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An island retreat off the coast of Los Angeles, California, Channel Islands National Park includes five beautiful islands that preserve a vast array of wildlife and landscapes, both under the water and on land.  

The separation from the mainland has allowed many unique animals and plants to flourish on these islands. The park boasts about 280 kilometers of pristine undeveloped coastline, where sea lions lounge and sand crabs scuttle. And just off the coast, a myriad of marine life — from colorful fish and coral to mammoth whales — occupies the Pacific. All across the islands, you’ll find opportunities to dive, snorkel, kayak, hike and watch the sunset (head to Cavern Point on Santa Cruz Island or Torrey Pines on Santa Rosa Island for the best views). Just be sure to save some time to explore Catalina Island, where a bustling harbor town offers shopping, dining and tours.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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