The Channel Islands in California are comprised of 5 separate islands and are located in the outlying waters west of Ventura and Santa Barbara. It is actually the eight-island chain, however, five of them comprise the national park. A trip to the islands is a perfect day plan for anyone visiting the West Coast. Ferry from Ventura or Santa Barbara is the only transportation to the chosen island. What makes the islands special are its plants and animals. More than 150 endemic or unique species are the reason why it has the nickname “North American Galapagos.” This is the only place in the world where the visitors can see an island fox, island deer mouse, and yellow-blooming coreopsis clinging to exposed cliffs. The life in the waters is just as amazing with more than 30 species of sea animals: sea lions, elephant seals, whales, etc. An interesting fact is that the largest aggregation of blue whales in the world convenes here every summer. So it can be quite an experience for those who come at that time. On the islands, the visitors can spend their day hiking, kayaking, diving, or snorkeling the many sea caves and forests.