Fodor's Southern California 2014
Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center
Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center Review
The park's main visitor center has a museum, a bookstore, a three-story observation tower with telescopes, and exhibits about the islands. There's also a marine life exhibit where you can see sea stars clinging to rocks, anemones waving their colorful, spiny tentacles, and a brilliant orange Garibaldi darting around. The center also has full-size reproductions of a male northern elephant seal and the pygmy mammoth skeleton unearthed on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. Treasure in the Sea, a 24-minute film narrated by Kevin Costner, shows throughout the day and gives an overview of the islands. Rangers lead various free public programs describing park resources on weekends and holidays at 11 and 3; they can also give you a detailed map and trip-planning packet if you're interested in visiting the actual islands. In summer you can watch live ranger broadcasts of underwater dives and hikes on Anacapa Island, shown at the center Wednesday through Saturday (hike at 11, dive at 2).
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