Santa Cruz Island

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Santa Cruz Island is the largest and most diverse of the eight Channel Islands and has a long and varied history that is closely linked to its landscape. Its coastal scrub vegetation, vast grasslands, oak woodlands, and rich coastline sustained the sea-going Chumash people for about 9,000 years. During the nineteenth century, hunters and fishermen exploited the marine life, and mariners found shelter in its coves. Later the island was home to immigrant ranchers, and, in later years, the military took advantage of the island’s strategic location. With such a rich and varied history, visitors are sure to find plenty to explore in addition to the island's stunning natural beauty.

To learn more about Santa Cruz Island, visit the park's website.

Local Info

Mountain biking is not allowed on Santa Cruz Island.

Visiting Tips

Santa Cruz Island is only accessible via boat. Island Packers offers trips year round. Travel time is one-hour, landing at either Scorpion Anchorage or Prisoners Harbor. Landing is via a pier at both locations. For more information on transportation options, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Primitive camping is available at the Scorpion Ranch Campground. There are 31 sites available for $15 per night per site, and reservations are required. Water, picnic tables, food storage boxes, and pit toilets are provided.

Food & Drink

There are no goods, services, or accommodations available on the island. Visitors must bring all their own food and supplies. Water is available at Scorpion Anchorage but not at Prisoners Harbor.

After the Ride: Local Favorites

Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine Small moquecas or moquequinhas of mussels or cubed shark are easily shared among a crowd. Equally shareable is frito misto, expertly fried and precisely arranged crisp fish.
Toppers Pizza Place Touch screeeeeen sodaaaa
2701 Peninsula Rd, Oxnard CA — (805) 385-4444
Yolanda's Mexican Cafe It's all about the bean dip baby!!!
1601 Victoria Ave., Oxnard CA — (805) 985-1340
Anaba Sushi Grab a saporro, a salmon skin salad and you are ready for the main course.
Tony's Pizzaria A hidden gem. Wonderful pizza. Wonderful owner
Palermo It's a shame that Starbucks had killed so many classic cafes. This place is class.
321 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 643-3070
Barrelhouse 101 There are 101 beers on tap, but the 101st beer is a rotational tap which changes constantly.
Rice Thai Cuisine Congratulations on winning best Thai food in the Ventura County Redditors Choice Awards 2013!
375 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 641-3573
Rice by Mama Very authentic. Generous portions. Love the Thai iced tea.
Lure Fish House Strawberry Fields Salad with seared ahi tuna was amazing! Great service!
Nature's Grill & Juice Bar The "Local Favorite" sandwhich is awesome! :)
566 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 643-7855
Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company Best hot sauce in the world. Put it on everything.
In-N-Out Burger Just go here. My personal favorite location. Worked in the area and always stop by.
2070 Harbor Blvd, Ventura CA — (800) 786-1000
Cafe Nouveau Try the Brie & Mango Quesadilla
Taqueria Cuernavaca Arguably the best Mexican place in Ventura county.
Corrales Mexican Food #3 One of our family's favorites!
LaLo's Mexican Fast Food Grew up with Lalo's being my nearest burrito stop, as a kid. My go-to was always the breakfast burrito.
Pete's Breakfast House Guy loves their famous Pancake Roll served with homemade maple syrup (that's right, they have their own maple tree).
2055 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 648-1130
Ventura Sandwich Company By Alex M Best sandwich I've had in Ventura. Everything was fresh and I'm already craving another. I had the Smoking Aztec Roast Beef and am happy to report it had the right amount of heat. Love this place!
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Do a survey and get on the e-mail list. They send you coupons and stuff for free periodically.
3301 E Main St, Ventura CA — (805) 642-1959

Other Activities

The mixed sand and cobblestone Scorpion Beach is a world-class destination for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. With easy beach access, clear ocean waters, nearby camping, amazing kelp forests, and a spectacular shoreline with sea caves to explore, this is a great option for those looking to enjoy the area. No fishing is allowed within the marine reserves located around the island. Fishing is allowed outside of these areas with a valid California state fishing license with an ocean enhancement stamp.

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