A Coastal Gem: Channel Islands National Park

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Read our guide to secluded Channel Islands National Park. Five islands, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara (the island, not the town), comprise the national park. Of these, Anacapa and Santa Cruz are the most popular and accessible. The islands are only accessible by boat, though you can take a small plane to San Miguel. Depending on which island you are visiting, the boat ride ranges from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. Captains keep an eye out for whales, rays, seals and dolphins— we spied humpbacks (with tail splashes), gorgeous large sunfish, and two massive dolphin pods racing and jumping alongside our boat.