Anacapa Island

Island in Channel Islands National Park

Actually three separate islets totaling just over 1 sq mile, Anacapa gives a memorable introduction to the Channel Islands’ ecology. It's also the best option if you're short on time. Boats dock year-round on the East Island where, after a short climb, you’ll find 2 miles of trails offering fantastic views of island flora, a historic lighthouse, and rocky Middle and West Islands. You're bound to see western gulls too – the world's largest breeding colony is here.

Kayaking, diving, tide-pooling and watching seals and sea lions are popular outdoor activities, while inside the museum at the small visitor center, divers with video cameras occasionally broadcast images to a TV monitor you can watch during spring and summer.