Second the motion, especially Channel Islands National Park.  My fav island is a tossup - either Santa Rosa or San Miguel, the two most distant from the mainland.  On the map, the distance isn't that great, but the environmental/ecological/social gap is enormous!  It is an entirely different world....

You should know that I was on staff at the park for fifteen years, retiring in 2001.  I have been a park volunteer ever since, working on various projects of interest.  If this is appropriate, I suggest volunteering for the park for projects or work that appeals to you - it is definitely the best way to experience the islands and you will often get to spots otherwise almost impossible to reach.

You have loads of other options, as well - nice mountains in the  Santa Barbara and Ventura County backcountry - I could go on and on...

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