on the second floor viewing deck of the visitor center reads as follows:
On a clear day you can see two of the five islands that compose the Channel Islands National Park - Anacapa and Santa Cruz. The park boundary also includes the waters one nautical mile out around the islands. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary extends an additional five nautical miles out.
The Anacapas: When you look through the telescope (on the deck...or from other locations in Ventura County) you can see that Anacapa actually consists of three small islets. The Chumash Indians called Anacapa "Anyapa" meaning "ever-changing." It is an appropriate name as changing weather conditions modify the island's appearance. If you look at East Anacapa Island you may be able to see the lighthouse and the hole in the middle of arch rock.
Santa Cruz Island: Santa Cruz is the largest and topographically the most diverse of the Channel Islands. The highest point of Santa Cruz is Mount Diablo. It is nearly 2,400 feet high and is the highest mountain found on any of the Channel Islands.
Distance from Ventura (in miles): Anacapa (15), Santa Cruz (21), Santa Rosa (47), San Miguel (63) and Santa Barbara (52).