A world away from the classic California beaches, The Channel Islands are often called “California’s Galapagos” for their isolated, undeveloped coastline and unique wildlife. The island of Santa Rosa alone, with its 55 miles of coastline encircling thousand-foot mountainous peaks, hosts 16 species of plants found nowhere else in the world.
Water Canyon beach is the most stunning on the island, with rolling white-sand dunes and some concrete chance for wildlife spotting.
HOW TO GET THERE: the islands are situated a few hours off the coast of Santa Barbara by boat.
WHERE TO STAY: At Water Canyon beach there’s the possibility to stay at a campground for $15 a night, including the National Park Service fee and reservation fee. Book in advance on +1 877 444 6777, or book through recreation.gov.