Best U.S. National Park Views
Inspiration Point, Channel Islands National Park, CA
The View: Touted by biologists as “North America’s Galapagos,” the five unscathed isles that make up the Channel Islands contain 145 endemic species, including the elusive rust-red harbor fox. On the volcanic, five-mile-long Anacapa Island, make the easy 1.5-mile trek to Inspiration Point and you’ll catch sight of a brown pelican fledgling area and neighboring Summit Peak (keep an eye out for breaching blue whales—park waters are home to the largest aggregation of them in the world).
Getting There: The islands are accessible only by boat. Take a 60-minute cruise with Island Packers ($59 per person, $79 to camp) from the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center in Ventura, 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. It’ll take you to Anacapa Island and ferry you back when you’re through.