To characterize the wave energy resource for San Nicolas Island, off the coast of Southern California, wave data collected on three buoys located near the island were assembled from the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP). These data were used to create joint probability density function plots and monthly-averaged plots of bulk parameters and energy spectra. Observed monthly-averaged bulk parameters and calculated power densities were compared to a wave energy atlas created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Wave climatology products available from the Global Spectral Wave Climate (GLOSWAC) program were also compared with the climatology derived from the buoy data. Finally, regional spatial gradients in wave height and energy period were quantified using the difference between drifting Surface Wave Instrument Float with Tracking (SWIFT) measurements and the moored buoys, including a comparison of atlas values for these spatial gradients. In general, the atlas values agree well with the CDIP buoy data for significant wave height, but overestimate energy period and fail to capture wave direction trends. The atlas values overestimate observed power densities within a standard deviation of the observed values and capture observed variation in power density between different CDIP buoy locations. The atlas values underestimate observed spatial gradients for significant wave height and fail to capture observed spatial gradients for energy period.