California isn’t short on natural beauty… Yet the Channel Islands, located between Santa Barbara and Ventura, still stand out. Among the youngest national parks, this marine sanctuary was established in 1980 and includes five islands and the six nautical miles surrounding each. It’s also one of the least-visited national parks—in part because visitors must travel there by boat or small plane—and remained largely undisturbed for centuries. As a result, the park is a prime example of the coastal Mediterranean ecosystem, found in just five places on earth. In fact, 145 species inhabiting the Channel Islands are found nowhere else.