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Channel Islands National Park

The coast of Southern California might be one of the most densely populated areas of the United States, but a quick hop out to Channel Islands National Park provides a picture of coastal living in the region before human development. The park, which includes Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara Islands, is home to 145 species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Some of the more exotic residents include California sea lions, island foxes, California brown pelicans, island fence lizards, spotted skunks, and endangered blue whales, which swim through from time to time. Although the islands sit just offshore from populous areas, limited transportation optionsĀ (park boats, private boats, and small commercial flights) give them a sense of isolation. Once you do reach the islands, the best way to get around during your holiday is on foot or via your own kayak or boat. Alternately, you can visit one of the mainland visitor centers in Santa Barbara or Ventura. With the Inspirock online itinerary creator, Channel Islands National Park and other destinations across the globe can be made central to your personalized travel plans.
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Where to stay in Channel Islands National Park

You can stay inside Channel Islands National Park if you bring your tent and supplies for primitive camping. If you want a roof over your head, you'll be spoiled for choice on the mainland. Oxnard, Ventura, and Carpinteria have plenty of affordable chain hotels, while the accommodations in Santa Barbara tend more toward upscale bed and breakfasts and inns. Places book up in the summer and on holiday weekends, so try to reserve in advance if you visit during these times. Rates also rise during local events and festivals.
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