Deserted Island Day Trips

Want to play castaway for a day? From the Caribbean to California, these nine islands offer pristine beaches and abundant wildlife.

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Santa Barbara Island
Photo: George H.H. Huey

Santa Barbara Island

Southwest of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Island is the smallest of five islands in the Channel Islands National Park, known as North American Galápagos and home to more than 150 unique species. At Landing Cove, you can kayak, snorkel, and swim with garibaldi, the neon orange state fish. Note: SBI has dramatic cliffs, but no beaches.

Be sure to: Check out the Sea Lion Rookery overlook to see the barking behemoths sun themselves on the rocks and swim through kelp-filled-waters.

How to get there: Take a private boat, or charter one through Truth Aquatics; 805/962-1127 or For more info, call 805/658-5730 or visit

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